Friday, September 25, 2009

The Trend Continues

This week is all about building green.

What is building green? Well, to me it is building in an environmentally friendly, environmentally conscious way, with little waste, the three R's (reduce, reuse, recycle), and making sure that what goes into the house, materials, paint, appliances, etc, is also sustainable, and earth conscious. For me, building green would also mean building off the grid (yay!), but definitely selling my unused power to the grid. Using non-conventional building materials, like bamboo, recycled wood, no- or low-VOC paints, radiant heating, and eco-friendly appliances, are all included in my idea of building, and living, green. I might also consider a green roof. When this is going to happen, I have no idea, but the idea is definitely percolating in my mind. I still have a lot to learn, but by the time I'm ready I'm confident that I will be prepared.

Some of the aspects of going green are really not that much of a shift for me, like life without dryers. I grew up with a washing machine, but not a dryer, and although I do love the way a warm, fresh out of the dryer towel feels against warm, wet skin, it is something I only experienced later in life, and that I don't really miss. In most of the countries I visit (and live), dryers are quite a rarity, and I am quite accustomed to life without them. Other aspects of going green are unaccustomed treasures, like radiant heat. I first discovered radiant heating in China, where many of my friends and coworkers had these wonderful warm floors. In Shanghai, where I spent most of the winter wearing a coat indoors, stepping into those homes was truly a treat, for the feet as well as the rest of the bdy. After one winter in Shanghai, I knew that if I lived in a cold place, I would want heated floors (and walls). It is a wonderful plus that something as luxurious, to me, as radiant heat is also green.

As of right now, the only major challenge to building green, is well, getting the green. Building green, although it saves money in the long run, is considerably more expensive up front. For now.

And for those of you that think building green means living in the woods (if that's your thing, go for it), or building ugly, here are some pictures of green homes to give you a few different perspectives. Enjoy!



From cnet uk:

From Alys Beach (you can buy one of these if you're interested):

That is just a small sample. If you see one you like, send me the link and I'll add a picture.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Green Pre-fab

Okay, so I watch World's Greenest Homes whenever I get the chance. Most of the houses are distinctive, and it's interesting to see how many different ways people can achieve the same basic goal. So here is a house that I think is worth another look (and not as expensive as the majority of the homes on that show).

It's a pre-fab, a manufactured home. I'm not a big fan of manufactured homes, although I've seen some nice ones. But if I had a piece of land, I would put this on it. Definitely not traditional, and I'm not sure how my husband would feel about the design, but hey this is 2009! Aside from the fact that it is a green home, I love how it doesn't really look pre-fab. Modern yes, manufactured, no. Check it out at

Building Green

I would love to build a green home.

The other day, I was driving down the street, and saw an ad outside of a model come. We Build Green. Intrigued, I went back the next day to see what they had to offer, and how much it costs to build an average green home. Boy, was I disappointed. The saleswoman basically told me that they have a few green elements in all of their homes, which means that they have energy saving appliances, windows, bulbs, and a few other features. Everything else is extra. I tried to get ballparks, but it was next to impossible. When I asked about using recycled materials, she looked at me like I was crazy. She kept referring to truly green homes as "extreme". Yes, they can build an environmentally friendly home, and they have (she showed me the newspaper article of the eco-warriors that built their home with this company) with success. However, it seems that the owners ideals have not reached his salespeople. Why advertise "we build green" if you think that recycled materials, solar panels for more than heating the pool, earth/eco friendly building materials, etc. is "extreme"? Argh.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I was watching Planet Green (a television channel in the US) today, "World's Greenest Homes". Today's show featured a house in Colorado, 7,000 square feet...they get so much energy from their solar panels that they sell the extra to the grid. WHAT! My first thought was "this is how the rich stay rich". Build a 7,000 sq. foot green home is not CHEAP, and then to be able to sell the extra, solar powered energy. Nice for your pocket. Oh, and the environment too.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I worked there!

As I browsed through news articles from Yahoo!'s home page, I ran across a familiar name. "Hey, I used to work for that guy!" Although Burt Flickinger was an oft quoted man long before I worked for him, I did not often come across his name. And I can not recall seeing it in the years since. It was an interesting thing, seeing the name of your former boss in print, recalling what it was like to work for him, remembering all of the things I saw and read and learned during my time with SRG.

And it reminded me of another news worthy former employer of mine, the Early Emotional Development Program. While I was there we were working on a preschool depression study, which has recently become MAJOR news. I'm still in touch with my former colleagues, and was quite excited to see of all the press about the study. And it was a little surreal, to read about something about which I have first hand knowledge.

I wonder what (or who) I'll read about tomorrow...

Walmart article (Burt Flickinger III)

One (of many) about Preschool Depression (Dr. Joan Luby, EEDP)

Friday, September 04, 2009

I'm going to France to get some dancing lessons from Elvyna. Trop forte! FRANCHEMENT RESPECT!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I'm a hustler baby

I realized this evening that I have a few things I'm trying to get going. In addition to being a stay-at-home mom, I recently got a part-time tutoring job, am setting up my etsy shop and selling my stuff locally, and advertising my services as a virtual assistant. I'm also looking into getting one more out of the house part-time job, at least for the time being. I'm here for now, so I could as well, right? And thankfully, except for the tutoring job, I can continue my various jobs no matter where in the world we decide to go, which is important and essential, given our lifestyle.

I'm also trying to make a very big decision. Do I go back to school for a year and do something I'm good at but don't love, or go back for 5 years and risk failure to do something I am passionate about? Or do neither and focus all of my energy on being an entepenuer? I feel like the clock is ticking, and I still have so much I want to get done, but time is running out.