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Category: Living Green at home

Ideas, tips, questions and challenges related to living green and minimizing my carbon footprint from within my home.

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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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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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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Lessons from the Green Home Tour

Lessons from the Green Home Tour

I took my own advice and visited some of the sites on the Seattle Green Home Tour this morning. In very short order I discovered several inexpensive ideas I can implement right away (e.g. nylon rather than vinyl shower curtains) as well as some that I hope to install in the future (e.g. solar tube skylights and infrared radiant heat panels). I also learned about a relatively new kitchen countertop option called PaperStone®. It is a truly beautiful, green and affordable…

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West Seattle Green Homes Tour

West Seattle Green Homes Tour

Looking for something fun and out-of-the-ordinary to do this weekend? Check out the Seattle 2012 Green Homes Tour, happening this Saturday and Sunday, April 21 & 22. And in particular, the West Seattle sites on the tour. The award-winning West Seattle Blog has all the details, including a map of the five West Seattle sites, so grab your hat and a friend — maybe even the dog — and check it out! Think that living green is costly? Discover how easy and inexpensive it can be…

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2012 Green Home Tour coming April 21 & 22

2012 Green Home Tour coming April 21 & 22

Inspiration * Education * Solutions That is the tag line for this year’s Seattle Green Home Tour happening Saturday and Sunday, April 21 & 22 from 10-4 each day. Builders, architects, designers & craftsmen with deep green focus showcase their sustainable projects — FREE! Meet this outstanding community and learn about why green homes aren’t just the future, they’re in your neighborhood NOW! So many ways to get involved:  > Host a site; > Be a Sponsor; > Attend with friends;…

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