Edible Plant Sale

Edible Plant Sale

Saturday and Sunday May 7th and 8th will be the weekend for the much-awaited Seattle Tilth’s Edible Plant Sale in the Wallingford neighborhood. If you haven’t been to this before, things you should know – expect long lines, bring more money than you planned on, wear comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather.

This very popular event is one of the few times when you can meet the growers, expect organically grown plants, find rare heirloom varieties and gain a wealth of information. This is a great time to glean answers for any of your edible plant questions from the multitude of plant experts. The person behind you in line (and yes there will be plenty of queues), might be the very person with the knowledge and experience you have been wanting to meet.

For more information see Seattle Tilth's website

The concept of Urban Farming, or Permaculture, or the re-emerging of so-called Victory Gardens has stimulated a resurgence in people wanting to grow their own food. There is no need to be intimidated by your lack of knowledge or the overwhelming choices you are likely to find. If you are new to the subject of gardening, you might want to get one of their “Gardens to Go” – a prepacked suggestion of combinations based on a certain theme. You can find both warm and cool season crops and perennials as well.

Warning – the lines will probably be long.  You will be tempted to purchase some amazing things you may have never seen before, and there will be much more to see than you might expect.  All the reason for the extra money, time, patience and comfy shoes.

If you aren’t one of those people who planned their weekend around this event you can have a second chance on May 14 in Issaquah. See Seattle Tilth for more information.

April 22, 2011 Earthday in Seattle

April 22, 2011 Earthday in Seattle

Love your mother

What was once considered to be a fringe “Hippy” event on the 60’s that involved a lot of tie-dye has now gone “mainstream”. Now some 40 years later in most all Seattle neighborhoods this once woo-woo cause is fully embraced as a way to improve parks, public right of ways or to just do good.

Check out the multitude of events in the different region of the city. You can recycle your e-waste, clean up a park, help to clean up water ways or greenbelts, or just listen to some great music. There’s something for everybody. The Seattle Channel on cable TV has a great line up of some interesting shows involving our county, city and region. Whether you believe in the cause or not, no one can dispute it’s a great chance to build community and foster relationships between neighbors.

So for Earth Day 2011 get out there choose something to do, clean up trash, or just responsibly recycle that old monster of a monitor that’s been sitting there in the corner collecting dust. After all it’s the only planet we all call home.


2011 Green Home Tour

2011 Green Home Tour

The weekend has arrived. Saturday and Sunday from 10-4 the Eco Building Guild home tour is on. With 28 sites , whether you want to plan your route by location or type of house, there is a lot to choose from.

June 16 and 17th


The kick off event was on Wednesday. There was the buzz of excitement in the room, with lots of enthusiastic  people. All involved are expecting a great turn out for this groundbreaking free event!

Check out PhinneyRidgeView.com for more information.

Hope to see you there!

Seattle Greendrinks

Seattle Greendrinks

Tired of the doom and gloom in the news, but care and

Bring your own glass

want to learn more about issues of local sustainability and greater issues on other continents? Seattle Greendrinks meets on the second Tuesday of each month.

About once a year the Greendrinks event is simultaneously located  in many Seattle neighborhoods which is a great way to check out this gathering. Other times they might meet  in the Sodo area, The Woodland Park Zoo, at an architecture firm in a LEED built building in South Lake Union, or a car dealership in Ballard etc.

The great thing about  Seattle Greendrinks is you are educated on a great cause in a setting you may not usually find yourself in. People are friendly, like-minded and casual. You donate a ridiculously small amount of money at the door and not only do you have a beverage (bring your own container to reduce waste), but you have a small bite, get some information, but most of all you gain the kind of optimism that a small gathering of people can bring about change.

You can learn about commercial green real estate, residential real estate and all facets of  the world of sustainablility. If this piques your interest Seattle Greendrinks is really worth checking out.

They are also advertising the Northwest Eco Building Guild 2011 Green Home Tour. For more information go to PhinneyRidgeView.com.

Seattle Empty Bowls Event Venue Changed

Seattle Empty Bowls Event Venue Changed

June 16, 2011 Last year’s Empty Bowls event held at the Ballard Community Center was a huge success. This year it has been changed to the Nordic Heritage Museum.  Just like last year, this year’s event will have lots of live music, yummy soup provided by Ballard Market and fresh baked bread. The best part of the event is the ability to peruse a large number of handmade bowls (some don’t even work well with soup!) and go home with the vessel of your choice. They also have ceramics  meant for Fluffy, Fifi or Bruiser!

The suggested $15 donation goes to the Ballard Food Bank —  in need of help more than ever this year. The event runs from 4-7 PM Saturday night. This is a great way to top off the day after touring the Northwest Eco Building Guild’s Green Home Tour. You can visit several of the many stops on the tour, work up your appetite and carpool to Empty Bowls at the end of a satisfying day learning about the latest in sustainable building in Seattle.

Don’t Forget Your Mules

Don’t Forget Your Mules

That’s right.  North Seattle, South/West Seattle, and the Eastside all will be having an unexpected increase in the number of mules seen in and about town on April 16th and 17th.

Why? It’s because there will be herds of people, often traveling in packs all attending the Free First Annual Northwest Eco Building Guild’s Green Home Tour.  If you aren’t stubborn, you’ll bring your mules too, it’s the easiest way to tour the homes without too much fuss. Many of the houses on the tour are people’s occupied homes and they would also appreciate if you would bring your mules –but — leave them at the entry door.

You could use mules as transportation between the houses, but it’s a bit spread out and your dogs are bound to start barking given the distance, so most people will want to carpool with other like-minded individuals.

Go to the Northwest Eco Building Guild’s web site to learn more about this unique opportunity to tour so many innovative homes full of new ideas all in one weekend.

Choose your pack, plan your migration route, outfit some mules for your dogs and learn how to stand out from the herd!

Don't forget slip on shoes
Mules are also known as "slip-on shoes".

Seattle Green Home Tour

Seattle’s 2011 Green Home Tour

Green Home Tour Seattle
What does "Green" mean to you?

Seattle is anticipating it’s first annual Northwest Eco Building Guild Green Home Tour. See the latest in sustainable housing, techniques, ideas and inspirations.  The South Sound chapter had great success with their tour last year, and the Seattle chapter is expected to exceed their success the first time out of the gate.


There will be three clustered areas. The first in North Seattle, second on the Eastside of Lake Washington, and the third in South Seattle. The featured properties will all be different, and incorporate different aesthetics and different techniques for achieving a “Green” status.

It’s a great way to see what all this fuss is about if you are just curious; if you are in the market to purchase. Or if you are seriously looking for tangible ideas on how to build your own Eco Friendly house. You are bound to meet some of the local leaders in the industry, many of which are members of the Guild.

The tour will be on April 16th and 17th, you may want to attend both days if you want to see all the houses on the tour!

Stay tuned for more information.




What is a Northwest Energy Star Home?

This is not a Northwest Energy Star home

 What is a Northwest Energy Star Home?

 It’s a common misperception that it’s a house with “Energy Star” rated appliances. In fact many Real Estate professionals mistakenly label their listings on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service as NW Energy Star if the kitchen has an efficient dishwasher and refrigerator.  The “Energy Star” label is widely recognized and respected by the vast majority of home buyers.  Few people know that the Northwest Energy Star home goes much further in saving the occupants money on their heating bills as well as make their homes much healthier and more comfortable to live in.

 So what the difference? Short answer—quite a bit! The NW Energy Star house is third party certified. This means an accredited party inspects and signs off on the home from the beginning all the way through the end of construction. As a home buyer, you may not see what’s inside the walls but the certifier does.  Whenever a home is advertised as NWES, it should also have the accompanying paper work to prove its designation. Although it is slightly more expensive to build a home or a remodel, it pays for itself in a short amount of time in decreased heating and cooling bills, not to mention increased indoor air quality and comfort.

 The Northwest Energy Star program includes Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington States. The Northwest has higher standards than other regions, and the NWES program stays approximately 15% more efficient than current local building codes.

 The Northwest Builder Option Package (NW BOP) is the standard builders and remodelers are held to. With the concept of “Peak Oil” and the ever increasing costs both monetarily and environmentally, these homes are expected to hold their value better in a resell market as well as increase the comfort of the residents. Northwest Energy Star makes sense for Seattle area homes.

For more information go to: http://www.northwestenergystar.com

Green Seattle Real Estate – Many Options

Seattle real estate is great and there are a ton of new “Built Green” new construction properties  –

Thank goodness that there are so many options out there with such great thoughtfulness included!  I have had the pleasure of touring a few more this week when I took some buyers through Green Lake, Maple Leaf, Ballard & Greenwood.

The townhomes, condos, and houses I saw with Bamboo flooring were just divinely gorgeous, but other features of being green included  the use of energy efficient appliances – specifically Energy Star appliances are the best!

Check out the smart builders in Seattle and the Seattle suburbs that are deciding to build greener houses!  I have found that their attention to the environment also tends to translate to attention to detail and higher quality finish work!  I am thrilled to be able to be part of real estate with so many wonderful building products coming out!

It’s A Good Start, But……

Building green is more than just using energy efficient appliances!

It is even more than Bamboo flooring or highly efficient windows.  There are dual flush toilets, low toxin paints, recycled glass and tiles, plus a whole set of guidelines about percentages of carpeting in building, garage sizes, etc.  There is actually a  whole matrix of different things builders can do to determine how green their home is!

Careful consideration should be taken as to placement on lot, landscaping, materials used, etc., but check out the list to see how in depth these green homes can be!  You will see just how impressive it actually is to be rated a four star Built Green home or a five star Built Green home!