Thursday, October 28, 2010

Solar Project Moves Along...

Day 6 is pretty exciting chez nous!!!  We have Kevin and Will, plus 2 other great guys from Sunlight Solar here and the panels are going up.  Today they expect to put up 28 of the 40 panels we'll have.

While they unloaded the panels from the trucks they told me that Evergreen Solar, the manufacturer of the panels we're using, is a company out of Massachusetts and their panels are U.S. Made.  Also, they told me, the company has a low carbon footprint.

Here's the label of one of the first panels they unloaded.

The guys from Sunlight Solar have been very professional, respectful, and lovely to work with.  This morning they played classical music while prepping the panels as Charlotte had a picnic on the grass observing them.  They got the first 6 panels up before breaking for lunch!

The rainy weather slowed things down a bit, but it's coming along.  This is the view from my fabulous neighbor's yard.  You can see the panels won't cover the entire roof - we have enough room to add panels later for solar thermal!  (Woo!)

I would have waited until later in the day to share photos of how it will look in a few hours, but I'm heading to the hospital to spend time with my dad this afternoon.  Hoping he's getting strong enough for surgery soon.  Please send good thoughts our way.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

O Canada I'm With You on This One

Cheers go out to the Canadian Government for making it the first country to officially declare BPA (bisephenol-A) toxic to human health and the environment.  I've been on a mission to limit my family's exposure to it since I first learned of the possible dangers (specifically the disruption to endocrine system, diabetes, heightened risk of breast & prostate cancer, heart disease & reproduction abnormalities) of BPA.  That meant getting rid of the many sippy cups we had, a few baby bottles, and reusable containers that might not be BPA-free.  Now if I have to buy something made of plastic, I look for the BPA-free label or go with glass or stainless steel.  (When we ditched the sippy cups for Sigg bottles, my kids never missed them!)

(This is my arsenal of BPA-free stuff, minus the rest of the Laptop Lunches bento box and water bottles which the little guy has with him at school right now!  Cute stuff, right?  Besides the Siggs, we have Resnackit, Lunchskins, and Laptop Lunches.)

Another source of BPA is in food packaging.  Not only are some infant formulas in containers lined with BPA-containing materials, but everyday food that might be in your pantry has it as well. has a short video and names some of the offenders they tested (Campbells, Libby's, Hormel, etc... pretty common pantry items like soups, juices, veggies.)  Even some of the organic canned goods they tested came up positive for BPA.  This presents another good case for eating fresh, don't you think?  At the very least it means even more research before heading to the grocery store.

In other updates....

Look who is up on my roof!

Sunlight Solar arrived on Tuesday morning and Kevin & Will have been hard at work.  Day 1 they spent working in my basement installing the meter, the inverter, and working in the electrical box.  Kevin said he was glad to see there was extra room in there for them.  Good to know.  They also praised my electrician (my very own electrician-brother Steve!) for doing such a neat job with our electrical.  Thank you Steve for being very professional even when wiring for your sister!

(That's Will, the Kurt Cobain-esque gentleman working on our inverter!)  

Day 2 they moved on to the roof because the October weather is cooperating and they've been installing what look like cleats which will hold the rails where the panels will sit.  We have a VERY steep roof, so I'm thankful they brought along harnesses.

Today looks like they're doing some work in the attic running conduit, and are putting up the disconnect outside as required by the power company.   They were planning on being back on the roof if the weather held - but the rain came early.  By this time next week I should be posting pics of the finished system!  I have a ton of questions for them, but with all this real estate work staring at me on my desk, I don't have the time to bother them.  I'll bet they're grateful for that!  I will get more info from them before the week is done though :)

By the way, we've had an interesting (in the annoying sense) issue with our tax assessment changing because of the solar panels.  Our tax assessor said she would tax us the cost of a new furnace, but our solar company told us they shouldn't up our taxes, and that they hadn't done so to the other applicants, so hubby went to talk to the assessor.  Thanks to the state/federal incentive program the assessment cannot go up, so we won't have to pay extra taxes.  Keep that in mind if you're going through the process as we are and don't let the tax assessor tell you otherwise!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The GREEN CT Realtor in Photon Magazine

When a package arrived at my office on Friday from the Netherlands, I just assumed that one of my readers had sent me a magazine that I would enjoy.  (I'm always amazed at how many different places I have readers following from - it's very humbling to see that in just a few days I might have visitors from China, Moscow, Singapore, Berlin, Canada, Australia, Norway, London, etc.)

It wasn't until later that evening when my husband was reading it that we figured it out...Photon Magazine wrote about my blog!  I've been featured on other websites (NE Conserves) and blogs before, but this was my first time in print media as The GREEN CT Realtor.  Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about it.

I'm also excited about the magazine, which is published in San Francisco.  I'm looking forward to sitting down with a glass of one of my organic wines (yes, I'm still trying a new organic wine each week!)  and reading it cover to cover.  I'll let you know what I think!

So what do you think of the blog tweaking?  I've been changing some of the page elements to mix things up a bit.

In real estate news, I have a handful of great properties on the market!  It's been a while since I shared what I've been working on, so here goes.  I've already told you about Knowles Landing on the Connecticut River in Middle Haddam, which is such an inspiring & peaceful place.  (Check out the view from across the great lawn to the riverfront dock & seating area.)  The 2nd video shoot we did came out much better than the first - I'm looking forward to sharing that with everyone.

I also have a sweet fixer-upper of a cottage on Lake Pocotopaug here in town as well.  4 bedrooms and a great view onto the lake right on the sidewalked portion of the lake - it's a great location!

There's also an approved 9.82 acre building lot on Pine St. in Columbia which is level & private and just perfect for building that environmentally-friendly house I've been talking about...

I just put a gorgeous 1875 10 room home on the market in Middletown.  It has a brand new kitchen, so many possibilities with so many rooms, and a 2nd kitchen upstairs.  It's on a half-acre lot and is a really sweet place with a side porch AND a garage.  

Today I put an old favorite of mine on the market, 108 Main St. here in East Hampton.  I just love antique homes, and this one is great because it has the open floor plan that modern families are looking for plus it has character and is located in the village center.  Bonus that it has a 3 yr old roof and 5 heat zones and 2 driveways! 

Also had a 3-family investment property on Lyons St. in New Britain (What's that?  You lived on Lyons St. at one point?  You won't believe the number of people I've met who HAVE lived there!  Nice little neighborhood.)  It sold SO quickly and is scheduled to close on Monday.  Great tenants - it was fun getting to know them while were were showing the house this August.

If you want anymore information on these listings or feel like browsing others, please visit my website.    So (here's the real estate plug I never actually use despite this dynamite platform,)  if you know anyone who might be looking to buy or sell real estate, I'd be happy to help.  I'm not just saying this - it really is a good time to buy.  If you've been following along for a while you probably have a good feel for the type of person I am, so please feel free to send your friends my way.  Gosh, that's pretty awkward.  I do all of my business by referral at this point (Happy 10th Anniversary to my real estate career!) so thank you to everyone for their business and for referring me to your friends and family.  (Even to Jane who sent me that weird guy last week - I think I found him the perfect house!)   

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Your New Green Blog Friend

Confession time.  Between taking care of sick kids for the past WEEK, trying to work full-time hours from home due to a very busy real estate schedule, collecting signatures for a town political coup, keeping my commitment to trying new organic wines (someone has to do it!) and patiently waiting on my solar panels, I've also found time to blogstalk a new favorite GREEN blog!  (That sounds like a pretty exciting week though, doesn't it?  Plus tomorrow I have the new video shoot - yes, shoot #2 - for my listing at Knowles Landing!  There exists the remote possibility that a celebrity guest might be there - yes, my 2nd celebrity associated with this listing and I'm SO excited about it!)

Let me introduce Mama Gone Green, who might just be my West Coast GREEN counterpart/BFF/soulmate.  OK, that might be going overboard, but we have a lot in common as far as our choices in living an environmentally-friendly life and parenting.  She's an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon and a mom.  Hats off to anyone who can find the time to blog daily.  Hers is filled with wonderful stories, recipes, helpful information, and ideas.  I found inspiration there.  I've also found inspiration in Nester's 31 Days series I've been following.  She's writing the 31 days to a less messy nest.

Mama Gone Green has agreed to possibly doing a guest post for us one day!  I'm thinking next month when I'm in Ireland might be the perfect time for you to meet her.  Then again, why wait until November...I think you should click on over to her page and enjoy her blog right now!

(If you're wondering what happened to my solar install on Monday, hubby asked them to delay a week while he finished the prep work.  With the help of my brother the attic is ready, then some work in the basement and we're good to go for this coming Monday!)