Attempting to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle in St. Louis

Environmentally friendly decisions are tough

House numbers and a pooch; more fun things to kill time December 1, 2007

Filed under: Design,Uncategorized — budint @ 10:37 pm
Tags: , ,

 As usual, I’m filling the void of not seeing house progress with other items and interests.

Most recently, I read on the GrassRoots Modern blog about DWR having a sale on house numbers for only $10 per number, marked down from $35.  Now if you’re not familiar with DWR (Design Within Reach), it’s a boutique retailer which offers furniture and wares from great designers for supposedly less than you’d normally pay.  I however can’t seem to afford anything from there, but like many of their products. So when I told my wife about this sale she immediately went to the site and bought the Industrial house numbers.  They’re super snazzy looking and at $10 are comparable to generic Home Depot numbers.

 house numbers

 The 2nd purchase has been a bit more life-changing and has nothing to do w/ green, though one could argue for good design.  We picked up a Golden-Doodle and named her Riley.  We’re just so anxious to get into our house and REALLY get our life started, that we thought getting a dog now would get us part of the way there.

riley

We’ve really learned a lot in couple weeks we’ve had her and she’s getting used to us as well. The biggest challenge has been the loft living where we must wait for an elevator to take her outside.  And w/ no grass nearby, she’s been raised on having to use the pavement as a restroom.  On the positive side, since we live in such a small place you always know what she’s into.

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Why it’s all worth it. (Festival of Nations) August 17, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — budint @ 4:43 pm

Quick history:

1. May 5th – signed on with Architect

2. May 29th – see first concept drawings

3. July 12th – Preliminary plans ready for pricing

4. Today – haven’t started construction yet

Why is it all worth it? It’s not just because the house is going to be kick-ass. It’s because this neighborhood and the adjoining neighborhoods are so freakin cool.

Case in point:

The Festival of Nations at Tower Grove Park. When I first went to this festival about 5 yrs ago, I thought it was a cool event. All of these people with different backgrounds get together to share their cultures and backgrounds.

Today, I’m even more appreciative of having this type of gathering as well as such diversity in my own backyard.  After living outside of St. Louis for the past couple years (I’m not from St Louis, so this isn’t an ode to the city) I’ve come to be more aware of the cultural resources we have in this city.

A good indicator is when you have to make a decision about what you’re going to do on a weekend and you really struggle in not being able to do it all.  For example, next Friday I must choose between Music at Laumeier Sculpture Park or going to the pre-party for the International Festival (not sure where it is, only heard about it.)   And I’m not mentioning all of the other options there are.

Anyhow, bring some food, drinks and a blanket. The people watching is amazing. And only blocks from our new place.

 

National Night Out: A Chance to learn the history of our house August 13, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — budint @ 1:53 am

Tuesday Aug. 7th was National Night Out, which meant on our block (or what will be our block when this project is complete) everyone brought out food and mingled with one another.

The theme was international potluck and we brought polish sausages, since the wife is half (or 1/3rd) Pole, and I brought PBR for myself. The heat was unbearable and the extension corded fans from resourceful neighbors did little to make the event comfortable.  We did however meet some great people, many our age, and were reminded why we bought on the block and are suffering through the building process.

The biggest shocker of talking to neighbors was the older woman who described a few summers ago when the real estate investment company which buys ugly houses (kind of sad our place was an ugly house) ran a brothel from the house for a summer.

 Prostitute

Apparently, this neighbor woman and a group of other concerned citizens worked all summer to get the prostitutes and the Johns (customers of prostitutes) out of the house.   Fortunately after having the power and water turned off, as well as getting the police involved, they were able to push this thriving small business out of the house.

Sometimes homeowners get visitors from former owners or the kids of former owners. This is always fun because you get to hear the history of the house and the memories of living there.  We on the other hand, may well get a different type of visitor who had a different type of experience in our house.       Can’t wait!!!

 

My new neighborhood source for information May 28, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — budint @ 2:21 pm

 I ran across this guy’s site during our house hunting process and now that we’ve settled back into the old neighborhood, I’ll probably start reading his blog for information on the area.  He does a good job at gathering as much information as possible to share with others so that the locals can make informed decisions.

Can’t tell if this blogger (Steve is his name) has a political bias or agenda, but sure we’ll discover his MO after reading more posts. The basics:  he’s an architect/designer living only a few blocks away and seems very enthusiastic about the community. (Wonder if he knows my architect? Do architects hang out and know eachother?)  He’s married, has 2.5 kids and has lived in the hood since 2003 (decent street cred).

NET: We’ll keep reading your blog Steve. ANd maybe even interact at some point.

 

Radical Idea for St Louis May 27, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — budint @ 3:47 am

Jason Pettus has a radical idea for changing the empty space of St Louis to a large collection of green space for the metro area. He also provides some nice St Louis history in his post. Yes, this was the 4th largest city in the country in 1904. what happened?

Way to think outside the box. Keep up the ideas Jason.

St Louis Right Now.
stlouisbefore.jpg

St Louis under Jason’s plan.

stlouisafter.jpg

 

Sustainablog guy Moves on May 19, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — budint @ 11:56 pm

I’m not a religious reader of Jeff McIntire’s Sustainablog, but I was always excited that this guy was writing from St Louis. Now it appears he’s moved on to work with some cats from the west coast at Green Options. Their Green Options site looks overly corporate to me; lots of adverts too.

Oh well. I’m sure Jeff will continue to write great sustainable posts, though now I’ll be very suspicious of any corporate sponsor motives.

Good luck Jeff.

 

Black Google = Blackle May 15, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — budint @ 1:50 am

 So not surprising, a white screen takes more power to display than a black screen, so when Google came up with a black version it was calculated that the energy savings could be 750 Megawatts per year if everyone switched over.

I’ll switch over….if I remember the name blackle. Kind of hard to remember though. Why can’t Google just step up to the plate and switch their main search site to black? Or maybe add black borders to begin with. That should save something, right?