- Special Sections
- Time Out
(NewsUSA) - It's not easy being green -- especially when you share space with more than 3 million people. And yet, one Southern California business is making it easier.
BP Gardens, a subsidiary of GreenGro Technologies (OTC: GNRH), an Anaheim-based eco-friendly technology company, is taking local farming in a crowded urban environment to a whole new level by designing vertical gardens. Its hope, says GreenGro CEO James Haas, is to provide local communities, restaurants and grocers with locally grown, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables.
BP Gardens began as the seed of an idea from Haas. The thought, he says, was to use as little water and energy as possible, while still yielding fresh, locally grown produce and herbs for customers.
According to Haas, there will be two separate locations and growing methods. BP Gardens Buena Park currently sits on 4.5 acres in Anaheim, California, and features a 5,000-seat full hydroponic grow system, while its sister company, BP Lincoln Gardens in northern California, employs a zero-waste, 80 percent water-saving aquaponics solution with a 40,000-seat capacity.
"With California consistently facing severe droughts, these systems will help change the way we grow [food], modernizing its processes to become more sustainable for the future," says Haas.
Currently, Buena Park has completed its construction and has planted its first crops, which is ideal for leafy greens, while Lincoln is in the process of installing floating raceways and introducing fish in preparation for its first crops. This location will focus on the growth of heavy greens and Sacramento Perch for its customers. Between the two structures, Haas said he anticipates growing 45,000 heads of lettuce a month.
In addition to finding a way to combine technology and food production while reducing the company's own carbon footprint, Haas has also stumbled on a niche market in the medical marijuana industry. While GreenGro does not participate in the sale of medical marijuana, Haas said GreenGro's equipment and advanced hydroponic systems benefit that business as well.
Although Haas estimates that about 60 percent of his customers buy his gardening equipment to grow medical marijuana, he says he is focused on his BP Gardens projects, and isn't content to stop with the California market, but believes he can take his idea worldwide.
"BP Gardens wants to go big," says Haas. "We want to be the source for food and not have to have it travel, and save the Earth."
For more information, visit http://bpgardens.com.
(NewsUSA) - A simple, inexpensive lighting update can completely transform your kitchen from dull to dynamite.
According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), good lighting design makes kitchens more functional, as well as more enjoyable, relaxing and suitable for entertaining.
"Good lighting is vitally important in kitchens," says Jeff Dross, corporate director for education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting. "Perhaps more work in the home is done in the kitchen area than any other room, and having improper lighting would be tantamount to candles in a warehouse or flashlights on a factory floor.
"Food preparation is a vital, though sometimes tedious, task performed virtually every day," Dross continues. "Cooking in a poorly illuminated space only increases the drudgery and the danger. Good lighting adds to the overall space, and increases the pleasure in using said space."
The very fact that kitchens are spaces where people spend a lot of time makes them valuable areas when reselling a home, as well. For this reason, many experts agree kitchen renovations are among the best ways to boost the value of your home. Along with bathrooms, kitchens are an integral part of the home to virtually everyone.
Unfortunately, when it comes time to updating kitchens with a new look, lighting does not always get the attention it deserves. According to Dross, this is to the detriment of home design.
"Lighting is as important a design element as wall coverings, flooring and countertops," says Dross. "It can make an average kitchen look great and elevate a fabulous design to perfection. Need to increase the visual size of a room without tearing down a wall? Add lighting above the cabinets and at the toe-kick space.
"The importance of good, high lumen output for task (under-cabinet) lighting cannot be over emphasized," Dross adds. "Wall-mounted cabinets create shadows on countertop work surfaces. The only way to alleviate those shadows (and the accompanying dark spots on the cutting board) is with under-cabinet lighting."
Another factor to keep in mind relates to energy usage, and by extension, your power bill. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that American consumers use electricity for lighting the kitchen more than any other room in the house. So, to save electricity costs, invest in energy-efficient lighting in the kitchen.
To see the most up-to-date fixtures and shades, and to consult with a professionally trained lighting expert, visit your local ALA-member retailer, or go online to americanlightingassoc.com.