As you may recall, we launched a Green Home Contest a while back, which comes with a truly outstanding prize provided by Joie de Vivre Hotels, the leading green hotel chain. Well we have our winners! We are inspired and awed by Erik Knutzen and Kelly Coyne, who truly embrace the Low Impact Living lifestyle in their home. We all have a ton to learn from them. Erik and Kelly win a fabulous 3-night stay at the very environmentally-friendly Hotel Carlton in San Francisco– and boy do they deserve it!
Erik and Kelly own a small bungalow in Los Angeles. Not only do they live in a very sustainable home, the also do their own farming and raise chickens at home! The two of them live in a 1,000 square foot house, which they have outfitted with numerous green features. Here’s their impressive list:
- Low-flow showerheads, toilets and sink aerators
- 95+% CFLs indoors
- Drip irrigation and no grass
- Rain shutoff on irrigation system AND smart irrigation controller
- Shade trees planted
- Compost vegetable wastes at home
- Rain barrels & rain gardens to capture runoff
- Programmable thermostat
- Graywater system(shhh…don’t ask to see the permits)
- Purchase green power from their utility
In addition to these very efficient green-home features, Erik and Kelly also keep their carbon footprint low by driving and flying very little. Erik is a committed biker. He bike commutes and rarely uses a car. His wife, Kelly, owns an older Acura but only drives it 4,000 miles per year (which is much lower than the 10-12K miles/year American average!). They also only make one airplane flight each year– don’t forget that the emissions from air travel are a major contributor to global warming. So Erik and Kelly really have low non-home carbon footprints, which is excellent.
What is even better is that this amazing green duo also publishes an outstanding blog– the cleverly titled Homegrown Evolution. They write about such engaging topics as urban gardening, raising chickens, making beer, and much more. Definitely spend some time on their blog– it’s a great read. And I’m also excited to check out their book– The Urban Homestead, which is “your guide to self-sufficient living in the heart of the city.” They say they are now working on a second book. This is one productive pair!
We respectfully tip our hats to Kelly and Erik, and we hope they have a wonderful time in San Francisco. Thank you to all who entered the contest– we’re very moved by the work you are doing to live more sustainable lives. The planet needs you!