Join Us
join our mailing list
* indicates required

          

 

   

 

  
Design Inspirations  Green Talk
            
 

 

Tuesday
Jul082014

My Green Toilet Water 2.0

OK, we’ve been here before, February of 2010 to be exact.  That is when I announced my big plan for harvesting the rainwater from my roof, putting it through a filtering system and using it for flushing my toilets.  All disguised as a waterfall.  A good idea, I thought.  Well, back in 2010 I ran out of money to finish the project and the tanks have been sitting my back yard since.

Much has changed in the last four years and Seattle is on board with rainwater harvesting.  (If you remember, rain barrels used to be the only option.)  In 2013 the city of Seattle created a program called RainWise where large rain barrels (called cisterns) are encouraged to be used for watering your gardens, and/or directing rainwater to the sewer or conveyance channel.  There are REBATES available for homeowners who participate in this program and live within a specific area.  There are some requirements:  a minimum of 400 sf of roof area must be directed to one cistern, you must used a licensed bonded contractor from the list of authorized contractors, etc.  These are easy requirements to fill and I encourage everyone that qualifies for the rebate to participate.   In fact, even if you do not qualify for the rebate you should participate.

My project was always a bit more comprehensive, the big tanks have to be placed under ground and I will have meters to monitor the water useage, etc.  It helps to remind everyone why I am doing this in the first place – because it makes me crazy that we use treated, drinkable water to flush our toilets.  Many of my home projects wind up being more than the initial design….the gutter waterfall has turned into a rockery waterfall/small pond, and I’m thinking about building an ADU (attached dwelling unit) that incorporates the harvesting system.  Hopefully, with the help of the city of Seattle I may be able to start this project up again!

Going Green, Christine       

Wednesday
Jun112014

Water is Life - Life is Water

Water is a big part of our body – water and electricity.  Our body is made up of cells that communicate and ‘live’ through electrical and chemical charges (synapses.)*   Dr Robert Becker of The Body Electric* wrote ‘Electricity is vital to life.’  And of course, we all know that electricity needs water to exist.  So if our body, and our planet, are intrinsically dependent on water, we should value this resource as it affects our body, health and existence.

So let’s talk about the water you put in your body

We are still purchasing bottled water to drink both at home and away from home.  Although the plastic bottles of water with BPA in them are known to be hazardous to your health, (FDA declared BPA safe in 2008, but in 2010 modified their position, then 2012 banned the chemical in baby bottles) it turns out the BPA-free plastics are just as bad or worse than the BPA bottles.* Currently, the ‘safest bottle’ is a glass bottle wrapped in a silicone sleeve for protection.* The water that we purchase in bottled waters claim to be ‘filtered’ or ‘natural’ but when tested for their affects on your body in relation to ph* levels and orp*, they fall below tap water.

Tap water, as we know, is not perfect, and contains chlorine as well as other contaminants.  Many people purchase and install water filters in their kitchens in an attempt to better the water that they consume.  My latest research has shown that Ionized water machines are providing health benefits that other types of water do not.  The theory (behind the testimonials) is that through the process of electrolysis, water is ionized to produce ionized alkaline water.  Ionization breaks up the molecule clusters, making it easier for the water to penetrate your cells. ‘The other way an ionizer alters water is to TURN REGULAR WATER INTO A POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT, measured as ORP* (Oxidation Reduction Potential.)’  This is turning your water into a source of healing.  The better ionizer machines will also have two carbon filters that remove the chlorine but retain the minerals.

The other crazy information that I witnessed about ionized water is the cleaning aspect.  The dramatic demonstration shows two glasses of cherry tomatoes, one being ‘washed’ in tap water and the second being ‘washed’ in 11.5 ph ionized alkaline water. Apparently oil based pesticides replaced water based pesticides which were too easily removed with rainwater.  SO, when you ‘wash’ your fruits and vegetables in tap water, the pesticides are not removed.  When soaked in 11.5 ph ionized alkaline water the water turns a sickly yellow color.  This is what we are putting in our body!  I spoke to a researcher at the University of Washington who is studying the effects of pesticides in people and besides the commonly known facts of cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental disorders, there is a proven decrease in cognitive abilities.  OUCH!  Fruits and vegetables that have pesticides on them are HARMFUL to your HEALTH.

The apparent benefit of ionized water machines are twofold, one creating healing/healthy/antioxidant water for you to drink and the second to successfully remove the poisons that are in our ‘fresh’ vegetables and fruits.  I cannot think of a more important investment in your health than the investment of an ionized water machine.  There are many testimonials about the healing aspects of certain waters, some throughout the centuries.  Scientists are now discovering that the difference in the waters are in the ORP levels.  People are being healed with ionized water, this is something you need to look at.

Going Green, Christine

Monday
May122014

Healthy Homes & Lifestyles

I am pleased to invite you to visit my design studio and gift store Healthy Homes & Lifestyles at the new Lakeview Yoga and Wellness Center, 7800 NE Bothell Way #155, Kenmore, WA. 

We are hosting an Open House to show off our new digs on Saturday June 7 from Noon – 3:00 PM.  Festivities include food and drink, gift bags for the first 50 people and gift packages that will be raffled off to our guests.  Kenmore Fitness is joining us in celebrating our move to the new facilities.  I designed both spaces and although they are polar opposites in the style (Relaxing Spa versus High Energy weight lifting,) both are equally successful in creating a sense of space that reflects their customers values and preferences.     

My obsession with locally made, healthy, sustainable and recycled materials had led me to provide these products for my clients.  Let me introduce you to some of the offerings:

Univera products have been a part of my life for a few years now.  Univera is a company that makes plant based supplements for your health.  Their headquarters is in Seattle and they ship out of Lacey Washington.  Of their many wonderful products I selected Xtra (for anti-oxidants), Regenicare and Regenifree (for body pain and mobility), Aloe (for moisturizing and healing cuts and burns) and Femme Vitale (for women my age).

Bio-Therapeutic Skin Care was created for professional aestheticians and we are lucky enough to be able to offer these products to the general public.  Specifically formulated for maximizing the health of your skin, all of their products are paraben free (paraben preservatives are linked to cancer) as well as being locally manufactured.

Bio Green Clean is an extremely effective cleaning solution that is made of 100% pure ingredients such as amino acids, minerals, leafy green vegetables, etc and is so healthy that if you accidentally drank it, you would be fine.  I have had professional cleaning services ask me where to purchase this cleaner because of its’ effectiveness and safety for use on all surfaces.

Bellmont Cabinets is a family owned company in Sumner Washington, and creates some of the finest cabinets I’ve seen.  Their plant is extremely impressive with ‘just in time’ manufacturing which allows customization of cabinets without extra costs or wasted materials.  They have a huge commitment to providing quality cabinets within a completely ‘green’ manufacturing plant which wastes not, protecting both the environment as well as their employees and customers.

Theo’s Chocolates – need I say more?  Locally made, the Nibs are extremely high in anti-oxidants, in fact I never knew that anti-oxidants could be so enjoyable to eat!

I look forward to seeing and talking to every one of you!  Come visit me at my new home!   Sincerely, Christine

Tuesday
Apr082014

Seriously Bent but not Broken

I found myself looking through old black and white negatives from my days as an aspiring photographer, looking for the one really good picture of my Grandpa Suzuki. My sister in law requested it so that she could make copies of it; it was known as the best picture of my grandpa ever taken.  I took that picture.  I also took a good picture of my mother before she died.  Ironically, this is one of a few that we have of her since she tore up all the pictures that were taken of her.  

I do not regularly look at old pictures but when I do, as I was searching for the negative of that one good black and white photo of my grandfather, I am reminded of a life full of excitement and drama, lots of people, lots of laughter lots of sadness.  How I got to my current place in life is beyond me. The pictures show a daisy chain of my life that is broken and crooked, but I managed to survive.  I’ve soul searched a lot in the last few years dragging myself through two divorces, one of my own and one of my fathers, struggling to keep life in balance.  Is it me or do people stay away from you when you are going through a divorce?  I feel alone and tired, feel like my life has become one little blip in the blips of the world and no one really cares about little blips.  I guess the pain of divorce is a pain that you have to go through yourself.

I have a beautiful new Design Studio and Gift Shop and am dying to have a ‘grand opening’ but the owner of the Yoga studio wants to wait until June.  June!  That’s 3 months after moving in!  I’ll really lose momentum by then! A student at our studio created T-shirts for the grand opening that read “Seriously Bent” on the front, “But not Broken” on the back.  I really wanted to have a big party to celebrate this new part of my life, but I guess I have to have patience. 

And yes, I found the negative of that great black and white picture of my grandpa as well as the one of my mom.  I think I will reprint both of them.  They will both be happy to know, that through it all - I may be seriously bent, but I am not broken!   Keeping Green, Christine

Tuesday
Feb112014

Environmental Guardianship Failure 

Our earth has provided safe food and water for us for millions of years.  Unfortunately, we have contaminated our earth in some areas to the point that the food and water is harmful to our health.  The water in nine counties in West Virginia is undrinkable, closing restaurants, hotels, schools and other businesses.

The January 9th chemical spill contaminated the Elk River with crude MCHM, a chemical mixture used in the coal production process. MCHM is toxic if ingested.   A ‘Do Not Use the water’ order left 300,000 West Virginians without potable water.  The water coming out of their taps was poisonous brown and liquorice-scented.

After 10 days, the water was declared safe to drink.  However West Virginians remain skeptical.  "If one smells the odor, people know the chemical is in the water," said Dr. Rahul Gupta, the director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.  Governor Tomblin has told residents that the decision of whether or not to use the water is a personal, individual matter.  After he made that announcement, news broke that crude MCHM can break down into formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

Sadly, on February 7th, weeks after the water was declared safe, two of the chemicals were detected in the water supply of George Washington High School. The tell-tale licorice odor was back, and students and staff reported symptoms that included burning eyes, light-headedness and headaches. 

Why are we allowing this to happen to our world?  When will it stop?   Can we end this contamination? Or will it end us? 

Always green, Christine