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Here’s how to get started

Dear EarthTalk: I’m planning a major home renovation and want to include as many green-friendly features as possible. Where do I begin to look?
    –Matthew Glaser, Queens, NY

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Five signs you need to insulate

A cool grand. Nearly half a home’s total energy bill — $1,000 annually — is what the average family spends each year on home heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. government’s Energy Star program.
    Improving your insulation could save you hundreds of dollars.
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Now’s the time to get to work, says the Bay Gardener

Feeling less than pride and joy in your lawn?
    September is a great month for establishing and repairing lawns. Here’s how to get started now on growing rich, green, weed-free grass in 2014.

1. Test Your Soil
    How’s your lawn doing?
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Turning Cove Point into an energy exporter is a big deal for Calvert County, and for America

Dominion Cove Point LNG moved a big step closer to an historic transformation last week. The big energy mover on little Calvert County’s southern Bay shore won the U.S. Department of Energy’s approval to export American natural gas, in liquefied form, to any nation that wants to buy.    
    The date was September 11, a portentous anniversary both for the nation and for the LNG terminal’s history.
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Wild at Heart

Annapolis is a wild place to live.    
        That’s the conclusion of the National Wildlife Federation, which has certified our capital city as a Community Wildlife Habitat. In such a place, the human population of roughly 38,000 is dwarfed by legions of creatures that crawl, hop, slither, fly, dart and lope as they did when the world was young, before humans took over.
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It’s what’s underneath that counts

You wouldn’t think it to look at him, but Spiggy is this year’s Calvert You Are Beautiful Volunteer. Yes, Richard ‘Dave’ Spigler, the guy who added frump to female impersonation by donning a hog nose, big-hair wig and old grandma dress. The very Spiggy whom with a cadre of friends, formed the Washingon Redskins’s Hogettes cheering section for 19 years.
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Catch some for now and some for later

It was well after low slack when the incoming tidal current finally began to push me upriver. A light, soft wind from the south drifted my skiff diagonally cross channel and made everything just perfect for what I intended.
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Bulbs planted deep now will give you a big show come spring

Recommendations for planting bulbs using bulb augers or planters bother me. Most instructions advise planting large bulbs six inches deep and small bulbs and corms three inches deep.
    If you want your bulbs, especially tulip bulbs, to flourish year after year, ignore those recommendations and take the shovel to the garden — as well as a bag or two of compost and some agricultural-grade limestone.
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Bay Gardener Frank Gouin honored for community good deeds

For the difference he makes in “the fabric of life for South County residents,” Bay Gardener Frank Gouin was honored this week with the Southern Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce’s annual Gene Hall Community Service Award.
    “He’s done so much for the community in so many levels,” says Chamber board member John Hiser, last year’s Hall award winner.
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Arachnids are out in numbers this time of year

Almost overnight, the way it happens in Sci-Fi movies, spiders have invaded. Webs are spun under the porch light, draped from the mailbox and suspended like chandeliers from every shrub and tree. Walk out and you walk into one.
    The arachnid explosion that ripples across Chesapeake Country in late summer and early fall is what happens when the spiderlings we saw on their mommas’ backs last spring grow up.
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