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Plant Green 

Green Roof & Walls

A green roof provides two primary benefits: filtering pollutants from stormwater and reducing the amount of runoff. In addition, a green roof can lengthen the life of a roofing membrane and reduce heating/cooling costs. Philadelphia has a Green Roof Tax Credit for businesses that provide a rebate for 50 percent of green roof costs up to $100,000. If you are interested in installing a green roof, the following two companies are based in Pennsylvania:

Green Walls:

These “vertical gardens” can be located on the interior or exterior of your building. They can increase property values of commercial buildings, as well as absorb and clean air pollutants from the environment. For information on the green wall at Longwood Gardens, that is shown in our exhibit, visit the following website.

For more information on green roofs and green walls, visit Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM):

IPM consists of a stepwise approach to pest management that combines knowledge of the pest and level of potential harm with multiple tactics to prevent, reduce or eliminate pests. Typically in IPM, non-chemical tactics are used to deal with the pest. Pesticides are used only as a last resort and only by a licensed and experienced professional. For more information on IPM, please visit Penn State Extension’s website dedicated to this topic.

Only Rain Down the Drain

Nonpoint source pollution (NPS) generally results from land runoff or precipitation. Unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, NPS pollution comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters. Some examples of NPS include excess fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areas. For more information, please visit EPA’s NPS website.

One method to manage stormwater runoff from your property is to compost your yard waste. Please refer to the following DEP fact sheet for some basics in home composting.

Pedal Power!

In order to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your health, consider bicycling. Bicycling cuts air pollution and is a healthy way to shrink traffic congestion. There is a National Bike Challenge which motivates people to bike, whether for recreation or as transport, by giving away various prizes. In Philadelphia & Pittsburgh, there are bike coalitions.

Grow Native Plants

Visit to become familiar with the benefits of native plants and trees and how they can help you and the environment. Natives not only look great, they require less care and provide more benefits to wildlife. They also can help keep invasive species at bay.

Use the native plant database to identify some of the best natives to use to fit your needs. The garden templates will inspire you to create an inviting and Earth-friendly landscape.

Get started today! There are best practices and resources to guide your decisions.

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