Category Archives: Green Tips

This Week’s Show Guests-Mike Runyan from Re-Store-Home Improvement Outlet Store! Benefits Habitat for Humanity

 Tomorrow’s show will be featuring the unique store called, “Re-Store” which touts itself as a “Home Improvement Outlet Store”. The store now has as a manager Mike Runyan who you may recall owned “Food 4 Less” and more recently “Skyhawk Market Place”. He is also a former City Council person from Santa Rosa. Mike brings his considerable retail expertise to Re-Store.  Alli and I took a tour of  Re-Store and found it a fun place to shop.  Re-Store sells new, used, and surplus donated goods at greatly reduced prices to the general public. 100% of the profits support Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County. Continue reading

Our Guest Today–John Sutter–2nd appearance-Winterizing your Home–HERS Audits? Sonoma County Homeowners take note!

Home Energy Rating Systems or HERS will be our topic today with return guest John Sutter ownner of ABS (Applied Building Science) Building Performance Contractor–For Energy related construction, applications and auditing. 707-528-3468 or direct: 707-703-5244  jsutter@absnorthbay.com

What is a Home Energy Rating?

A home energy rating involves an analysis of a home’s construction plans and onsite inspections. Based on the home’s plans, the Home Energy Rater uses an energy efficiency software package to perform an energy analysis of the home’s design. This analysis yields a projected, pre-construction HERS Index.

Upon completion of the plan review, the rater will work with the builder to identify the energy efficiency improvements needed to ensure the house will meet ENERGY STAR performance guidelines. The rater then conducts onsite inspections, typically including a blower door test (to test the leakiness of the house) and a duct test (to test the leakiness of the ducts). Results of these tests, along with inputs derived from the plan review, are used to generate the HERS Index for the home.

Unlike a Building Performance Audit or a weatherization assessment, a home energy rating is a recognized tool in the mortgage industry. Home energy ratings can be used in a variety of ways in the housing industry. Since a rating quantifies the energy performance of a home, the HERS Index provides an easily understandable means to compare the relative energy efficiency of different homes.

 

HERSIndex

Before Starting Your Next Home Improvement Project….Think “ReStore”

ReStore has moved into their new diggs off of Piner at Industrial.  If you liked their tiny home off of Cleveland, you’ll be thrilled at all the space they now have. If you’ve never been, you really should stop in and peruse their goodies before heading off to the home improvent stores.  Wondering what to do with all those project extras?…. This is the place !

What is ReStore?

ReStore is a home improvement outlet store that sells donated, new, used, and surplus goods to the public at a greatly reduced prices. Every penny of profit is used to support Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County.

ReStore also accepts donations of most “Home Improvement” type items. Call for a list of items they cannot accept.

What is Habitat?

Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County is dedicated to improving lives by building modest, affordable homes in Sonoma County. Volunteers from the community and the families who will live in these affordable houses build them together. Our vision is for every person in Sonoma County to have a simple, decent place to live.

Learn more about Habitat for Humanity at their main website: http://sonomacountyhabitat.org

Farmer’s Markets blooming with the Season–17 Farmer’s Markets for Sonoma County

17 Sonoma County farm markets to choose from! Thanks to the Press Democrat for compiling these! Spring is the season for Farmer’s Markets! Nothing anchors us to our area more than to see the bounty of our very fertile county spread out before you in a horn of plenty at a local Farmer’s Market. Just add the creativity of our citizens and chefs and PRANG! Great eats!

Published in the Press Democrat: Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 3:00 a.m.


  1. Cotati Farmers Market, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, June 3 through September at La Plaza Park, Old Redwood Highway and West Sierra Avenue. 795-5508. cotati.org.
  2. Duncans Mills Farmers Market, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, late May through Continue reading

Pacific Coast Builders Conference–Debuting of “HybridCore Home” –Alternatives to New Homes in Sonoma County, California

Alternatives to New Homes in Sonoma County,California — Debuting of the “HybridCore Home” CaliforniaPacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC )HybridecoreImages

PCBC is a community of builders and manufacturers, building scientists and architects, environmental engineers and landscape companies, working together to advance the art and science of community building. Started 50 years ago as the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, PCBC brings together people creating better communities, imagining and building the places where we love to live.

HybridCore Home to Debut at PCBC

PCBC takes pride in advancing the art and science of community building and will continue that tradition in 2010 with the unveiling of an exciting new home building paradigm designed to cut costs while providing the utmost in quality and efficiency. HybridCore Homes has chosen PCBC 2010 as the debut showcase for their new HybridCore Home, which promises to shake up the industry at its very core. Continue reading

National Housing Starts Lowest Since Tracking Began in 1959

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that housing starts reached an annual rate of 791,000 last month, the lowest level since the department began tracking starts in 1959. The rate tumbled 4.5% from the revised reading of 828,000 in September.

Note also the magnitude of the drop in the chart below— it is unprecedented, having easily surpassed the 1982 collapse, the present circumstances have now become slightly worse than the 1973-75 fall.

A grim report ….but nothing we didn’t already suspect.  An unfortunate reality for the contruction industry.  In the end, demand will determine the supply. As we recently learned, supply does not create its own demand.  It’s an interesting path we’re on ….eh?

Listen on Sunday 2/21 as my guest John Sutter of ABS (Applied Building Science) explains the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) and how it is creating jobs for the local construction industry, and how he has re-invented his own business to accomidate his interest in environmental issues, reducing his clients carbon footprint..and utility bill,  as well as sustaining his business. It’s a perfect shift.

Listen in Sunday from 9-10 am 1350 KSRO or streaming live at www.ksro.com. Continue reading

When Life Hands You Lemons…..Clean the House ??

Lemons are NOT just for Lemonade. Lemons offer multiple purposes around the home and are perfect for green cleaning solutions! Lemons are great to use as cleaning agents because they have an anti-bacterial effect and are thought to contain antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties.

If you are the DIY’er and like to make your own green cleaners, here are 5 uses for lemon to try the next time your ready to freshen-up the house!
  • Microwave cleaning- Have stains or odors in the microwave? Heat a bowl of water and lemon slices in your microwave for 1 minute; then wipe out. Stains will be easier to remove and old food odors neutralized.
  • Toilet cleaning- Mix 1/2 cup borax and a cup of lemon juice for a toilet cleaner that will leave the toilet cleaning and smelling fresh.
  • Glass cleaning- Mix 4 tablespoons of lemon juice with half a gallon of water to make an effective green window cleaner.
  • Fridge cleaning- Half of lemon stored in the refrigerator will help control unpleasant smells.
  • Kitchen drains- Hot lemon juice and baking soda is a good drain cleaner that is safe to use in septic systems. If you have a garbage disposal, toss in some lemon peels occasionally  to keep it smelling fresh.