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Flotsam & Jetsam

by schmidt on September 18, 2009 · 0 comments

in Miscellaneous Schmidt

There  has been a lot of interesting things washing up on my shores lately, thought I would share some.  This weekend, from today  though Sunday the 18th, The Late Show Gardens event will be held at Cornerstone in Sonoma County.  Touted as an event where “brilliant design meets sustainability” the entire show is “focused on addressing the issues of climate change, drought, sustainable practices and renewable resources”.  I hope to drag my sorry ass there on Sunday, and report on it next week so long as the wife gives me a day pass =)

This Saturday the 19th is also the 25th anniversary of the California Coastal Clean Up Day.  In that time the the Pacific Gyre is estimated to have increased in size to double the area of Texas, so if you think this is some silly feel good event, your wrong.  13 million pounds of our garbage has been picked up over the last two plus decades, so it has an impact.  Tomorrow is also the kickoff of Coastweeks, three weeks of water related events to help us support and appreciate our fragile ocean environment.

The Chronicle reported on the upcoming mandatory composting law that will be going into effect in San Francisco mid October.  This is for commercial property owners, people like me who own big apartment buildings.  I think its a great law.  It is an incredible pain in the ass. because all of my buildings simply were not designed for today’s garbage systems; there just is no room to put black, blue and green cans in spaces made just for one big can that we used to use back in the day.  But I am committed to figuring it out, and will let you know how I managed.  Tips here to whet your appetite.

On the drought front, news from the State Government that Graywater is starting to go more mainstream.  Graywater is sort of like residential windmills, an interesting idea that most folks have no frickin clue what do do with, and state/local governments have no clue how to incorporate into their planning/building codes.  One group at the forefront of the Graywater movement is the Graywater Guerrillas out in Oaktown.  They have been way out in front of this issue for years, and slowly, ever so slowly the rest of us are catching on.  I hope to take one of their classes soon, but chew on this for now: a typical house can save over 20,000 (yes thousand) gallons of water each year with a Graywater system.  One house.  Twenty thousand gallons.  Isn’t that worth something?

Much gratitude for stopping by.




Gray water is one of these things that takes real commitment.  It is not an easy retrofit like solar pannels, once those are installed they pretty much run themselves.  But a water catchement system is a lifestyle change.  One book I read back a while ago, Design for Water by Heather Kinkade-Levario, is a great starting point.  And there are devices out there that you can use for a retrofit if you are going to go this route…I have a few hogs I bought on sale that I am going to hook up soon, they are pretty cool and if you have a way to get them installed I recommend them.  The Chronicle has a good piece today on Graywater as wel, and while it might not be at the top of your list when it comes to your next remodel, maybe you can think about ways to intgrate it.