Midori Passive Haus: How Much Energy Did We Use In Our First Year?

haircut for locks for love

When her home's energy retrofit was complete, Chie Kawahara celebrated by cutting off her hair and donating it to Locks for Love.

Reprinted with permission from midorihaus.blogspot.com

By Chie Kawahara

About one year ago I cut off 30-inches of my hair and donated the half-pound of hair to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs for children.  I’ve done this a few times before and it makes me feel good.  In the past friends would often ask me, “How’s your house project coming along?” and at times it seemed to go on forever.  So at one point I started telling everyone, “You’ll know when it’s done because I’ll cut off my hair and donate it.  If you see me with short hair that means the house is done!”  So I was quite happy when I had this photo taken because it meant the house was done and I didn’t need the extra insulation to keep me warm.

Now that we’ve been living in the Midori Haus for one year it’s time we share our energy data for the first year of occupancy. Continue reading ›

Greenspiration Home Interior Designers Open Creative Custom Design Studio In Greensboro, NC!

Creative Custom Design Studio Greensboro

Creative Custom Design Studio at 2136 Lawndale Ave. in Greensboro

By Trish Holder

I recently discovered a jewel of a home design shop here in my hometown of Greensboro, NC.  Former Greenspiration Home interior designers, Julie Hartsell and Beth Moore, along with partner Daniel Conner, have opened up Creative Custom Design Studio at 2136 Lawndale Ave. (That’s right beside Balance Day Spa for those of you who know the area.)

The shop itself is a work of art, showcasing some of the most creative tile treatments and interior design vignettes that I’ve ever seen.  Specialty tile and tile installation is the anchor for this store – but there is so much more.  In this sizeable retail space, you will find unexpected array of home décor essentials, including fabric, furniture, art, and accessories, etc. Continue reading ›

Drying Time Too Slow? A Dryer Exhaust Duct Power Ventilator May Help

dryer laundryBy Trish Holder

I wash, dry, and fold approximately 10 loads of laundry per week.  It is a constant logistical challenge to allocate enough time for these sequential chores.

Imagine what would happen if it took twice as long to dry the clothes.  I’d be frantically drying my kids’ soccer uniforms with a hair dryer, while they paced about in that “My world is ending and it’s all your fault!” sort of way that teenagers are famous for.  What parent needs more of that? Continue reading ›

Help Rebuild Haiti and Get Profiled on Greenspiration Home!

Food For The Poor home with sanitation

Food For The Poor home with sanitation

Trish Holder

It’s been a chilly, uncharacteristically snowy winter here in North Carolina.  I have the luxury being able to sit in my warm “green” home and enjoy the beauty of these wintry transformations.

For my family and me, Mother Nature’s little surprises aren’t much more than that – little surprises.  Week after week, I can write about things like dual flush toilets, low flow fixtures, geothermal heat pumps, etc., without ever having experienced extreme discomfort due to lack of water, food, shelter or sanitation.  I’ve never experienced anything close to the devastation that a single hurricane season can render to a small, poor Caribbean country like Haiti.

Recently I was reminded of the stark differences between my reality and that of the people of so many third world countries. I owe this gentle reminder to one of my favorite charitable organizations, Food for the Poor. As I listened to a spokesperson for the organization describe the horrific conditions that the people of Haiti continue to endure after so many natural disasters, it hit me:  While I write about making homes greener, thousands of homeless Haitians sleep on cardboard and eat dirt to survive. Continue reading ›

The Spirit of Asheville LIVES in Furnishings from The Old Wood Co.

Scotch cocktail table from The Old Wood Co.

Scotch cocktail table from The Old Wood Co.

By Trish Holder

Bourbon?  Scotch?  Moon Pie?

You can pick your poison when it comes to furnishings from The Old Wood Co. It’s all aged to perfection, from the two-top scotch cocktail table to the Moon Pie side table.   Character, craftsmanship, and an occasional bit of whimsy season each and every piece from this American furniture manufacturer, located in a 10,000-square foot space in the River Arts District of Asheville.

Continue reading ›

Good HVAC Contractors DO Exist!

Geothermal Contractor

Dwain Strader of Cellusun Heating & Air

By Trish Holder

I’ve been keeping a secret from you, and it’s really not right.

Many people who know me, know this site, or have heard me speak are well aware that I frequently bemoan the lack of skilled, reliable, and/or professional contractors, especially HVAC contractors.  However, about four years ago I found a keeper–Dwain Strader, owner of Cellusun Heating and Air—and I’ve been working with him ever since.

I haven’t kept Dwain’s name under wraps in an effort to keep him all to myself.  I have and do recommend him to friends and family.  But I have not (until now) been inclined to share his identity on Greenspiration Home for a couple of reasons.  Continue reading ›