November 2019 Designer’s Corner

Harmonious Design Joel

Joel Barnes, interior designer

One of the keys to creating a truly satisfying interior is to always consider Harmony in your design. This can mean the difference between an acceptable upgrade and a truly satisfying transformation. 

Whether it be a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or several rooms in the house, the most successful designs employ a unifying theme throughout. Whether your theme is modern, rustic, charming cottage, sophisticated, mid-century, or something else, the materials you select should not only reflect the theme you’ve chosen, they should genuinely “play well together.”

Start to think about cohesiveness. Consider using the same color trim throughout, at least in the common spaces of your home. While you may want to change things up in one particular room, consider choosing a consistent color scheme throughout the house so spaces don’t feel jarring when you move from room to room. Likewise, ask yourself, “does the flooring flow beautifully from one room to the next?” When selecting new tile for the kitchen or bath, is it a shocking transition, or does it speak the same basic language as other elements and flooring nearby? Contrast is great, and we’ll talk more about that in our next article, but harmony is key to a satisfying design, and should be part of every decision you make. Just because you may LOVE each one of the materials and colors on their own does not mean they enjoy one another’s company. A good party works well when the guests get along. Even if they’re from very different backgrounds, it helps if they all speak at least one common language. 

Consider the relationships between materials, too. For example, is there a bit of warm rust tone in the flooring that could be picked up in your countertop, cabinets, or backsplash? Are you using the same color white here as you are over there, or does one white make the other seem much too yellow? Is one grey quite cool while another is warm? If they are fighting each other, the design won’t feel quite right. Try to bring samples of what you love along with you when looking for new materials to add in, and bring samples home to see them in your own space, your own lighting, and against existing elements that you know will stay put. 

We will be continuing the Designer’s Corner in the months ahead. I hope this has been helpful. Stop in and see us, and we’ll be happy to help you along your path to successful design.

October 2019 news

Eco-Rambling On

I recently moved my daughter Isabel up to UC Berkeley for the fall semester. She transferred as a junior in Psychology after completing her degree at Cabrillo in the spring. Proud dad! The move went very smoothly for her – spiffy dorm, own room, new friends, loves her professors. She’s a planner and worked hard to get things set up. For me, the change has come with its adjustments, to say the least! In fact, I look differently now at every parent who has experienced their child moving out. Should we say emotional rollercoaster?She was recently telling me about her experience getting her kitchen set up that she shares with three other roommates. Apparently, Isabel has become the go-to expert on all things compostable and recyclable in the household. That’s my girl – continuing the legacy of saving the planet one teaching moment at a time!

- Brian Corser, owner

New Cork Composite Flooring

WISE Cork by Amorim

Another beautiful alternative to vinyl flooring!
Amorium is at it again, offering ten cork-composite floor options that are completely waterproof and free of vinyl and other toxic ingredients while having one of the toughest wear ratings on the market using food grade recycled PET plastic!

Cork is one of the most eco-friendly flooring options on the market. Amorim has reached a remarkable CO2 negative footprint in its entire process. Cork harvesting is an environmentally friendly process during which not a single tree is damaged. The bark regenerates itself after each extraction in preparation for the next harvesting. A harvested cork oak tree absorbs 5 times more CO2 from the atmosphere than a tree that hasn’t been harvested, helping to reduce global warming.

Come in today to see the 10 gorgeous cork styles! $5.99/square foot

For more information, see amorimflooring.com.

Coyuchi’s Fall Colors

Sustainable organic textiles for your home.
Coyuchi has introduced a variety of lovely new colors and styles for the fall. Whether you are looking to refresh your bedroom or add a beautiful throw to your living room, we have beautiful new options for you. Come feel your way through our swatch books and find your next gorgeous organic towel, sheet, blanket, or duvet!

Help Cathy Refurbish Her Cast Iron Outdoor Furniture with Milk Paint!

I’m starting a new project refurbishing my vintage Rococo-style cast iron garden furniture. I inherited four pieces from my grandparents years ago. My grandmother purchased them at an auction in the early ’70′s – she never paid full price for anything! After years in the garden, these pieces are ready for a refresh.

Please help! What color should I paint these beautiful pieces? I’d love for my daughter to enjoy them for years to come. I’m looking for a fresh new coat of milk paint to bring them back to life.

Milk Paint is a safe, non-toxic, and versatile finish that has stood the test of time. Composed of milk protein, hydrated lime, plant-based fillers, and iron oxides, milk paint is a natural, eco-friendly choice for a variety of indoor and outdoor projects.

I’ve selected 8 possible colors for this project. Please take a look and vote for your favorite! Then check back next month to see pictures of the process and of the finished project. Let’s get painting!

Milk Paint Color Poll

Eco Fusion Flooring Sale

October 1 – 31

For the month of October, greenspace is offering deep discounts on over 40 strandwoven bamboo floors from Ecofusion. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource. Bamboo floors come in a wide variety of colors and styles, making them an excellent choice for almost any style home.

For more information, see ecofusionflooring.com.

Avoiding Flooring Mistakes

This is the fifth in a series of posts designed to help you succeed in your home projects.

Tip #5 – Choosing the right material!

The last mistake you want to avoid when installing a new floor is  choosing the wrong material for your space and for your lifestyle. Wood floors look gorgeous in a kitchen, but if you are an exuberant chef who drips and splashes all over your kitchen floor, you may be happier in the long run with tile or linoleum, or a vinyl-free waterproof floor, something that is water resistant and easy to clean. Tile floors can be dramatic and beautiful in all living spaces, but if you like to sit on the floor or have young children (or old dogs!), they may be too cold and hard for some rooms. Things dropped on tile floors tend to break and small people who fall down on tile floors tend to hurt themselves. Carpet, cork, or wood floors are much friendlier options for the rooms where you spend the most time.

So, are you looking for a floor that can hold up to heavy traffic? One that will feel warm and cozy? One that will enhance your home’s resale value? Come in and talk to us! Let us help you choose the perfect material for your next flooring project.

September 2019 news

Eco-Rambling On

I have a small Swiss army knife that I always carry with me. It has five features: knife blade, nail file/screwdriver, scissors, toothpick and tweezers. No corkscrew, no magnifying glass, no leather hole punch, no flash drive. It’s reusable, durable, practical and convenient. It is actually one in a line of at least an identical dozen that I’ve had in my life – many of them lost to airport TSA or swallowed in any number of couches I’ve sat in over the years. I truly feel I am unprepared to meet the challenges of the day without it. But then, that’s the kind of guy I am – boy scout!Now I mention this because it has also had one unintended, yet fortunate consequence in its use. Many years ago, I was walking with a sweet gal in San Francisco who I recently started dating. She happened to be wearing sandals and got a splinter in her foot. We stopped, looked at the splinter, (and you know where I’m going with this), I pulled out my Swiss army knife and the tweezers and with it the splinter. My date claimed that at that moment she knew she wanted to marry me.  And we did – just five years later.- Brian Corser, owner

NEW WATERPROOF FLOORING

WISE by Amorim

Our gorgeous new alternative to vinyl flooring!
Looking for beautiful and comfortable wood-look waterproof flooring for your home that is free of vinyl and other toxic ingredients? We have the answer! WISE by Amorim is composed of layers of cork with a rigid core made of cork amalgamate and natural crushed stone. It is topped with beautiful wood-look veneers and a non-PVC protective wear-resistant layer, making it easy to maintain.

WISE is comfortable to walk on, soft, quiet, and warm. Amorim goes to great lengths to “green” their production process, making WISE a “Climate Positive” flooring choice. It also meets the highest European indoor air quality standards. And did we mention it is waterproof?!

Come in today to see the 10 gorgeous wood styles! $4.99/square foot

For more information, see amorimflooring.com.

 

AVOIDING FLOORING MISTAKES

This is the fourth in a series of posts designed to help you succeed in your home projects.

Tip #4 – Acclimating!

Another pitfall to avoid when installing new flooring is not allowing it to acclimate to the space before installation. For the most successful installation, you want the humidity level and temperature of your flooring materials to match that of your space, preventing potential buckling or gaps due to the material swelling or shrinking after installation. The way to achieve that is through acclimating the flooring – letting it sit in your space for several days before installation. You’ll want to check the manufacturer’s installation instructions for their recommendation on how long the materials need to acclimate and whether the boxes of flooring should be opened or kept sealed during this time. Some solid bamboo floors need up to 5 days to acclimate. Engineered floors may need only 24-48 hours. Be sure to find out what your floor needs before you start installing! Always let the manufacturer’s installation instructions be the first thing you read when researching your new floor. They are available on most manufacturers’ websites and will save you from making costly mistakes!

 

NATURAL CLEANING TIPS

DIY Soft Scrub

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s or similar)
  • 1 Tbs. hydrogen peroxide.

Mix ingredients together until your paste has a smooth thick consistency. Store in a re-purposed jar or container. Use to gently and safely scrub sinks, tubs, and other dirty areas of your home. No protective gloves or masks required!

August 2019 news

Eco-Rambling On

My daughter and I were recently visiting my cousin and his family in Arroyo Grande, just south of San Luis Obispo. While there, we were treated to one of Mother Nature’s greatest prizes – a fully grown, fruit-laden avocado tree! Not something that I ordinarily see in Santa Cruz! Being accustomed to paying nearly $3 each for an organic version of these natural wonders at New Leaf, it was like looking at a tree covered in dollar bills! Personally, I believe the avocado should be a universal currency. Forget Bit Coin, to me, the humble avocado is a valued commodity. It is the prized basis for any number of delicious dishes from guacamole to avocado toast or paired with any fresh dish you might wish to consider.Now I mention this because it is a marvel to me to reflect on the extraordinary things that Nature brings into my life. Whether backpacking the High Country of Yosemite, watching a hummingbird collect nectar from a nearby blossom, biting into a fresh ear of grilled corn, or gathering fragrant roses from my front yard for a bouquet, nature never ceases to surprise me as long as I take the time to stop, take a breath and notice.

- Brian Corser, owner

NEW PRODUCT FOR SUMMER: 

Stone Talk Ceramic Tile by Ergon

Our favorite Italian tile designer has created a new collection of natural stone-look ceramic tiles, perfect for floors, walls, and shower surrounds in five earth tones and three distinct textures: Minimal, Martellata and Rullata. (All three textures can be seen in the bathroom to the left.)We have samples of all five colors and three textures here for you to explore. Come in and take a look!

For more information, see emilamerica.com.

AVOIDING FLOORING MISTAKES

This is the third in a series of posts designed to help you succeed in your home projects.

Tip #3 – Expansion Gaps!

Many people choose floating floors for their homes because they are a reliable option and more affordable than flooring that needs to be nailed or glued down. Floating floors are a great choice for natural materials that expand and contract, because the material is not constrained by nails or glue. They are also a good choice over concrete slabs since they allow for the use of an underlayment which provides cushioning and sound dampening. That said, it is critical that floating floors be installed with expansion gaps all around them. Most gaps should be ½”, but you’ll always want to check the manufacturer’s installation instructions first. Make sure that the floor is not constrained in any direction, by walls, intersections with other floors, or other immovable objects. The gap along the perimeter is then covered with base molding or by using quarter-round trim that is nailed to the existing wall trim. This simple consideration allows the flooring to expand and prevents the floor from deforming or buckling.

June 2019 News

Eco-Rambling On

Many of you may have known my late wife Lydia. You would remember her if you had met her, all curls and outspokenness – she was the face, brains, visionary and effervescence behind Greenspace. When we bought the business in 2007, it was just about to disappear. We looked at each other and knew that somehow we wanted to this business to survive. Onward into the great recession of 2008 we charged, until the spring of 2012. All along Lydia held the business together on Soquel Avenue until what I call a financial tsunami hit, forcing us to close our doors quickly. While she and a wonderfully supportive community of friends were selling off our remaining inventory, I was out scouring the city for storage locations to put our displays and samples. We then set up an office in our living room with the paint tinter and shaker in the garage. Lydia would mix paint and leave it on our front porch for contractors – we were somehow back in business!

You see, Lydia was not the type to give up easily about anything. A few months later we found our Swift Street location and have been there ever since. Now I tell you all this because, though Lydia is no longer with us, what I call her WWLD remains. It an acronym for “What Would Lydia Do?” I use it whenever a tough decision comes my way and I want to take the easy way out. It pretty much goes along the lines of doing the exact opposite of whatever my natural inclination at times may be. I don’t always do it, but it certainly keeps me on my toes. – Brian Corser, owner

WELCOME NEW EMPLOYEE!

We are so delighted to introduce our newest greenspace team member, Joel Barnes! Joel comes to us with a background in Interior Design. Over the years he has helped a number of clients in our community and beyond. Joel studied Design at West Valley in Saratoga after years of working in the Silicon Valley tech world. He is originally from Upstate NY, but migrated to California in 1986, settling in Santa Cruz in the early 1990’s. He and his husband Tony live just steps away from Greenspace here on the Westside. Joel has a passion for helping customers with home interior design choices, and is very happy to be joining us at Greenspace. We are pleased to have his talent, enthusiasm and expertise.

Let’s keep our dollars local!

Pay by check instead of credit card and greenspace will donate 1% of your total purchase price to your favorite of the following five local charities:

** Ecology Action

** Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support

** Land Trust of Santa Cruz County

** Native Animal Rescue

** Peace of Mind Dog Rescue

In the two weeks since we informally launched this campaign, we have already generated close to $200 in donations! Please join us in keeping our dollars in our community.

new Wool Carpet Stain Remover

At last, we have found a safe, effective, low-odor wool carpet cleaner, recommended by fine wool carpet manufacturers.

WoolClean spot remover is specially formulated for high-quality wool carpet, rugs and upholstery. The WoolClean kit includes three “specialists” that come to the rescue for unexpected spots and spills:

  1. Spot Remover ­ cleans water-based spills and spots
  2. Spot Dry Remover ­ attacks grease and oil-based spots
  3. Absorb-it ­ absorbs spills or soaks up any remaining liquid as the carpet dries

New Marmoleum Colors

Just in time for spring, Forbo has introduced new additions to their Vivace, Real, and Fresco lines as well as two new lines of Marmoleum marbled colors: Terra and Splash.

Splash

From a distance, Splash colors appear light grey with a slight nuance in tone, yet from up close, Splash is an overall light grey with hints of surprising colors peeking through.

This modern and playful design is ideal for use on its own but can also act as a connector between more classic marbled and uni-patterned visuals.

Terra

Terra, a close, tight and highly contrasting structure inspired by igneous rocks. Terra colors combine a sophisticated small scale marbled structure with great soil hiding properties. The authentic mix of colors creates a versatile floor design that combines well with other Marmoleum items.

Terra’s superior appearance retention makes it ideal for use in high traffic areas such as healthcare flooring and floors for schools and provides a natural feel to any environment.

This is the second in a series of posts designed to help you succeed in your home projects.

Tip #2 – Moisture!

Another common problem homeowners run into is their wood floors expand and contract due to moisture and temperature changes. At the extreme, this can lead to cupping, crowing or buckling of the planks, or cracks and gaps between them.All natural materials respond to humidity changes — as moisture in the air increases, hardwood floors and other wood-based products will absorb the surrounding moisture and expand, and as the air dries out, these materials will release moisture back into the air and shrink. This phenomenon is known as hygroscopy and occurs year-round within your home.

There are ways to help limit flooring movement as humidity fluctuates. Installing a vapor barrier underneath your floor goes a long way to help prevent the worst effects from moisture. Some underlayments have a vapor barrier built in already. However, if you’re not using an underlayment, a durable polyethylene film known as visqueen is a safe, inexpensive, and effective option, available at local lumber yards. While maintaining your floor, most flooring manufactures recommend damp mopping, which uses less water than wet mopping, to clean up dirt and spills. Lastly, placing protective waterproof mats near exterior doors and under water bowls and planters will help prevent damage to your floor and avoid expensive repair work down the road.

May 2019 News

I just returned from a week at Tassajara, the Zen Buddhist Monastery deep in the Ventana Wilderness east of Big Sur. It was their twice annual work period and I was a volunteer carpenter helping with an array of projects to be completed before guest season begins for the summer. There is never a shortage of things to do. Last year I helped move a 30-foot gently arched Japanese bridge upstream on Tassajara Creek. This allowed for its subsequent reconstruction and the ease of movement of fire equipment. This year my projects were much more humble – I repaired doors. Doors to the dining room, doors to dressing rooms by the pool, and doors to the luggage room. Believe me, there is joy to be found in a smoothly operating door! For me, it goes along with the happiness of a car that will start or a toilet that will flush.

Sustainable Wood Countertops

Sustainable Northwest Wood offers a full line of solid wood surfaces that are made from sustainably harvested local hardwood and softwood species. Inspired by the old-world butcher block, these solid wood surfaces showcase the color, durability, and beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Sustainable Northwest Wood’s offerings include:

  • Big Leaf Maple
  • Campground Blue Pine
  • Douglas Fir
  • Myrtlewood
  • Oregon White Oak
  • Pacific Madrone
  • Restoration Juniper
  • Tanoak
  • Willamette Valley Walnut

From FSC® certified woodlands in southern Washington to the sunny hillside slopes of the Rogue Valley, the region’s many fertile forests provide the lumber for Sustainable Northwest Wood’s solid wood surfaces. The mineral content in the soil imbues these woods with rich colors, dramatic veining, and beautiful variation in the grain.

Sustainable Northwest Wood partners with small mills throughout the region to cut and kiln-dry the lumber and manufacture the solid surfaces. Ask where yours came from — they can share the story behind each piece.

This is the first in a series of posts designed to help you succeed in your home projects.

Tip #1 – Squeaky Floors!

One of the biggest complaints people have about their floors is squeaking. Most squeaks are located not in the actual floor material, but in the sub-floor! Nails can spring loose, allowing the sub-floor to move up and down when you walk over it. The wood squeaks on the nail–hence your squeaking floor!

This means, the best way to prevent squeaks is to check your subfloor while your existing flooring is pulled out, before the new floor is put in. Walk all around and listen, checking all the seams. If you find a loose spot and hear a squeak, install a screw near it, through the subfloor into the floor framing or joist, to secure it. This will reduce the chances of the subfloor coming loose again.

news from greenspace April 2019

Brian Corser

Eco-Rambling On

I’ve lived in Santa Cruz for some 30 years now. As with so many things in life, I was accidentally fortunate in landing here. At the time, my mind was set more on finding employment than on sandy beaches. I enjoy living here – great weather, there’s a cool new vibe happening on the Westside and there is always the chance of greeting a friend or neighbor when I’m out pedaling on West Cliff Drive.

I also see our beach town as a community concerned with the environment. Santa Cruz has been at forefront in reducing the use of plastic bags, styrofoam to-go containers and plastic straws. We are also committed recyclers. Whether through curbside pick-up, drop-offs at Greybears or Habitat for Humanity, we seem to be a pretty dedicated group.

Recycling often comes to my mind when I travel, especially if it involves multiple time zones. I’ll be at my new destination with my empty glass bottle, yogurt container or empty toilet paper tube and I end up hunting around airport terminals, my Air BnB rental or the local tourist attraction in the hopes of finding that familiar blue bin with the white recycling triangle on it. Many times having no luck. Ah, the guilt of throwing it in the trash! At that moment it makes me long for home. Now if I can just get rid of all those single use coffee cups in Santa Cruz, I’ll be a truly happy man!

- Brian Corser, owner

good times

Best Green Retailer 2019!

Thanks for voting us Best Green Retailer in the Good Times poll once again. We couldn’t do it without you, our wonderful customers and community. Here’s to another year of working together to make our homes and our planet a little cleaner and greener!
Micodur

New Product: Micodur

Waterproof PVC-Free Flooring

Micodur’s ground-breaking technology delivers a floor that combines the durability and stability of ceramic tiles with the simple click-down installation of a floating floor and no grout. This natural, mineral-based, vinyl-free floor is the perfect combination of cement, minerals and natural bonding fibers which provides extreme density and dimensional stability.

Advanced digital printing technology and HotCoating surface technology combine for a beautiful yet durable flooring product that works perfectly in both residential and commercial areas. Micodur’s stability is possible due to its durable mineral core board and is an excellent alternative to plastic or wood-based flooring.

  • No expansion or separation
  • Waterproof
  • Anti-slip and anti-static
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Multiple designs available

See lico-us.com for more information.

teragren studio

Teragren Bamboo Flooring Sale

10% off Teragren floors

April 1 – 30

Teragren has redesigned its entire line of bamboo flooring, adding beautiful new colors and styles. Bamboo flooring is durable, elegant, and sustainable.

See teragren.com for more information.

Coyuchi towels

Coyuchi Sale

20% off towels & robes

April 1 – 30

20% off Coyuchi’s certified organic bath towels, mats, and robes for the month of April.

See coyuchi.com for more information.

OMI Terra

OMI Earth Day Sale

20% off latex mattresses & accessories

April 19 – 27

20% off OMI’s solid organic latex mattress, pillows, mattress covers, pads, and other accessories. This amazing sale includes the Flora, the Flora Nouveau, and the popular Terra mattresses.

See omimattress.com for more information.

squeegeeIt’s time for spring cleaning! All of us at greenspace avoid bringing toxic chemicals into our homes whenever possible. Luckily, you can clean your home using products that you probably already own.Here is Cathy’s glass cleaning recipe. We’ve tried a few different homemade formulas over the last year and she swears this one is the best:

Homemade Glass Cleaner

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Combine in a reusable spray bottle and shake well each time you use it. Enjoy your sparkling clean mirrors and windows!

news from greenspace November 2018

Construction News

construction

Crews are coming on Friday to pave Ingalls Alley, the new street being constructed in front of our store! Once the asphalt is in, permeable pavers will be installed at the intersection with Swift Street. The pavers will catch some of the rainwater that we hope will be coming our way this winter. Once those pavers are installed, you should be able to drive up and park in front of the store! The end is in sight.

For now, though, parking is still in the back of the building. For more information and a parking lot map, see greenspacecompany.com/construction/. And if you want to know more about what is happening in our parking lot, check out delaware-addition.com/.


NEW NATURAL LATEX MATTRESSES AT AN AMAZING PRICE

MettaBedThe Metta Bed

In response to customer demand, OMI has created a new mattress system called the Metta Bed.

Metta Beds are made using all natural botanical latex, organic unbleached cotton, and organic wool. They have no inner springs or petroleum-based latex. What’s more, Metta Beds come with free comfort exchanges, free returns, and competitive pricing:

  • Twin $899
  • Full $1199
  • Queen $1299
  • King $1599

Metta Bed mattresses are a great value, GREENGUARD Gold Certified, and super comfortable! What’s more, they are made in Northern California by a company you can trust. And you can test one out before ordering. Come lie on a Metta Bed today!

Visit our store or see website (mettabed.com/pages/comfort-guarantee) for complete details on Metta Bed’s comfort exchange and return policy.


CONSTRUCTION SALES FOR NOVEMBER

coyuchi

Week 1: “Refresh for Guests” Coyuchi Sale

November 1 – 10

20% off all Coyuchi organic cotton sheets, towels, blankets, and more. Treat yourself to some organic goodness today!

paint

Week 2: Paint

November 12 – 17

10% off Colorhouse & AFM interior paints.

Time to freshen up your home before your Thanksgiving guests arrive! Earth-friendly, human-safe paint is more affordable than you think. We can match colors from 90+ name-brand paint collections!

See colorhousepaint.com or afmsafecoat.com to learn more.

shepherds dream

Week 3: Shepherd’s Dream

November 19 – 24

10% off Shepherd’s Dream natural eco-wool bedding, constructed with organic cotton fabric in a Northern California workshop. Wool pillows, comforters, and mattress toppers are all on sale this week. Sleep in natural comfort!

See shepherdsdream.com for more information.

Rossa

Week 4+: OMI Holiday Sale

November 26 – December 16

OMI mattresses are made with 100% certified organic botanical latex, wool, and cotton. The cleanest, most environmentally-friendly natural latex mattress you can find — and comfort that is unmatched.

Offer includes:

  • Twin $200 off
  • Full $300 off
  • Queen $400 off
  • King $500 off
  • 20% off OMI accessories

See omimattress.com  for more information.

 

 

 

eco ramblings November 2018

I strive to live a simple life, one clear of clutter and filled with peace and purposeful space. Recently, I’ve been slowly working through my house, attempting to reduce the amount of stuff surrounding me and it has not been easy. I have been amazed at my attachment to possessions and how difficult it has been to let things go.

I had a boss in a previous career who summed up nicely how I felt about how much stuff to have. “Enough to carry in a backpack at a dead run” summed it up. But that was when I younger and desiring to be quick and nimble. At 60, things are a little different. Having a home, a partner, a child and a dog, it was easy for things to accumulate. There was a time, in my pointless attempt to stem the tide of possessions coming into the house, that I even voiced the ridiculous goal of  “one thing into the house, one thing out.” This was met with various levels of eye-rolling from family members and replies of “yes, Honey, we know.”

My current project is sorting out my master bedroom closet – a challenging task to say the least. I have found that I am not above asking forgiveness from my surroundings for letting go of some unused item that has been sitting on a hanger or shelf, sometimes for years. I have rediscovered some things in the process – an art piece, a book or an article of clothing. But much of it I have given a kiss goodbye and sent on its way. I find I feel a lightness and that my memories surrounding those items remain undiminished.

- Brian Corser

eco ramblings october 2018

I have an Excelsior Food Dehydrator. In fact, it’s in my workshop now, drying pears from the little orchard in our backyard. I was told it was the Cadillac of food dehydrators by my wife when she brought it home from a yard sale two years ago for the amazing price of $5. It just needed a little work was all… Hmm, was this Lydia project now going to become a Brian project? But we set to work: Lydia replaced the plastic drying screens with stainless steel ones, and I rebuilt the interior of the drying box. The end result was, in a nutshell, fantastic! I’ve used it for drying all manner of fruits and vegetables, taking the bounty on backpacking trips in the Sierras and as work snacks to sustain me when underneath kitchen sinks and replacing toilets. (I’m a plumber.)

I like to fix things. I take it as a personal challenge to see if I can revive a tired vacuum cleaner or non-functioning kitchen appliance. I’ve come to believe that life remains in so many things that I own that have a problem functioning and seem ready to be discarded. Now, this is not to say that I’m always successful in my undertakings – recently I had my 20-year-old non-functioning Bosch dishwasher on its side and disassembled in my kitchen, twice! I ultimately had to replace it. That being said, I have such a feeling of satisfaction in reviving for at least another day some well-loved gadget that will now serve me just a little bit longer.

If you’ve been by Greenspace anytime in the last four months, you will have noticed that things are a wee bit torn up on the exterior of the entire complex. Thank you for your patience! The building owners are doing the same thing with their building that I do at my house – breathing new life into the location and tying it into the Delaware Addition development they own directly behind us. I believe they are on the home stretch with the project and when complete in the next month or so, it will be amazing! Lighted crosswalk islands allowing safe pedestrian crossing to all the great shops across Swift Street from us – Kelly’s Bakery, Santa Cruz Yoga, West End Tap Room, and perhaps a new corner cafe – need I go on? So once again, a big thank you to all of you who support and believe in Greenspace and return time and time again to see what new life you too can breathe into your homes.

- Brian Corser