Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tacoma's EnviroHouse

In light of our upcoming move, I've discovered the City of Tacoma landfill and recycling center. They recycle scads of stuff (much more than my local municipality), and it's helping us clear the house out. And in the process, I also discovered the EnviroHouse! Located at the entrance of the the landfill/recycling center, the EnviroHouse is "a permanent model home showcasing green building and natural landscape ideas, materials and techniques to create a healthy home and planet."

My daughter and I visited this week when dropping off recyclables, and it was so cool! The entire house (structure, counters, walls, furniture, floors, etc.) is made from either recycled materials, including glass and paper, or rapidly renewable materials such as bamboo. I can't do it justice to describe everything they've done to make the house and the landscape low-impact, energy and water efficient, and sustainable, so please read the EnviroHouse link for more. At the house, the city offers free workshops, tours and advice to people who want to learn more about making their own homes and yards more natural and sustainable.

My daughter was fascinated by everything she could touch and feel (all the different textures of materials used in the home), as well as the real-time computer readings of the solar energy being absorbed by the house, even on a rainy day! I most loved how free and open the house felt: how fresh the air in the home felt, how bright the natural light coming through the skylights was (and again, this was a very rainy day!), and like my daughter, how wonderful everything felt to touch.

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