Want a beautiful garden but worried about your water bill? Create a rain barrel during a workshop at the Alliance for the Arts' GreenMarket on Saturday.
Visitors will have an opportunity to learn about rain barrels and the benefits of rainwater collection from Lee County Extension Educators as well as learn tips for water conservation. You will learn how to set up a recycled 55-gallon plastic barrel to collect rain water from your roof, so you can use the water on your landscape plants, potted plants, vegetable and herb gardens or special plant collections.
The workshop provides setup instruction, maintenance, artistic possibilities and a booklet for further reference.
The class meets from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Rutenberg Eco Living Center, 6940 South Pointe Blvd., Fort Myers. The workshop costs $45 per rain barrel. You must register in advance to attend the class and to reserve your barrel.
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More information: 239-533-7514
BCB Homes, Inc. is working with a client to build the first LEED for Homes silver-certified green home in the Moorings at Naples. LEED for Homes is a national, third-party certification system for energy-efficient, healthy green homes.
Some of the standard features are concrete block construction on all exterior walls, spray foam insulation to seal the attic, Energy Star-rated appliances, dehumidification systems with fresh air intake, paperless drywall for the home's interior walls, high efficiency HVAC systems, variable speed pool pumps and salt water chlorination systems for swimming pools.
The customized Daikin A/C system, a smaller and smarter cooling system that is environmentally friendly with multiple zones allows the homeowner to set different temperatures for different rooms, thus saving energy by eliminating overheating and overcooking.
The company is installing an efficient geothermal pool heating system for year-round use and a Photovoltaic (PV) whole-house hot water system that is more cost-efficient. The (PV) system consists of 60 solar panels on the home's roof that generate electrical power by converting solar radiation directly into electricity and that can produce up to 12.9 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power a significant portion of the house.
Other items used in this home are low chemical emission paints for walls, cabinetry and shelving, certified "Green Label Plus" carpeting and durable and efficient glass. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood was used on the outdoor decking, the boat dock and for the front door.
Information: bcbhomes.com or 239-643-1004
lets 'em chill
K-9 Koolee is a new portable, lightweight pet cooling system that is self-contained and that provides a cool surface for furry friends on which to lounge for hours. The unit has a built-in handle and shoulder strap, and the pop-up canopy provides instant shade.
It uses B Core Polymer, a nontoxic hyper-absorbable polymer that comes packaged inside freeze-fried reusable cooling pouches. The pouches are inserted into clear plastic sleeves designed to prevent evaporation of water and which create an unbreakable seal. The sleeves are filled with water and the B Core Polymer absorbs and expands to its full, hydrated state.
Once cooled, the sleeves are placed in the machine-washable, blue outer pouches (the bed) designed to allow the cooling power to emit through the bed to the dog.
K-9 Koolee was field tested on Florida beaches and scientifically proven to maintain a cool surface for up to eight hours.
Available in two sizes, small-medium (up to 55 pounds) for $169 and large (55-125 pounds) for $189. manufactures suggested retail price.