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Showing posts from 2009

Welcome To My First Guest Post...from Compostings!

My first guest post...I'm so excited! Welcome, and special thanks to Steve Jones, who writes a gardening blog I've been following called Compostings. . Have I mentioned before that I'm an organic gardener? (A hack, but the idea of being self-sustaining, and teaching my kids where food comes from is important to me.) Although we've never met, Steve & I share a gardening kinship. Like me, he's been trying to make his mark on the world one GREEN step at a time. When I needed to ask whether or not I should continue to haul my kitchen scraps out to my garden compost bin in the cold of winter, he said I could find my answer in the following post. Thanks again, Steve! Oh the joys of composting! It’s like nature has given us permission to litter. Go ahead! Throw out your potato peels! I’ll just be sitting here breaking it all down with the help of microbes. Still, there are rules and they are pretty simple. 1. Throwing stuff i


So I feel as though I may be the last person on the planet to know what Upcycling means. Until a few days ago, I'd never heard the term. Completely oblivious I tell you. Well, it's actually a pretty simple concept, one which I was aware of, I just didn't know it had a name. Apparently my spell check doesn't know it's a real word yet either. Suddenly I don't feel so bad :) Upcycling is taking an item and using it to make something else. Something you were going to recycle anyway, and making it better. People have been doing this is places like Africa for many, many years. Have you seen the reusable bags or pencil cases made from recycled Capri Sun juice pouches? Same idea. They're colorful and adorable, right? Last Spring I saw some beautiful high-end shopping bags made from upcycled materials in Provincetown and I'm still kicking myself for not picking up a few. One of my past real estate clients is a very talented local artist who is creating and sell

In a Tight Market, Eco-Friendly Features are Important

This is a pertinent piece that was reported on NPR earlier this week. It touches on some of the challenges we're facing selling GREEN homes, but also on the fact that many home with GREEN or energy-efficient features, or those featuring tax-incentives ARE selling more quickly than those without. (This article appears courtesy of

Eco-Friendly Baby Picks for the Holidays

One of the things I love about Facebook is all the sharing of information between friends. This morning on my friend Lily's page I found a small company in Colorado who sells eco-friendly clothing for children. They haven't even got their website up yet, but they were putting out some good information. A few links I found interesting: EcoWorldBaby listed their top picks for holiday gifts: http:// Information on the Sustainable Cotton Project: http:// Those of you who know me know that I'm not an "over the top" greenie . I'm more of a work in progress :) That's why I love learning more about ways to be GREEN or Environmentally Friendly. For most of us, it's easier to take those baby steps, like the reusable bags, recycling, conserving energy, combining car trips, changing the lightbulbs to CFLs, etc. All these small steps can and do make a difference. What GREEN th

My Home Energy Audit

I've always been curious about doing a home energy audit, but my husband beat me to the punch by ordering one this July! Through the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, , 2 contractors came out to my house early one morning and for the price of $75, these 2 gentlemen ran a special fan (the blower-door test) to create a vacuum in my house, identified the areas that were the greatest "energy suckers" by walking around and checking each door, window, staircase, and gap in the floorboards (did I ever mention my house is 100+ years old?) and then went about with their weatherstripping and caulk guns and sealed those leaks. Afterwards they ran the test again, to determine the new airflow, which had improved significantly. The before rate was 4523, which they said wasn't bad at all for a house our age, and the after was 4163. In an old house like ours, the worst culprit is usually the windows, but we replaced all of them 10 years ago just

Clean Energy Expo

I'm certainly not going for the free Nathan's hot dogs, chips or cookies, but I will definitely check out the Portland & East Hampton Clean Engery Expo taking place tomorrow, March 21st, 2009 at Saint Clements Castle (1931 Portland-Cobalt Rd.) in Portland. Hours are 10:00AM - 4:00PM and admission is FREE. The expo is presented by the non-profit Saint Clements Foundation and the theme is alternative energy and conservation for home and business. I applaud them for putting this together. The guest speakers will include: George Fellner, Fellner Associates Architects - " Green Homes: Strategies for Sustainable Design" Joe Swift, Residential Operations Supervisor from the CT Energy Efficiency Fund/CL&P - Efficiency and Conservation Programs inCT Dell Smith, CES Consulting Engineering Services - Latest technology in GeoThermal design Clean Energy Task Force, P.A.C.E., and local Portland & East Hampton Clean Energy Task Force will discuss what's

A Green Spin on Decorating

An old friend of mine, Lillian Winnail, introduced me to a home decorating blog that I fell in love with instantly. It's . So why do I consider her to be Green? What I love about this decorator is that she recycles, repurposes, buys at yard sales, "shops her house" for items to freshen a room, and looks to nature for inspiration. She has such an eye and uses natural elements to create something really special. Well, natural elements plus a glue gun.... As a Realtor, decorating comes into play when it's time to list a house. It's amazing what a little home staging, rearranging of furniture, and de-cluttering can do! Check out The Nester's blog if you're looking for a little Spring decorating inspiration sprinkled with a sense of humor. End note: As a thanks to Lily, here's a link to her site. She's a mompreneur who invented an infant carseat carrier pad that is a gorgeous must-have for ne

Finding Green Homes on MLS

So, it turns out finding GREEN homes on the MLS can be challenging. As I'm writing this, there is yet to be a "green" field for searching. I'm thinking it can't be long before one is added, but in the meantime, there are some agents putting their GREEN listings on websites specifically aimed at this niche market. The first one I found was . While they don't have any active Connecticut listings on there (there was one in Woodstock, but it sold,) I can tell you that I'd happily take either of the homes listed in Fiji. Seriously, you don't have to ask me twice. There are several states with listings at this time though, so if you're looking for a home outside of CT, there's a starting place. Who do I know looking for homes outside of CT? Certainly people looking for a 2nd home or vacation property (like me, but I tend to look to Europe for my next housing.) Also retirees looking for a vacation or retirement ho