Green ideas

HomeAsphalt & ConcreteDemolitionExcavation & HaulingJob-Site ServicesLandscapingStormwater ManagementSnowplowingGreen ideasContactRecent jobs

 Welcome to the Green Ideas page from Festival Services Corporation.
On this page we will discuss and review green products and ideas that are available to help improve our daily lives, reduce our dependency on natural resources and reduce the amount of pollution we produce.
Green ideas for review:
water saving ideas.
collecting and reusing rain water.
saving electricity.
reducing heating costs.
the power of solar.
taping geo-thermal.
grey water systems.
Saving water can be a simple process, but may require a change of lifestyle, the best way to save water is by using less, this is the basis of water conservation. by becoming aware of your water usage, you can address what products are available to reduce your water consumption, simple changes to faucets, shower heads and toilets can make a big difference in your water usage but only if your are conserving too.
lets do some math;
how much water does a toilet use?
some older toilets use 3.2 gallons of water per flush
some newer toilets use a little as 1.2 gallon per flush.
flush a 3.2 gallon toilet, 5 times a day, per person, times 365 days and you can use.
3.2 x 5 x 1 x 365 = 5840 gallons per person per year!
change to a 1.2 gallon toilet and you might save 3650 gallons of water plus you save the matching expense on your sewer bill.
how much water does your bathroom sink use?
some older faucets with out restrictors can consume 5 gallons per min.
newer faucets restrict usage to around 1.5 gallons per min.
how much water does your shower use?
like faucetts, shower heads can use alot of water or be replaced with new energy efficient models using very little water.
more math;
 shower for 20 min. at 5 gallons per min. and use 100 gallons.
shower for 5 min. at 5 gallons per min and use 25 gallons.
shower for 5 min. at 1.5 gallons per min. and use 7.5 gallons.
the biggest factor controlling water usage is you, taking shorter showers and turning off the water in the sink while brushing your teeth are some of the biggest water saving measures you can implement, others include running the dish and clothes washers with full loads, turning off the kitchen faucet while loading the dishes, use a bucket to wash your car rather than letting the hose run and water your lawn & garden with rain water, these are just a few ways you can save water.

Lets discuss collecting and reusing rainwater.
You might ask, what do you need to store and use rainwater?
The simple answer is a Rain barrel and a watering can. It can also mean something larger with increased capacity, connected to an automated distribution system.
What kind of system do I need and what can I afford?
The answer to that question will take some math, the formulas are not hard to work out, collect the data and see the results.
The table below lists some of the items you will need to measure;
                                                                                                  Example numbers
A. Measure your property and determine the square footage  50x150=7500sg ft
B. Measure your house and determine the square footage        30 x40= 1200sg ft
C. Measure your garage and determine square footage            20 x22=    440sg ft
D. Measure your driveway and determine square footage        10 x120= 1200sg ft
E. Measure your sidewalks and determine square footage           3 x 50= 150sg ft
F. Measure your patios and determine square footage               10 x 30 = 300sg ft
G. Measure no water areas and determine square footage           5 x 50= 250sg ft
H. Determine square feet of lawn area to be watered                50 x 60= 3000sg ft
I. Determine square feet of garden areas to be watered             30 x 32 = 960sg ft
Useful information;
 The requirements for watering lawn areas, trees and plants are different; approximately 1” of rain is needed weekly on average. 
For every 1000 square feet of area that receives 1” of rain, approximately 625 gallons of water hits the ground.
The spigot of an average home dispenses 5 to 7 gallons per minute, 300 to 420 gallons per hour, water for 2 hours and thats 600 to 840 gallons, which adds up to 1800 to 2520 gallons when you water 3 times per week, during a typical 30-week growing season 54000 to 75600 gallons.
As you can see a 2-gallon per minute difference in flow adds up to a large difference over the season.
Now it is time to use some of the figures from the table above.
A = the total area in square feet of your property           50 x 150 = 7500 sq ft
A / 1000 x 625 = gallons of water per 1” rain     7500 / 1000 x 625 = 4,687.50 gal
That right almost 47 hundred gallons of water hits this property in a 1” rainstorm.
A= B+C+D+E+F+G+H+I 
This checks to make sure the total area matches the individual areas measured
A-(B+C+D+E+F+G) = (H+I)
This checks to make sure the total area –(house+) = area to be watered.
A- (B+C+D+E+F+G)= area to water                               7500 - 3540 = 3960 sq ft
(H+ I) = area to water                                                                          = 3960 sq ft
Area to water / 1000 X 625 = water needs            3960 / 1000 X 625 = 2475 gal
Water needs per week                                                                          = 2475 gal
Water needs per week x 30 weeks                                                  = 74,250 gal
You should notice the 30-week totals for watering with a hose and the 30 week water needs totals are close, you will also notice at 5-gallons per minute you will need to water longer to supply enough water for your lawn and garden. These figures are only examples, each yard will have different needs, based on the climate, ratio of lawn to garden, how much shade covers your yard and how much water the trees, plants and planters actually require. 

An inventory of your landscape will help to calculate actual water requirements.
Below are a few of the additional items you should have in your landscape inventory.
J. Determine the number, type & size of trees to be watered       create a table
K. Determine the number, type & size of plants to be watered     create a table
L. Determine the number, type & size of planters to be watered   create a table
Watering spreadsheet available upon request.
You can see it is not hard to determine the watering needs for a yard. You can also see there is a large amount of water dumped on this property after a single 1” rain, in our example there is 1.9 times more water hitting the ground, then is required to water the lawn and garden areas for a week. 
 But how do you capture it for use when it is not raining? 
This is were a rainwater harvest and distribution system comes in.
Lets start with a Rain barrel, that you connect to a downspout, hook up a hose to the provided spigot and your ready to water.
Available in sizes from 35 to 75 gallons.in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and made from, concrete, pvc, resin, thermoplastic and wood.
Costing between $ 55.00 to $250.00
 depending on material, size and options.
The question is what can you water with 50 gallons of free rainwater?
To answer this question you will need to know some information about what you are watering and the conditions they are going in. Different types of plants require varying amounts of water to be healthy, size, soil type, amount of shade, wind and temperature will all have an effect on the actual watering needs.
Example you have a variety of 10 pots to water on your patio and you want to water them the most efficient way, so you choose a drip emitter system, like the Rain Bird patio plant watering kit, the kit comes with everything you need to water up to 10 plants, it includes a simple watering guide that will help figure out the watering requirements of your 10 plants based on the size, quantity of plants and the type of climate you live in.
For our example let assume;
On the patio you have 4 small pots, 4 large pots and 2 small shrubs, you live in a warm / humid climate and you want to compute weekly watering requirements.
According to the guide;
A small pot requires watering 15 minutes per week using a 1-gallon per hour emitter or .25 gallons per week, a large pot requires 30 minutes per week with a 2-gallon per hour emitter or 1 gal per week and a small shrub also requires 30 minutes with a 2-gallon per hour emitter or 1 gal per week.
4 small pots      x  .25 gallons    = 1 gallon per week
4 large pots     x   1.00 gallons   = 4 gallons per week
2 small shrubs   x  1.00 gallons = 2 gallons per week
Water needs for your patio       = 7 gallons per week
To water the example patio, you could use a hose and a watering can. Based on the figures from our example patio you know you need 7 gallons per week, from the guide you know how much water each plant needs, the barrel holds 50 gallons so would you have roughly 7 weeks of free water in the barrel after one 1" rain.
 How much roof area does it take to fill a 50-gallon rain barrel?
Using our formula of 625 gallon per 1000 sq ft in a 1” rain we would need to convert the numbers to give us the square footage of roof needed to give us 50 gallons of water.
625 / 1000 = .625 gallons per sq ft in a 1” rain         or 50 / .625 = 80 sq ft
1000 / 625 = 1.6 square feet per gallon in a 1” rain or 1.6 x 50 = 80 sq ft
It takes an 80 square foot roof, to fill a 50 gallon barrel, in a 1" rain.
Now you have some numbers to work with.
Put the system together and connect it to the Rain barrels spigot.
Happy Watering!

But wait!
You want to connect to the rain barrel!
 The small plants need to be watered for 15 minutes.
The large pots and shrubs need to be watered for 30 minutes.
 So how does that work?
First you might need a pump to increase the pressure coming from the barrel, as gravity alone may not be sufficient for a drip emitter system.
Second you will need to have separate zones.
Third you will need timers to turn the system on and off.
Now you are talking about an automated distribution system.
We also offer larger sizes, automated systems, in ground systems, and professional installation
When you are ready for any rainwater storage and distribution system contact us for more information.