Don’t miss this ~ Plastics Q&A

Nat Geo’s “Green Guide To Go” newsletter – to which my husband bought me an online subscription to for Xmas last year and I finally had time to read one because of some time off from work – arrived yesterday and I was glad to see a link to a comprehensive plastics Q&A; article.

There has been a lot of talk in recent years regarding the safety of plastics and drinking water from or cooking food in a plastic container. I am a new aunt, well, she’s one year old now (hi, Abigail!!) and for a recent visit I procured a certified BPA-free sippy cup, thinking she was probably to the sippy cup stage (being child-free, I don’t know what happens when so I follow the age recommendations on the packaging). I purchased it at Pharmaca, which recently opened in the former family-owned Morton’s Pharmacy space here in The Junction in West Seattle. I am all for supporting locally-owned family businesses, but in all honesty in over 10 years of living in WS I never went inside that store. Pharmaca is an “integrative pharmacy” and I think it’s a great concept and we went during the opening weekend in to check it out. I can’t remember what kind of sippy cup I bought, but in trying to figure it out I came across a BPA free bottle and sippy cup cheat sheet that you might find useful.

Well, that was a tangent. I guess the point is to be sure to read this FAQ on plastics and be thinking about the places plastics play a role in your life and see if you can replace plastics with safer materials. And check out the Plastic Containers Buying Guide they put together.

Summer stupor ended by summer sprinkle

I don’t do well in hot weather. I am a Washingtonian, born and bred, and when it gets above 75 I am not a happy camper. Don’t let this picture fool you – it was taken on a sunny day in FEBRUARY out on Alki Beach, a lot more to my liking, temperature-wise. My Swedish ancestry means I burn in about 5 minutes. I’ve been avoiding chemical sunscreens (see a previous post about that), and I don’t like the ghost-like sheen of mineral sunscreens (they just aren’t quite there yet for me). So I started using a physical sunscreen – a lacy white poncho – to cut some of the sun exposure since I was scaring the kids at the tutoring center during the summer reading program. I would be so red that they were scared for me because they have never seen skin that color before. Most of them are from Somalia, and a few from Cambodia or Vietnam, and they just do not have the same sun reaction us Euro mutts do.

So I started covering up better, and on Saturday I even used an umbrella when attending the groundbreaking ceremony (hope stone ceremony, really) of the LEED Gold designed Neighborhood House planned for my neighborhood of High Point. I felt like a dork but I had not even arrived at the ampitheater before people were telling me how smart I was to bring an umbrella. I gave a silent thanks to the older Asian ladies in my neighborhood who do this all the time and just didn’t happen to be around at the time to take the credit.

So in these weeks of hot weather I have spent my days dreading walking my dog but having to do it anyway since my husband and I moved into a High Point townhouse a year ago this week and we chose a place without a yard. I adopted a dog as a walking partner but when you have a house and a yard, you let yourself get lazy. I knew what moving to a townhouse entailed – 3 walks a day, 365 days a year, come rain, sleet, snow or hail – just like the old US Postal Service credo. Somehow they missed SUN in that credo – they must all love sun and that’s why they got those cute blue shorts to wear. I would never make as a postal worker, unless trapped at the air-conditioned counter all day.

My dog, Sophia, an Italian greyhound, LOVES the sun. So I sometimes use a very long leash and bring a book and I sit in the shade of a tree and she stretches out in the sun and gets toasty. But even she gets too hot after awhile and we head home to recover and cool down. I am always wearing my lacy coverup since I don’t want to scare any more neighbor kids.

So the cooler weather and rain the last couple of days has perked me up immensely and I feel motivated to sit down and bring you up-to-date with what I’ve been up to. I’ve not been blogging a lot, but I have been working a lot. Still I took a few days off last week when a friend from out of state came for a visit, so I had to cram a lot of work into the days leading up to it. I got my hair done at Mode Organic Salon. I finally got to visit the Chocolate Flower Farm on Whidbey Island, and having had a relatively mellow ferry trip, but still having to wait an hour on each end, am glad I don’t live there and have a regular ferry commute. Altho I would probably get a lot more reading done.

Speaking of, What I’ve Been Reading:

My husband bought me an online subscription to the Green Guide magazine for Christmas, which I never read because I already spend too much time in front of a computer. But when they came out with their conscious consumerism reference guide, I ordered a copy right away – a book I can hold in my hands and more likely to read. I consider myself pretty green educated, but there’s something new I have learned on nearly every page. Well worth the investment. I am considering giving it as Xmas gifts this year.

Plenty Magazine
A free subscription to this magazine came along with the cost of admission to this year’s first ever Seattle green festival, a repeat of which is already scheduled for March 28-29, 2009. As someone who suffers from environmental guilt just as an every day thing by existing on this planet, I feel like this magazine has saved my life. This magazine has a positive outlook and dazzles with all of the innovation being created in this world right now that you just don’t hear on the evening news. Good things aren’t news, tragedy is. I prefer to have a little positive in my life, thank you very much, and I have really enjoyed this magazine. You can get a digital subscription if you want, but I have found I need something portable and in print. I read so fast that digital readers drive me crazy, so until something better comes along, I will trade a little recycled paper for green learning and a positive outlook on the future of our planet.

What I’ve Been Watching:

“Living With Ed”
My husband actually ordered up Season One on our Netflix account and we really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to watch Season Two when it becomes available on DVD. Yeah, I still watch DVDs – we have an environmentally unfriendly although technically superior plasma screen and frankly my couch is a lot more comfortable than my desk chair. And besides, this way I get to spend quality time with my husband.

Green Real Estate Update

The Walking Tour of High Point scheduled for this Sunday has been postponed until late September. It seems no one can concentrate in this heat, so what’s the point? Maybe by September 28th folks will get have cooled down enough to come out for an outdoor environmental feature tour combined with an indoor real estate tour. New people join the Green Spaces meetup group regularly and there is always some
thing to learn and share in these informal tours. Why don’t you plan on joining us this fall?

And now for the nitty-gritty – what’s green and for sale today? Click here to see all of the environmentally certified for sale home listings in West Seattle. For condos click here. I focus on this area since it is where I live, but I am licensed for real estate sales in the entire state of Washington. My designation of Built Green Certified Professional: Real Estate was awarded by Built GreenTM, which is a partnership of the Master Builders Association, King County, and Snohomish County. I have been in West Seattle since 1997, but prior to that I lived in Bellevue, Lake Forest Park, Kirkland, Mill Creek, Everett, and I grew up in the wilds of unincorporated Snohomish county and graduated from Monroe High School.

I would love for the opportunity to answer your green real estate questions. Drop me an email!!

Don’t miss this ~ “Glad I can’t afford green?”

Jessica Kellner, Managing Editor of one of my favorite magazines, Natural Home, recently started a discussion on her blog about the perceptions of cost and accessibility to the “green lifestyle”. Some comments were good to point out that “going green”, which also includes things like walking instead of driving, and growing some of your own food (herbs, berries, other produce), is often the more affordable choice and accessible to most everyone.

Read The Other Side of the Fence: Glad I can’t afford green?