Join us in Supporting Hurricane Relief Efforts

Over the past month, extreme weather patterns and record breaking storms have devastated countless families, friends, and neighbors in our hemisphere. As the climate changes, we will see these impacts worsening and continuing to hit the most vulnerable communities the hardest. Linked below are organizations that work to reach and support the most vulnerable in these trying times:

 

Advocating for Living Wage Green Jobs & Internships

Though last week’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement left many of us feeling hopeless it can also serve as a reminder of our ability to innovate and create a sustainable future on a local & national level despite federal policy. This summer, we are highlighting environmental work in our community that puts people and equity at the center. And there’s no better place to start than with Got Green, a grassroots community nonprofit based in South Seattle, that is working for climate, economic, and racial justice.

An impassioned group of young people at Got Green, known as the Young Leaders in the Green Movement have been successfully waging a campaign to increase the number of dignified, living wage green jobs for young people of color in Seattle. In fact, last fall they saw a huge win when the Seattle City Council passed the Green Pathways Resolution that will kickstart the effort by creating a definition of “Green Jobs” for our city that includes both environmental impact and social equity! Stay updated here.

 

Nonprofit Spotlight: Bike Works

This month we’re highlighting Bike Works! Last year, this fantastic nonprofit celebrated 20 years of their work to create more sustainable communities through youth education and promoting bicycling. The shop and warehouse reuse and recycle bikes and parts that would otherwise be unused or sent to a landfill. They also offer a variety of youth education programs and even provide free bicycles to those who otherwise can’t afford them.

See how you can get involved and stop by next time you’re in Columbia City!

Mighty House Celebrating Seven!

Doug and Laura turned the key to start Mighty House Construction seven years ago. Like most seven-year-olds, we’ve totally hit our stride, while still being versatile enough to challenge the establishment ways of thinking. Each anniversary we donate to a nonprofit that is driving effective programs in sustainability or building. This year it’s a non-profit doing both!

 

Sawhorse Revolution helps high school students build confidence and character, while also providing them with hands on carpentry training. Professional builders and architects lead the students in projects that allow them to engage and improve their communities. Laura came across Sawhorse Revolution, while participating in a panel with the Low Income Housing Institute discussing improvements on heating and ventilation for LIHI’s housing for homeless. The intensity of Sawhorse Revolution’s programs, and outcomes – social, environmental, and community – are impressive

 

Read about Sawhorse Revolution’s work building tiny houses to end homelessness.

Great Design = Sustainability

One of the keys to sustainability is great design. When things are designed and built well, we hold onto them, use them, pass them down through the generations, and repair them when they need it rather than throwing them away. And when they are designed to be beautiful as well, it makes it so much easier.

Mighty House Construction is getting a chance to flex their design muscles this summer, as consultants and assistants on the building of pop-up furniture designed by LMN Architexts and other design professionals for the Seattle Design Festival’s Festival Block Party, September 6-7 at Occidental Park. The design festival is a program of the AIA Seattle and our project, being utilitarian, is being considered for a more permanent site.

Doug and Laura are no strangers to design. Did you know that Laura has a background in art and Doug studied interior design? They are honored to have been asked to participate and are looking forward to the fun results.

Click here to see more photos of the furniture-building process.

 

American Lung Association Seeks Volunteers

Have you ever wanted to learn more about indoor air quality and help members of your community make their homes more healthy?

The American Lung Association is seeking volunteers for their Master Home Environmentalist (MHE) Program. Laura participated in this about 6 years ago and found it super informative and fun.
The program’s primary focus is indoor air quality-which happens to coincide with good environmental care as well. MHE volunteers receive 35 hours of training and commit to offering 35 or more hours of volunteer time providing home air quality assessments to members of the community. Volunteers learn to spot home environmental pollutants and make recommendations to reduce or eliminate exposure.

If you’d like to get that warm fuzzy feeling for giving back to your community, go to the American Lung Association’s website and fill out the Volunteer Form. Training starts in
March. Tell them Mighty House recommended it!


 

The 2013 Green Building Slam is Here!

The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild is expecting a full house at this year’s 10x10x10 Green Building Slam at Kane Hall this Saturday, November 16th!

As chair of the event and a sponsor, Laura promises that it will be filled with fast-paced, mind-blowing talks about remarkable green building projects in the Greater Seattle area. Plus drinks, delicious appetizers and a fun raffle with fabulous prizes!

All that for only $25! It is selling out quickly so buy your tickets today!

Alex Wilson and Resilient Design

Resilience is the ability to bounce back following a disturbance or interruption. Relative to climate change, resilience involves adapting to the wide range of local and regional impacts that are expected with a warming planet: more intense storms, greater precipitation, flooding, longer and more-severe droughts in some areas, wildfires, melting permafrost, warmer temperatures, and power outages.

But what does does that mean for our communities? How can we adapt? What can we do to slow the change? On Tuesday, May 14 at 7pm at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Alex Wilson will address resilient design in the context of a transition toward sustainability as a guest speaker for the NW EcoBuilding Guild.

Alex will cover a wide range of practical solutions – boosting the energy performance of homes, redesigning communities to function without gasoline, encouraging local food production and maintaining livable conditions during extended power outages. If you buy in advance, tickets are $15 for NWEBG members and students, $20 for the general public. Tickets at the door will be $25.

You can learn more about the event or buy tickets NOW!

Green Home Tour Inspires and Celebrates

The 2013 NW Green Home Tour was FABULOUS! From solatubes to cisterns, shipping container homes to an outdoor swinging daybed, there was a lot to see and do.

Thanks for helping make our site a popular one! The Spanish-style bungalow hosted at least 100 people. We spent a lot of time talking about energy conservation, locally-sourced materials, and eco-friendly design. We were very proud that everyone loved the craftsmanship of the remodel and the design choices that were made by the homeowner with the help of Entero Design.

The two cisterns from EarthSystemsNW were a BIG hit and had people thinking about capturing all of that wonderful water to help their gardens grow as well as mitigate storm water overflow (see article below.)

We are so appreciate the NW EcoBuilding Guild and Built Green for the opportunity to participate in this event. We also owe a huge thank you to Nikola for opening up her home to the crowds of people.

Ask an Expert: New and Improved!

Ask an Expert, a regular event we facilitate at the West Seattle Tool Library, will be moving to 3rd Thursdays, beginning January, 2013.

New in 2013: Each month we will have a dedicated featured discussion focused discussions on hot topics for the season, including insulation, edible gardening and rainwater. Join us this month for a conversation on day-lighting your home and how to beat those winter blues.

These events provide an opportunity for homeowners and DIY enthusiasts to get together and share their stories of challenge and success, while drawing on the expertise of local coaches in fields such as solar power, green building and design, sustainable living, and urban gardening. These experts are willing to answer any question you may have on your current projects, future plans or anything else you’d like to discuss.