What kind of green consumer are you?

I just went through a 2-day “Earth Advantage Broker” training and the classifications of consumers were interesting.
They were classified as:
19% LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability – a market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice.)
15% Naturalites (hold green values but aren’t always consistent – focus on natural and organic packaged goods but no necessarily durable goods)
25% Drifters (hold green values but are more influenced by price and trends – if a movie star also has a Prius they want one too)
24% Conventionals (they don’t make decisions based on green values but are civic minded and cost sensitive so they change to CFL bulbs)
17% Unconcerneds (does not prioritize environment and society).

I fall somewhere between Naturalites and LOHAS – since my car is not a hybrid/EV and my furniture is not necessarily sustainably produced (and neither are my clothes). But I did buy a Built Green Certified homes in High Point (20 homes for resale here if you are interested – a cool mix of condos, carriage homes, or detached homes). And I do a lot of volunteer work to further healthy food and environment initiatives.

I went through training to become a Built Green Certified Professional real estate broker in 2007, but I am always interested in learning new or updating my current information. I also am going through EcoBroker training online so it is taking me a little longer.

If you have any real estate questions, or green home/lifestyle questions, I am happy to respond in private or on the blog. After all, your question may be the same as someone elses and everyone can learn!

If everyone lived like you, how many Planet Earths would it take to support your lifestyle?

I am going to be in S.T.A.R. training Wednesday and Thursday – I am adding another green designation to my work, “Earth Advantage Broker”.

A preprequisite was to calculate my personal ecological footprint and bring it with me. I think it’s amazing how conscious I am of environmental impact yet if everyone lived like me it would take 4 Planet Earths to do it, and to support my lifestyle it takes 18 global acres of the Earth’s productive area. I still eat meat and I drive a car (and don’t ride the bus). And I eat potato chips. Some things just aren’t going to change.

I still think I shouldn’t have gotten more credit for living in a green design home (which was better than living in a 2-4 unit building, I actually live in a 7 unit building). I think in the end it would still take 3 planets. So sad.

What is your Ecological Footprint? Take the quiz to find out (it’s fast).

Fannie Mae Addresses Appraisal Concerns

On June 30, 2010 Fannie Mae issued announcement SEL-2010-09, “Selling Guide Updates and Additional Guidance on Appraisal-Related Policies.”

A number of the items addressed in this announcement have also been subjects of concern to Realtors® during the past couple of years.
These include:
•Lenders changing the value that had been determined by the appraiser
•The selection of appraisers who were not familiar with the marketplace in which the subject property was located and/or who did not have access to all the data bases containing information relevant to the local marketplace
•The use of short sales and foreclosures as comparable sales without giving sufficient consideration to the condition of those properties
•The inability of either agents or the lender’s representatives to communicate with the appraiser

Read the Full Story

Farmers Market Veggie Tips – High Point Market Garden Farm Stand

The High Point Market Garden Farm Stand has opened in Seattle. Wendy Hughes-Jelen shows off her bag of veggies for $11 and talks about uses, cooking methods, and proper storage to keep them fresh. There are about 20 homes for sale in High Point, a Built Green Certified Community located in West Seattle. If you want to walk to your farmers market, get in touch with Wendy.

Dog Food Puzzles – Sophia the Italian Greyhound Gets Challenged

Wendy Hughes-Jelen (Green Spaces Real Estate.com, Westside Green Living with Wendy on Facebook) speaks of making her dog work for all of her food. Wendy found the “Dog Brick” at Scraps at 2200 Westlake. She has been asking the shop to get them for months, since they were the only shop that knew what she was talking about when she asked.

Making your dog work for its food provides mental stimulation for your dog and satisfies the hunter instinct in all dogs. This is Sophia’s 2nd time to use the puzzle and she does quite well! Wendy shows how she prepares the food and the puzzle, and gives some other tips and tricks that might help you with your own dog.

Nina Ottosson (Sweden) Dog Brick Puzzle Toy can be found in both wood and plastic versions. The shop where Wendy bought hers only carried the plastic version, which is less expensive.

“The Dog Brick is a clever and inventive puzzle from Nina Ottosson that lets you hide your treats in recesses located under a series of interlocking sliding blocks. Since the blocks can not be removed, your dog is required to locate the treats by sliding the blocks with either his paw or his nose in order to retrieve his reward. These unique interactive wooden puzzles are designed to enrich your pets mind and foster a stronger relationship between people and their beloved furry family members. These toys are revolutionizing the way we think of playing with our pets.”

Learn how to build a house using the Earthbag (Super Adobe) Construction method

Alderleaf Wilderness College in Monroe (my home town) is holding a 5-day Earthbag Construction workshop August 2nd – 6th. A friend of mine has taken classes there and now also is an instructor.

Here is an excerpt from their info page:

We will be using this structure to explore the basics of earthbag construction as well as hitting on some of the more advanced techniques used in this building form. In-depth discussions will center on key principles of earthbag building such as design, foundations, walls, framing, and roof systems and also the use of local, abundant materials. In this workshop you will learn some of the tricks used in building fast, yet sturdy structures with earth tubes.

We will also be covering topics such as thermal performance, strength and integrity, cost effectiveness, empowering community, and sustainability.

Taking a class at Alderleaf looks to be a unique experience. You can camp out in the woods during your course, or stay at a motel in town (or go home if it is close enough). You can download the flyer for more information.

Hey plant geeks, collect prairie plant seed at Morse Wildlife Preserve on July 24th

From my email Inbox, passing this on!   ~Wendy

Hi Native Plant Steward,

I am forwarding an announcement below about volunteering to collect prairie plant seed at Morse Wildlife Preserve on July 24th.  If you are interested, contact Eric Strickler at erics@cascadeland.org or sign up at volunteer@cascadeland.org

Join Volunteers for a day of Prairie Restoration and Seed Collection
When: Saturday July 24, 2010 9am-noon

Help in prairie restoration at the Morse Wildlife Preserve in Graham. Volunteers will collect seeds from prairie plants such as the blue camas and Roemer’s fescue.  These seeds will be used at the Preserve by local 5th graders in an experiment on prairie enhancement.  Instruction on plant ID and seed collection will be provided but experience in prairie restoration and plant salvage is appreciated.

 What to bring:
Please remember to dress for the weather.  Suggested Dress:  Boots or comfortable athletic shoes, work clothes, rain gear and appropriate layers.  Volunteers should bring a refillable water bottle.  Snacks, drinks, tools and gloves will be provided.

Directions to the Preserve:
The property is located at 25415 70th Ave E., Graham, WA

  • From I-5 take Exit 127 on to WA 512 East

•    From WA-512 East take the Pacific Ave/WA 7 Exit.  Turn right onto Pacific Ave/WA 7. 

•    At the Roy “Y”, bear left, staying on WA 7. 

•    Turn Left at 260th St E

•    Turn Left onto 70th Ave E (at the T)

•    Property is at mailbox at 25415, on the right side of the road

To register for the event contact: volunteer@cascadeland.org


Green Innovation in Business Network (GIBN) 2010 Solutions Lab to be held at Seattle University on August 10th

I am passing this along since I think this is going to be a very important event   ~ Wendy

Friends in Green Spaces,

EcoMaven AssociatesEnvironmental Defense Fund, Ashoka, Net Impact, GreenBiz.com and many others invite you to participate in the eighth Green Innovation in Business Network (GIBN) 2010 Solutions Lab to be held at Seattle University in Seattle, Washington on August 10th. To register, please visit the Solutions Lab – Seattle registration page.      

Solutions Labs – taking place in ten cities around the United States – are one-day events that have the potential to shape sustainable business practices far into the future. Our hope is to give participants an opportunity to share ideas and brainstorm solutions for redefining business as usual – advancing environmentally sound business practices and saving money, while growing the network of sustainability experts and innovators across industries.

Some of the themes you can expect to discuss at the Seattle Solutions Lab:

  • Engaging consumers and changing behavior
  • Employee engagement in sustainability
  • Stakeholder engagement in sustainability
  • Corporate/non-profit/government partnerships
  • Effective collaboration for sustainability
  • Metrics & benchmarking/creating standards for sustainability
  • Energy efficiency: dismantling barriers through behavioral change, financial instruments, and technological innovation
  • Greening IT – data centers, carbon management software, green technology
  • Green operations/ material use including supply chain, water, waste issues; life-cycle analysis
  • Sustainable transportation and freight
  • How to influence legislation
  • Creating green cities
  • Practical steps for implementing innovation at your company/organization
  • Sustainability and the profit motive
  • Leveraging sustainability initiatives to strengthen branding
  • Using private equity to drive innovation
  • Shifting corporate culture
  • R&D for sustainable products
  • Sustainability of food systems

Please join us!

For general information about the series, please visit the GIBN Solutions Lab Wiki.

Alex Steele
Seattle Solutions Lab 2010 – Planning Committee

alexandra.steele@eco-maven.com | 206.225.8720 | eco-maven.com