Four Leaf Clover Anyone—How about Three?


How we forget—or never even knew.  When I was a little girl, looking for a lucky four leaf clover in the grass was something we kids did to wile away lazy afternoons when we wanted to be outside but not necessarily playing organized games.  I have no recollection of what we did if someone found one and I don’t actually remember ever finding one myself.  As an adult I never thought about them again except around St. Patrick’s Day when the world abounds in graphic designs of the mythically elusive good luck charm.

But sometimes old, thankfully becomes new again.  My friend recently posted a photo of her new lawn on Facebook—her new all clover lawn.  And a flood of childhood memories came rushing back.  Clover used to just be part of the lawn—all lawns.  In fact, lawn seed used to be judged by the quantity of clover it actually contained!  No one considered it a weed.  Until the 1950’s that is, when companies began selling weed killers to  promote the proverbial perfect American lawn. Apparently scientists were unable to develop a weed killing formula that left both grass and clover and just killed weeds.  So clover became a weed and the innocent childhood pastime of looking for four- leaf clover came to an untimely end.

My friend's new lawn with a bunny having lunch

So here we are today, and the perfect American lawn may be going the way of say, newspapers.  If you’re like many busy Americans the lawn wars  ( the ones between neighbors and the ones with weeds) are no longer fun.  Homeowners would just as soon be freed from the slavery of grass cutting, grass watering, grass fertilizing and grass envy.

Not only that, many Americans are more knowledgeable and more concerned about the impact that chemical fertilizers are having on the environment related to our streams, lakes, creeks, rivers, and even oceans, and want to minimize their impact these delicately balanced ecosystems.

White Clover or as it is commonly known, Irish Clover is making a comeback in the American yard.  And here’s the good news about clover.  It doesn’t need much mowing.  Yay!  At least not like grass.  It might get to about 8 inches but if you can get used to that height it won’t grow any longer.  It’s pretty drought resistant so doesn’t need a lot of watering.  It’s actually a fertilizer in itself and thus promotes healthy plants.  Oh, it’s an evergreen so as long as it’s not covered with snow, you’ll have a green lawn year round.  And it’s actually resistant to insects and diseases that might affect other grasses.

There are a couple of downsides to be aware of in the name of full disclosure.  Clover attracts bees.  So if someone in your family is prone to allergic reactions from bee stings, think carefully about where you plant clover if you plant it at all.  And it apparently doesn’t hold up to lots of traffic when planted alone.  So if you have a yard where you expect kids to play in a lot, clover won’t be as sturdy underfoot as traditional grass.  But you could mix the grass with clover and get the kind of retro yard that I grew up with.

Water–The New Oil

This morning I installed an EcoFlow (Waterpik)* shower head.  Of course I installed it incorrectly the first time because it I’m spatially challenged and it is absolutely impossible for me to complete any mechanical project correctly the first time. But still it only took me 15 minutes to install, even with the mistakes.

So why use an EcoFlow showerhead?  Well, a regular showerhead uses about 20 gallons of water for a five minute shower while the EcoFlow uses about 7.5 gallons.  The EcoFlow showerhead uses 40% less water than a 2.5 GPM showerhead, which is now the minimum standard.  And you can save even more by using the pause button on the showerhead while you lather up.  I love this feature.  Oh, and if you’re worried about not getting a strong water flow, don’t.  The shower is just as satisfying as using a regular showerhead.

Why should you be concerned about water usage, especially if like me, you don’t even pay the water bill because it’s included in the condo fee.  And even if you pay for water, in the US it’s subsidized at artificially low prices, substantially lower than anywhere else in the developed or developing world.  However, safe clean water is becoming a problem worldwide.  Our rivers are at risk, there is diminishing ground water, water pollution and climate change are threatening the world’s water supplies.  In the US the average American uses one hundred gallons of water per day while the worlds poorest people get by on less than five gallons.

The EPA’s new WaterSense program can help you to make wise water conservation decisions and the average family could save about $170 per year by installing water conserving fixtures in your home.  “Giving your main bathroom a high-efficiency makeover by installing a WaterSense labeled toilet, faucet, and showerhead can save your household more than 7,000 gallons annually—that’s about enough water to wash six months worth of laundry.”  Not all water saving fixtures have the WaterSense label because many brands are still being tested for qualification in the program. Currently there are no tax incentives for this program but there are regional incentives listed on the WaterSense webpage.

And when you get ready to sell your home and hire me, the EcoBroker certified and NAR Green Designee real estate professional to sell your home, I know just how to market all of the green and sustainable features to today’s buyers who really care about these things.

If you want to learn more about our endangered water resources, National Geographic’s “Fresh Water 101” is all about water.

Interesting  Water Factoids:

Only 2.5% of the world’s water is fresh and two thirds of that is frozen. That leaves less than 1% to grow crops, cool power plants, supply drinking and bathing water, etc.

Farms and ranches use 64% of all fresh water.

It takes 4000 gallons of water to produce 500 calories from beef.

*There are other brands of low-flow showerheads. WaterPik is the one I chose.

EB-Certified-Logo-for-web2GreenLogo_CMYK[1]

Gale10

Gayle Fleming

http://www.goinggreenhomesva.com

gaylefleming48@aol.com

703-625-1358

My purpose is to serve my clients and advocate for their highest and best good, so they attain their real estate goals.