An Introduction

At a time when Seattle home prices continue to climb out of sight, contractors are impossible to find, and buildable lots are even more scarce (or postage-stamp-sized), some Northwest homeowners and home buyers are saying "No" to three-car garages, polished granite countertops, and Sammamish mansionettes (the one type of housing stock that's actually been dropping in value around here). The giant new trophy home or down-to-the-studs gut rehab is taking its place alongside the SUV as an unconscionable icon of profligate, Earth-killing consumptionat least among a small but growing crowd of eco-leaning progressives. The alternatives explored in SW's summer Turf issue range from recycled materials to ancient grasses to fluffy pillows. We also take a cold-eyed look at some of the attempts to market eco-awareness through programs like Energy Star and Built Green. Environmentalism doesn't just begin in the home with recycling glass under the kitchen sink; it can begin with the homehow you plan it, build it, paint it, furnish it, and live in it.

bmiller@seattleweekly.com

 
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