The resident High Point Green Agent reports

This has been a busy week for me, and I have been out in the field most of the week! Something fun I did do yesterday, tho, was some Usability Testing at Microsoft. One of the benefits of donating a couple hours of your time to future technology is “gratuity” – you get free software in exchange for your time. Yesterday I came home with Office Professional 2007 (I am using 2003 otherwise), which retails at $500, can be purchased by employees for $50 (if you know one…), and I got for FREE in exchange of two hours of my time. A good way to spend an afternoon! And the commute from Redmond home to West Seattle reminded me once again why I am self-employed as a real estate agent and consultant and like to work CLOSE TO HOME.

Speaking of close to home, I received a call from a listing agent a couple of days ago with a price reduction for a really nice townhome here in High Point. Job transfers are tough and they need to GO, so there is about a $20k price drop on the townhome located at 6011 Lanham Place (#28024301 – which I photographed above). Here are all of the current listings thru the NWMLS. I would love to give you a tour of my community and work as your Built Green Certified “Buyers” Agent.

Note that one or two of these listings are not inside the newly redeveloped boundary, but are within the boundaries of High Point in general, and are still new construction.

Have a super weekend and don’t forget to drop me a line!

CALENDAR NOTE: I will be giving another Walking Tour of High Point on Sunday, April 20th at 12:15 PM (the library opens at noon). You can RSVP for this green environmental tour, which will include homes currently on the market at the Green Spaces Real Estate Meetup Group.

Carbon Neutral Shopping

I am cleaning off my desk in preparation for doing my taxes **eeeeek**. So I found an ad I tore out of my Mother Earth News magazine (I won’t tell you which issue – it’s embarrassing how far behind I am. So far behind that now I am working my way backwards instead).


Be sure to read the FAQ, which explains carbon offsets and how shopping thru this portal helps offset your carbon footprint.

Sale into spring

Marty Wingate has rounded up a list of all of the garden sales headed our way – 78 of them by her count. Crazy! Altho I admit I almost always make it to the Seattle Tilth sale to get my special tomato plant for the year.

Remember, these plant sales benefit sponsoring organizations and are great fundraisers. If you have a favorite charity or garden group, check this list to see if they are on here! One of my favorites – I even volunteered one year – is for the Washinton Native Plant Society. I love native plants!

Bring your own boxes, little red wagon, or other means of hauling if you plan on taking home a haul! Also bring cash – altho I know the Tilth sale can take credit/debit cards.

Check out the list of sales, complete with links to organization web sites, here.

Note: The photo above is of the “Circle Garden” at our former home which we sold last summer. This year I will be gardening entirely in pots, and I am looking forward to it! No one likes standing on their head weeding!

Martha weighs in on bamboo

The use of sustainable materials in more and more home items is becoming more prevalent – and more confusing. My meetup group of the same name is visiting the Natural Fiber Clothing Wearable Art Studio next Saturday – its final day in business since the owner is returning to TX so she can get more sun.

I consider myself pretty educated when it comes to green choices (I have bamboo sheets and socks and a shirt…) but what Abby told me in 3 minutes on the telephone made me realize there is a LOT MORE to learn. Even if the bamboo is grown sustainably, if it is not processed in kind, it sort of negates the positive effect of the growing method. I am excited to have this last-second change to meet her and pick her brain before she leaves the state!

Point of interest: Her daughter is Alex, the girlfriend in the movie “Super Size Me”. I think I am the only person I know who has not seen this movie – in part because I already know how bad that stuff is for me and don’t need a graphic illustration. I probably should put it on my Netflix list.

Feel free to join us Saturday morning to learn more about
HEMP and hemp blends/wovens and knits
hemp/tencel, hemp/silk, hemp/cotton, hemp/linen
ORGANIC COTTON and blends/wovens & knits
colorgrown organic cotton, organic cotton/wool, organic cotton/lycra
SILK and blends/wovens and knits
tussah (wild silk), raw silk, silk/cotton, silk/linen/ silk/hemp
LINEN and blends/wovens & knits
linen/rayon, linen/cotton, linen/hemp, linen/silk
COTTON blends/weaves and knits
monks’ cloth, prints, cotton/linen, cotton/lycra, cotton/silk, cotton/hemp
RAYON and blends
rayon/linen, rayon/tencel, rayon/wool
WOOL and blends
Pendleton wool felt, wool/organic cotton/ wool/rayon
TENCEL and blends
tencel/rayon, tencel/hemp
RAMIE and blends
ramie/cotton, ramie/silk, ramie/linen, ramie/wool

Martha Stewart Q&A; column from the Home and Garden Section of the Seattle Times:

Q: How are bamboo towels different from regular ones?

A: Bamboo is cropping up all over the home these days, in fabric, flooring, wall coverings and more. It’s little wonder why. The natural material, which is a member of the grass family, is a renewable resource (it can grow up to 1 foot a day) that can be cultivated without the use of chemical pesticides. Bamboo towels are made from plant pulp that is extracted, mashed and spun into a yarn that’s silky and absorbent.

In fact, bamboo towels can soak up three times more moisture than their terry-cloth cotton equivalents. They also tend to be thin and easy to store. In terms of hygiene, bamboo towels have natural antibacterial properties, plus they don’t trap germs or odors. And they dry quickly, making them an excellent choice in humid climates. Most brands can be tossed into a washing machine and a dryer, where their fibers will become softer and more absorbent.

On the downside, bamboo towels are more expensive than cotton ones and are not readily found in stores. You may want to consider bamboo-cotton blends, which are easier to find and offer many of the same benefits of pure bamboo ones. Care instructions are likely to vary from one brand to the next, so read the labels carefully before washing.

The fight over what “green” means

I have intentionally not commented on the arson fires that destroyed the Built Green Street of Dreams homes at Quinn’s Crossing.

I was saddened a great deal when these homes burned. I worried about the wild life and was grateful for the time of year and that the surrounding area was wet enough to not burn and spread the fire to the surrounding woods. I grew up in these woods, and it was an idyllic, if rather remote, place to be through those impressionable years (age 7 until I flew the coop at 18).

I was also upset that something so awful could happen in the name of “green”. This year’s Built Green Street of Dreams was a great step forward in making the general population more aware of how accessible green features can be for homes, new or remodeled. Many people visit the Street to get ideas of things they would like to incorporate in to future remodeling they will do on their own homes. It’s a great resource. The arson just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The green conversation continues, of course, in an article in today’s Seattle Times, The fight over what “green” means. Greenwashing is an important thing to look out for, with every corporation jumping on the bandwagon. The Street of Dreams was NOT an example of greenwashing. You can read more about the problem of greenwashing on a November post on my blog here.

Please reflect on this awful incident. I am so glad I was able to memorialize this year’s special Built Green Street of Dreams in the many photos from my days “Dreaming’ here and here. The photo featured above is one I took of one of the outdoor living spaces, smartly covered (many aren’t) so it could be used 12 months out of the year in the rainy Northwest.


Conscious Choice: Tiffany & Co.

Natural Health Magazine points out – but I also learned this when I visited Tiffany & Co. in New York City over New Year’s weekend this year – mining for gold, silver, and diamonds digs up land and generates more toxic waste than any other U.S. industry, according to the EPA.

Tiffany & Co. has been taking a greener approach: It gets most of its gold and silver from one site in Utah without using cyanide-a chemical that separates metal from rock and can contaminate waterways. The company also banned coral from its jewelry to help preserve fragile reefs, and since 2003, it has sold only certified conflict-free diamonds.

I came home with quite a nice booklet along with my Tiffany’s Signature ring, which you can read about on my blog here.

Natural Health Magazine does a regular column called Conscious Choice, and you can see more topics here.

Learn Along With Jenny

In January I was contacted thru my Green Spaces meetup group by Jenny, a senior at Redmond High School. She was looking for a professional to serve as a “field advisor” to an idependent study project required to graduate from RHS. She will be making a presentation to her class in May.

I helped develop her question into a more challenging format, which is: “How can I create change in my behavior and influence the people around me to lead a more sustainable lifestyle? And how would I continue to grow and increase my participation in a long-term sustainable lifestyle over the next 5, 10, and 20 years?”

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it and have come up with all of the things *I* would like to learn more about or I feel other people should know about. The list below includes items that will appear on the Green Spaces meetup calendar, along with some items I am recommending to Jenny to follow-thru on her own time (such as store tours, etc.). So check our calendar for upcoming events and Learn Along With Jenny.

Jenny has joined the Green Spaces meetup group and can be contacted thru the site if you would like to share some of your green favorite things with her.

Here is the Spring 2008 Field Curriculum I have developed for Jenny!

Saturday, March 22nd
Natural Fiber Clothing Wearable Art Studio
Last day open – owner Abby is moving back to TX for more sunshine.
Learn about natural organic fibers – and why how some of the fabrics being marketed as “green” aren’t truly green (i.e. bamboo…)
Let’s meet there at 1 pm.
There is a MapQuest link on her web site
Her daughter is Alex, was in the movie “SuperSize Me” (see next line)

Healthy Chef Alex
Recommended by her mom (owner of Natural Fiber Clothing)
Said she would be happy to talk to you about food, etc.
She is a nutritionist and does online consulting and food counseling

Redmond PCC
425-285-1400, John (Store Director), call around 6 PM, ask for PIC (Person in charge)
Walk, Talk, and Taste Tour
March 10th, 7-8:30 PM, free
Also: Eco-friendly building features at the Redmond store are detailed here
Or April 15th, 7 PM, free. Kirkland store. Contact to reserve space.

Redmond Whole Foods Market
17991 Redmond Way
425.881.2600 Michael Carr (
Arrange a one-on-one store tour convenient to your schedule by calling or emailing Michael Carr.

mode Organic Salon
Michelle (co-owner),
I am trying to arrange a tour (I go to this salon)
Organic hair color products
ColoreScience mineral makeup

ecohaus (formerly Environmental Home Center)
Susanna Schultz, 206.315.1958
Trying to arrange a tour.
ALSO: Thursday, April 3 Green Living Lecture; Creating a Green Bedroom
6:30pm – 8:30pm, FREE, at ecohaus Showroom
In this lecture by Alicia Silva of Synergy Design Studio, learn about how you can create a healthier bedroom environment using earth-friendly materials. RSVP to Susanna at or 206.315.1958

Good article: How to go green on a budget

Visit a L.E.E.D Certified building
The new Redmond City Hall is in the process of applying for SILVER level certification
What is LEED? Call Dan of Wright Runstad onsite at 425.556.2393 to arrange for a building tour. They also have informational handouts and information from the architects, Mulvany Architects, on display that tells you a lot about the building. Take your camera!

Built Green Certified Community and Homes
A Walking Tour of High Point – West Seattle
Sunday, April 20th Noon
RSVP on the Green Spaces Real Estate site

Green web site/blog information will come as a separate list.

The resident High Point agent reports

I gave a tour of the community to someone yesterday who has been meaning to check out this neighborhood in West Seattle for awhile and just hadn’t made the time. If you are in the same boat, maybe you should be calling me for a tour! The evenings are brighter, the weather is nicer, and there are some lovely homes here for sale. But don’t just come here to see the homes – you need to tour the COMMUNITY! And there is no one better than someone who lives there to tell you about living in High Point than a real estate agent who actually does. I began reporting on this community back in 1999, when SHA was first applying for the Hope VI grant to redevelop this community, and I dare say there are STILL some people out there rolling their eyes and not quite getting the fabulousness of HP. Not only did I get it, but I bought into it and moved here and can’t wait for more new neignbors to join me.

So here is a link to current High Point homes for sale – there are a few resales on the market now, along with some brand new construction by Lyle Homes coming online. There are a few homes and new townhomes for sale in the larger High Point neighborhood, also, that are not a part of the redevelopment area.

Call or email me using the button on the right!