Environment

Designed to Save Money
4:00 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Passivhaus & Energy Efficiency

The Specht House in Thaxton, VA
Credit www.jetsongreen.com

According to Virginia Dominion Power the average monthly residential electric bill in the state is $119.82 a month. 

With the deep temperatures of winter and depending on our heat source we can find bills for a single month two to three times that amount.

But there's a method of home construction that for one homeowner has cut their electric bill by more than half the state average.

“Our typical energy bill is actually as low as $40 to as high as $62 to $65 so far. Our annual energy usage is so much lower than a standard home’s”  

Read more
Blight Spreads to Virginia
4:20 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Stemming Boxwood Blight

Spread of boxwood blight to landscape plants following installation of an infected boxwood patio plant
Adria Bordas

Scientists are asking the public’s help in stemming the spread of a blight on the Boxwood bush.  The plant is often used in holiday wreaths and garlands this time of year.

The Boxwood plant is prized for its emerald leaves and slow growing habit. But a blight, first seen in the US in 2011 has spread to Virginia, where it threatens home gardens as well as historic sites. The disease eventually kills the plant. It’s caused by a fungus spread by contact with a diseased boxwood.

Read more
Hardwood Forests
2:00 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Wood Pellets & Sustainability

1 year after clearcutting

The European Union is pushing member states to go green -- offering incentives and requiring that utilities cut their carbon emissions and increase their use of renewable energy sources by 20%.  That sounds like a noble goal, but it may be having unintended consequences in Virginia and neighboring states – consequences that have some environmentalists up in arms. 

Read more
Problem Plants
2:24 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Ivy Invasion

Red bricks covered with ivy have long been seen as a part of Virginia’s charm, but scientists in Richmond warn the vines are taking over – posing a threat to other plants in the state, and they want citizens to do their part in getting ivy under control.
 

Read more
Environment
7:46 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Slowly Improving

Credit www.wjla.com

The Chesapeake Bay has been a repository for nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment loads to the point that its water quality is endangered. The Bay Barometer: Health and Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed is a report from the Chesapeake Bay Program that looks at ecological markers, like underwater grasses and fish, to measure progress in restoration goals.

Read more

Pages