Day 67-70: CO: Pt 1: Good Friends and Green Building

Can anyone tell me what kind of bird this is? Mom? Bill? He flew into a big picture window where we were staying and was stunned for several minutes so he rested in my hand and let us pet him before he flew away…what a treat (I am thinking he is some kind of finch from his beak.)

Oh man, I’m late writing! sorry! Colorado is as bad (good!) as Vermont. lol. Sometimes, there is just so much amazing stuff going on that I forget to record. My apologies to those who might be thumbtacking our route on your giant map of the United States, but at least for CO you’ll only have to tack the Denver/Boulder area. We never strayed from there. There was so much to see/do/learn, had to break it down into two parts.

So here’s Part One: for two days, we stayed with wonderful friends outside of Denver, who agreed to foster 2 of the 3 Colorado Spruce Trees we got from Arbor Day Farm until they are big enough to give to someone who can give them a permanent home. Little girls Sidney and Riley helped us plant them in their sideyard – and named them the trees Jewel and Digger, respectively. (Since I was helping, there are no still photos for this, which is a shame because of the missed cuteness quotient. Just have to wait for the video, i guess…) We got lots of work done and got in some kid time which was just awesome. Ben and I went with them to Lakeside Amusement Park (built 1908) which looked like it had not changed since the 1950’s and where the wooden roller coaster was thrilling mostly because we had the feeling that the skeleton rails could shatter and send us flying at any moment. Truly, we had a wonderful time.

We were lucky to stay with more good friends for the next few days while we found ourselves deluged by the bounty of the Boulder green building community.

Stu Galvis, a real estate broker and all-around cool guy Mark met climate training with Al Gore, practically set up our entire day. He brought us to a “net-zero” house built by Eric Doub (founder, EcoFutures Building, Inc) from the ground up with a 5000 gallon water tank in its belly and solar thermal and arrays, and a yard of Xeriscaping – native plants that thrive under existing water and soil conditions to really save water! Then we saw two different existing houses in varying states of completion that were being retrofitted green. When finished, electricity from solar panels on both houses will be able to charge the owners’ converted plug-in Priuses (is that the correct plural? Prii?) overnight. [Note the really cool fossil in the polished cement countertop!]

The most gratifying part of the day came at the very end – a roundtable discussion about the future of Green Building facilitated by Stu, with Eric Peltier (green mortgage broker), Pete Chandler of Living Space (energy auditor), our green builder Eric Doub, and Norbert Klebl and Ben Apple of GEOS (an affordable “green community” in development). We can’t wait to bring you the whole discussion! In the meantime, check out the websites and tomorrow I will continue with Part II of Colorado…

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