Friday, June 5, 2009

Help! the Dogs are Digging up my Lawn..

So its something I'd not really considered... dog runs.
We had a lot of the usual calls this week about people wanting to put in their green driveways - actually more about them wanting green parking areas, so it was the week of discussing permeable paving solutions - talking for ages about green parking pads.

Then i got a call... quite funny really, "Can you help me? My dogs are digging in my lawn!" and her tel #. I pictured myself flying out with a big stick and protecting the lawn...
but then we got another dog call..

Then suddenly everyone's dog must have started digging up their lawns. Seriously! What's with the dogs? Maybe the muddy spots are nice and cool? Are the dogs as happy as I am about the summer?

I understand though - and we've used EcoGrid for dog yards before - and it makes sense. The people i spoke to had large dogs - one woman had 4 dogs! 4! and although they don't dig a lot - they keep running around and making a mess of her lawn. Anyway, she's going to put permeable grid down - mostly in the wet, mucky area - and then hope the dogs won't mess it up too much.

Her original solution - putting down a all-cement yard - makes me wince. I can only imagine what that would be like - its a small yard - but all cement? eep. Adding another 600sq/ft of cement into the world. Sure it might look okay for a while - until it cracks and gets stained - but it would be so bad for the environment. All that cement just holding the water, letting it sit there - and the heat? wow.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Up to my boots in mud

Interesting day yesterday. I love talking to people across Canada and the US. Yesterday it was a man who loves boats. This year is the 400th Anniversary of Dutch Arrival in New York Harbor - which i didn't know. :) So this fellow is looking for a solution for some boats ramps.

I've never really thought much about boat ramps though I know we've used the EcoGrid for boat ramps. I guess dragging your boat into the water - or driving it down on a ramp - pretty much tears up the soil. We'll be doing some testing with him - but I know this will help. Lay down some gravel, put down the grid, more gravel = and he'll have himself a boat ramp. I'm going to keep checking back over the next few years to make sure it works well for him.

Last night I walked home a few extra blocks because the weather was just perfect. It kept threatening to rain in the evening but it didn't happen. I noticed that there are more than a few laneways - alleys - and parking pads here in Toronto in desperate need for repair. I wish I could go over and talk to these people about considering using the EcoGrid like they did in Vancouver. They really have it going there - especially in the alleyways.

There's a few spots where the leaves and soil have collected around the drains - and all I can think of is the volume of storm water rushing into the drains. A few weeks ago all the frigging drains were plugged up in the local alley - so there were these big pools of water.

Its such a simple solution = they could put down grid. Grid n' Gravel maybe? I think that would be a good solution - because it doesn't take the maintenence of a regular gravel drive / area. Basicially the water would soak right through the grid / the gravel - and return back to the soil instead of forming big puddles. Then the drains wouldn't flood out.

Dang, I wish I knew who to talk to about this stuff. sigh. Sometimes I feel if i could just sit down and talk to the people they'd get it. heh.
Green Girl from TerraFirm Enterprises,
out for the day.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Unpaving paradise - taking out that parking lot - environmental driveways

Now here's the thing about working for a company that is committed to providing people with an alternative driveway solution = I don't drive! lol. :D I spend a lot of time working to provide people with a better enviromental solution to a driveway or parking lot. Or in some cases helping them solve their erosion problems. But like everyone - I know someone who drives - and almost every house has a blacktop driveway. I just don't need to drive so I don't own a car.

I've been a geek girl for 10 years - 8 years basically in Tech Support for a backbone provider in Toronto. Then I quit recently to go work for TerraFirm Enterprises - basically because I was burnt out of tech support and I have known about this company for years. The owner has been asking me to come work for him.. and now I am.

So what's with the driveway? I mean almost every house has one - even if you are like me and renting - and no one drives... there are still driveways and parking lots. Usually those blacktop stretches of deterioriating asphalt paving, with cracks running through the surface.

If I think of driveways I think of my dad's drive: busted along the edges, with some dips that form little pools of water. Basically it seemed to be asphalt, concrete or gravel. Those were the choices. At least with EcoGrid there's a choice.

I'd never really thought of Green Driveways - and my experience with gravel driveways wasn't better. They were those dirt drives with bits of gravel embedded into the surface with the larger pools of water after it rained. Blarg. Of course that was many years ago - and now a good gravel driveway is actually a sound environmental choice... as long as it doesn't compact. That is where the EcoGrid comes into play.

Anyway, seems like they've been using EcoGrid stuff in Europe for around 20 years. Hello? There's an eco-friendly alternative to asphalt and concrete surfaces? You mean you don't have to have end up dumping all the rainwater back into the storm sewer? really? Who'd a thought.

Well, I always felt sad when the paved paradise to put up a parking lot. At least now with the EcoGrid - maybe we can start digging up the parking lots and coming up with a green solution. It might take another twenty years but it would be nice to leave our children with a greener environmentally-friendly parking spot to put their non-gas cars on. :D