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Category: Striving to Live Green

Ideas, tips and resources for living green and minimizing my carbon footprint.

Rebates for Seattle Area Home Owners!

Rebates for Seattle Area Home Owners!

The City of Seattle offers a number of rebate programs designed to encourage homeowners to make improvements that will increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Here are a few: •laundry appliances – $50-$250 •water heaters – $500 •heating/cooling systems – $100-$1200 •windows – $50/window •insulation – up to 50% of project cost •showerheads – in-store discounts •LED lighting – in-store discounts Get details and rebate forms online at: https://energysolutions.seattle.gov/your-home/rebates/ Professional home energy audits are often available for free or at reduced…

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How and Where to Get Financing for Home Energy Efficiency Upgrades

How and Where to Get Financing for Home Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Ever heard of an EEM (energy efficiency mortgage) loan? Making your home more energy efficient may reduce your utility bills for the long term, but paying for the upgrades upfront can be a challenge. EEM’s can be one source. Another potential source of funds is a traditional HELOC (home equity line of credit). Check with your bank, credit union or mortgage servicer for details and rates. There are a number of financial institutions with programs specifically designed for financing energy…

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Solar panels becoming a common sight

Solar panels becoming a common sight

Have you noticed how many homes in West Seattle neighborhoods are sprouting solar panels on their rooftops? Here are some reasons the City of Seattle gives as to why you might want to consider investing in a solar electrical system for your home. Solar electrical systems are safe, reliable, pollution free and use the sun as a renewable source of energy. The option of connecting to the utility grid allows you to earn energy credit when you generate more power than…

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Have you spotted new home design trends for 2013?

Have you spotted new home design trends for 2013?

Home design trends come and go — that’s why they’re called trends — and it can be fun to see how quickly you recognize their arrival. Here are a few home design trends that author, Barbara Ballinger, believes will be coming into vogue this year. Automated control systems for the various electronics in your home. Systems are becoming easier to use and more affordable all the time. You can remotely turn on your furnace, security system, lights, media, etc. with…

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Appliance rebates and home energy audits available from City of Seattle

Appliance rebates and home energy audits available from City of Seattle

Did you know that Seattle City Light offers home energy audits for $95 to City Light customers living in single family homes? The City contracts with certified independent auditors who will visit your home and conduct a thorough assessment of its insulation level, leakiness and heating system efficiency. The auditor will leave you a report, specific to your home, with suggestions for energy-efficient upgrades, their estimated costs and the potential benefits to you and the environment. Appliances make up about…

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A “Single” Christmas

A “Single” Christmas

There is no doubt about it. Christmas for a single adult (i.e. one who is not in a committed relationship) with no kids is vastly different than Christmas for other adults. Not better or worse, just different. In my case, I am single and childless by choice, as well as by circumstance, so my perspective is different than someone who longs to be a spouse and/or parent. In some ways, I feel I have the best of both worlds. As…

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Is your water heater a ticking time bomb?

Is your water heater a ticking time bomb?

Hot water heaters are something we tend to take for granted until they start leaking or fail altogether. Once that happens, we are likely to grab the yellow pages or hop online to find the nearest plumber who can come right away. (Unless you are a renter, in which case you will call your landlord. There are upsides to renting.) The life expectancy of the average, conventional water heater is 10-15 years (longer, if you make a habit of draining…

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Urban farmers and surplus fruit in Seattle

Urban farmers and surplus fruit in Seattle

 Attention urban farmers (intentional, or not)! Since yesterday’s post about how to donate the surplus fruit from your trees, I came across another option. Barter! Crop Swap is a new website that facilitates trading between “urban farmers” and it’s not just limited to fruit. Trades can involve things such as eggs, flower bulbs, vegetables, etc. Here is a link to a story about Crop Swap on the KPLU.org website. 41 Legs Urban Farm in Seattle’s Madison Valley neighborhood is a…

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Small homes offer big advantages

Small homes offer big advantages

Have you ever considered the big advantages to owning a small home? In my first conversation with new clients looking to buy their first home, we always discuss their list of needs and wants (aka “must have” vs. “prefer”). This includes everything from  number of bedrooms and bathrooms to commute times and neighborhoods. I am always interested to hear how much square footage my buyers would like. Most first-time buyers who are native to this area (whether a single person…

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Recycle Roundup

Recycle Roundup

Technology is (mostly) wonderful, but what can you do with all those gadgets, appliances and electronics once they are obsolete or no longer functional? On Sunday, April 29, 2012 from 9A-3P, you can take them to the Fauntleroy Church parking lot at 9140 California Ave SW in West Seattle where they will be accepted for recycling — free of charge — by the non-profit organization 1 Green Planet. This “Recycle Roundup” is a great and very popular annual event, so…

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