Battling Those Lingering Fall Odors

Battling Those Lingering Fall Odors

Laundry Room - Growing In The Greenbelt RemodelWhether it is your stinky child or a wet dog, fall is the season of stink. As the weather turns colder and wetter we also have less opportunity to open our doors and windows or to air out stink before bringing it in. We recently learned about seemingly simple, healthy, and effective options for battling those lingering odors.

Ozone Laundry System. Ozone is often used in commercial laundry systems as a way to conserve energy and lower overall costs. by replacing hot water and reducing the need/desire to use chemicals. Ozone laundry systems create ozone by combining electricity and oxygen and then dissolves the ozone into the washing water. The oxidation process happens when the ozone water is mixed with organic or “dirty” materials in your laundry and works to kill bacteria, fungi and live viruses in your clothes. It appears that most ozone laundry systems may easily attach to existing washing machines.

Another chemical-free “ozone approach” to keeping your clothes and your home free from lingering odors are Closet Ionic Air Purifiers. They are small, hang in your closet, and use advanced plasma breeze technology to quietly remove odors with safe, natural ozone.

Both of these “smell removing” options are seem safe for you, safe for the environment, affordable, and easy to install.

Speaking of stink… Most people know by now that many laundry detergents don’t completely biodegrade and they contaminate rivers, oceans, and our water supplies, with toxic heavy metals – not to mention their heavy contribution to plastic pollution on a daily basis. Obviously people need to wash their clothes, so we have some simple ideas that can keep your clothes clean and lessen your carbon footprint.

Make the switch away from liquid detergent and pods. These products are usually at least 50% water (an expensive commodity to transport) and may contain toxic chemicals. Choosing powder detergents in cardboard containers (or in bulk in your reused container), is two steps up from the liquid because you tend to use less, save on the added water, and the cardboard packaging is easier to recycle. However, the packing is still very bulky and costly to transport. A third step forward would be to select one of the number of safe and healthy environmentally friendly detergents on the market today that feature zero (or little) plastic packaging with detergent sheets. Google “detergent sheets reviews” and you will find many happy customers.

Let’s not confuse detergent sheets with dryer sheets…just ditch the dryer sheets altogether or use dryer balls or reusable sheets if you must use something.

Let us know if you have other ways you try to keep your home sport stink free or if you try these solutions, we’d love to hear what you think.

Summer Smoke Season is Upon Us

Summer Smoke Season is Upon Us

Indoor Air Quality - Wild Fire SeasonThings you can do to reduce your family’s exposure to smoke.

Clean air in the home is crucial for the health and well-being of our families. To combat smoke particles finding their way in through tiny cracks and crevices in walls and windows, and to minimize your chances of breathing viral particles and standing smoke we have come up with a few suggested approaches:

  • Attaching furnace filters to box fans.
  • Window fans blowing outward to expel stale or polluted air.
  • Avoid unconditioned spaces.
  • Improve central air filtration.
  • Ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air WITH the right filtration (that is a whole science on it’s own!)
  • Wear a mask, yes even in your home or vehicle.
  • Air purifiers work by creating finer and finer filters.
  • Whole house ventilation and air cleaning.
  • Avoid activities that create more fine particles indoors, like:
  1. Using gas, propane or wood-burning stoves and furnaces.
  2. Spraying aerosol products.
  3. Frying or broiling food.
  4. Burning candles or incense.
  5. Vacuuming, unless you use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

We are happy to consult with you on what installed or stand-alone solutions might be best for your home.

Getting Back to Normal

Getting Back to Normal

As we draw closer to summer and the Seattle weather reminds us all the reason that we all live here — the gorgeous and abundant natural environment and community. We are excited to see our community work so hard to get the region opened up again. And while we are jubilant about being able to hug and actually see the smiles of our friends and family again, the re-opening also is a little nerve-wrecking… Seeing the crowds collect at sporting events (especially indoors!) fills us with a sense of concern. Being in confined places unmasked has us uneasy. Time will help us all move forward – together.
We have also made some positive strides toward impacting our climate. So much more to discover about socializing in this new reality.
In a similar vein, we think it will be a bit before figuring out to best live, play, and grow (and maybe work or school!) in our homes is still shaking itself out. Sure there was an immediate need; though now people are getting to make decisions about which path forward is the right path for their family and how that is reflects in their housing needs. The knee-jerk reactions of spring 2020 are giving way to future-proof planning. Tough conversations for most of us with most everyone I know is having them (including Doug and myself!)
And while we can’t make the decisions for you, we are here to help to answer questions, consult with you, or give you referrals to partners to help you gather the information you need to move your housing thoughts forward.
Northwest Green Home Tour Friends, We’ve Been Thinking of You!

Northwest Green Home Tour Friends, We’ve Been Thinking of You!

With NWGHVT (“v” for Virtual) coming to you over three successive Saturdays in May 2021 on your Internet connected device. We hope that you will join us again at this event. We offer conversations on topics you are interested in, virtual tours and discussions of new Green Home construction trends, products and ideas. It is a highlight of our professional year and a chance to show off our work and talk about your projects. Check out the plans for this year at https://www.nwgreenhometour.org/ and we hope to see you again in May!

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Groundhog Sees Shadow

Groundhog Sees Shadow

As you have probably heard, Punxatawney Phil has seen his shadow and we have another month and a half of winter assigned to us. Great. It is actually quite a pleasure to be following innocent, non-news about a groundhog and not another emergency.
Laura and Doug in snow gear.


The sun setting later and later, is a reminder that the season is changing. The dogs appreciate the extra walking time and increased focus on getting outside. Of course, February is also good at reminding us it can still pack a wintery punch. No days off for remote workers or scholars this year, though the snow is still nice to transform the landscape for a few days.

We had the opportunity to get up to the mountains for some snowshoeing a couple weekends back. Getting a break from everyday rushing around, and being enveloped in a world covered in white was the balm our family’s collective souls needed to embrace another busy week, finishing up a 2nd-story addition, continuing work on a basement ADU while preparing to start another, all the while working away on a kitchen while talking about all the potential in store for our company in coming months. It’s a lot to juggle sometimes though we wouldn’t trade the work (nor the play) for the world.

Sustainability in Language: How do you like your Primary Suite?

Sustainability in Language: How do you like your Primary Suite?

One manner in which we experience our surroundings is by framing it with language. The room is big or small, filled with light or damp and dark. The living room, the den, the guest bath, the kid’s bedroom, and of course lots of other descriptors.

One of the things that is important to us is to create a home (and a world) that works inclusively for all. And sometimes to do that, we need to change the language we use to frame our work (and the world). To that end, Mighty House has been working on changing how we describe the biggest bedroom or bedroom suite in a house. “Master Suite” is a patriarchal term – in which the “master” was always a man. Master obviously also has a historical connection to slavery and discrimination. From our research, it is less clear that the term Master Suite was common during slavery; regardless though it is recognized as an exclusive term that could be triggering for many.

In an effort to help build more inclusive language in our industry, we are trying to refer to the largest bedroom or suite as the Primary Bedroom/Suite. The change isn’t easy – in fact, it’s hard! For one, it is habitual language. It is also a term most homeowners and professionals still use it and since it is imperative to use common language for clarity, it can be hard to implement later in the design process. Obviously racism and discrimination in housing won’t be eliminated by changing this term, however it will help to bring more rise to the conversation. We have an ask: when you meet with design professionals or have service people to your home, try using “primary” instead of “master” when referring to that space… change has to start somewhere.

If you are interested in this exploring this change, Sidney Franklin, in the August NY Times, wrote an engaging article about the evolving label in the New York real estate brokerage communities. And, regardless of how we refer to it, we’d love to help you make your primary bedroom or suite more Mighty. Contact us to discuss how to get started with your ideas.