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Fall Furnace Tune-Up: For Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety

Stories—some humorous, some sobering—abound among heating contractors about the causes and effects of heating problems.  Gary Bakalarski, an air conditioning technician for the City of Pittsburgh’s Housing Authority, recalls once clearing 13 pigeons out of someone’s chimney.  A customer of Bob Hillard’s (Hillard Plumbing & Heating) was in total disbelief when his new furnace’s heat […]

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Is Green Affordable Housing an Oxymoron?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the goal of sustainable community development is “to advance the creation of livable and vibrant communities through comprehensive approaches that coordinate economic, physical, environmental, community and human development.” In affordable housing developments, the implementation of sustainable design principles can have multiple beneficial effects on communities, their economy and […]

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Fashion Tips for Your Lawn

By Darrell Frey, Owner, Three Sisters Permaculture Design An ecological landscaping plan considers the impact of the landscape on the surrounding community.  By reducing lawn space we save energy and reduce both noise and air pollution.  Diversifying the landscape with native shade trees, shrubs, meadows, and ground covers builds the health of the local environment […]

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Dirty Secrets for Creating an Effective Compost Pile

By Christine Walters, Pennsylvania Resources Council  Composting is nature’s way of recycling.  In a natural ecosystem, decomposition of organic materials ensures a continuous addition of nutrient-rich organic matter to soil, maintaining and even increasing the soil’s productivity.  However, in ecosystems where humans are gathering food, grass clippings, tree trimmings, and leaves, soils can be depleted […]

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Green Spotlight on Construction & Demolition Waste

Cornerstone speaks with Chris Klehm Q:  Is it appropriate to refer to what can be done with construction and demolition (C&D) waste as recycling? A:  Not really.  Some of the waste can be recycled, but I prefer to think of the process as “construction and demolition waste management,” implying that the materials need to be managed.  […]

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Green Spotlight on Landscaping

Residential homes in the United States have 40 million acres of yard.  Most yards waste water, are sprayed with chemicals (over 200 million pounds of lawn chemicals annually), and can’t support wildlife. Q:  When doing site planning, what are the most important landscape issues to consider? A:  There are two important issues to understand—the land […]

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Getting the Best of Pests

Do you want to get the pests in your house to bug off without using harmful chemicals?  As one knowledgeable person said, “There is no good all-purpose repellent.”  However, there are a variety of useful methods for ridding your abode of specific pests.  We present several here, along with suggestions of where to turn for […]

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Green Spotlight on Home Remodeling

Cornerstone speaks with design contractor A.J. Stones. Q:  What are the most important factors to be considered when hiring a contractor? A:  Hiring a remodeling contractor is the same as hiring any other professional.  You need to look at background, education, training, how the business is run, who’s in charge, who you’d deal with on a […]

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