Flourish Magazine

Summer 2013

Flourish Magazine, the North Bay's Guide to Sustainable Living. Serving Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties and sharing the stories of local people working towards sustainable living, organic foods and eco-conscious lifestyles.

Issue link: https://www.ifoldsflip.com/i/137514

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Page 16 of 55

Built on the footprint of the original Craftsman from 1918, the newly constructed home is now leak-free and energy efficient. Craftsman style wood trim accents the energy efficient windows in the bedrooms. M indy Uhrlaub had a grasp on her own green-living The couple began their search for a smaller home in their beloved Seminary neighborhood. Two and a half years ago they discovered the perfect property a block away. It was exactly what they wanted: a lot in the Seminary flats close to the local school. It came with a bonus - a majestic valley oak tree in the backyard. "It's sensibilities, but exposure through travels to Africa further chal- hundreds of years old and I just fell in love with that tree," Uhrlaub lenged her perspective. says. "They recycle everything," the San Anselmo resident says. "You The drawback was the leaky, rat-infested and energy-depleting can bring diapers for babies, for example, and they'll appreciate 93-year old house. It had to go, but, "we felt weird throwing out it, but generally don't use them. I realized I can only really help the old house and putting it in the landfill," Uhrlaub says. "Since people by reducing my own carbon footprint." we were putting up a house that would be larger than the existing This shift in thinking gave Mindy and husband Kirk the encouragement to re-evaluate their own lifestyle. "We realized we needed less space," she explains. "We didn't have the number of one, the least we could do was damage the environment as little as possible." Their solution? Hire The Reuse People of America to deconstruct kids needed to fill the house that we owned and we had rooms we the house, board by board. TRP, an Oakland-based national non- never used." profit firm, salvages materials, from lighting, lumber, appliances "If we were going to be green," she says, "we had to talk the talk and walk the talk." and cabinetry to doors and floors, bricks and windows. TRP then recycles everything possible by selling to the public. That translated to living within walking distance of the school "They were amazing," Uhrlaub remembers. "These guy were for their sons. The boys had been going to private school, she says, pulling nails out of boards and pulling down the house almost like "but we believe in the power of community, of dropping the kids a kid takes apart Legos. There were piles of nails, railings, win- off and seeing neighbors and becoming involved." dows, wood all over the yard. SUMMER 2013 • FLOURISH 17

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