Planting Seeds

At the inception of EcoLiving Property, we aimed to have a positive impact on the properties we touched and the communities surrounding them.  We wanted to inspire others to follow our influence and see how homes can be renovated in a mindful way which reduces harm to the environment.  We knew with every project we would find ways to improve our own system; increase the sustainable ideas and decreasing the waste.  We knew we would face challenges and that others would doubt our ability to accomplish our goals.

What I failed to realize is the positive impact we would have within our own house and with the next generation EcoLiving home rehabber.  My daughter has absorbed so much of the business from how we preview a property and estimate repairs, to what products we use in our projects and how we market.  She can recite many of the things I tell to real estate agents, contractors and fellow investors about our business.  And she is excited about some day being responsible for her own project.  Now if she could differentiate between colors/patterns of her own preference and the preferences of the majority of buyers I would say she is about ready.

This knowledge and experience will give her financial security early in life by recognizing the value of real estate and understanding the business.  Even better, she identifies the desire to protect the environment.  I have no doubt my daughter will continue to improve our processes and share the positive influence until the environment will no longer need protection.  I’m just grateful to be planting the seeds.

Shopping and ReShopping

We will close on our first deal of the New Year next week and have eagerly begun design plans and purchasing for this renovation.  Our decision to start a home redevelopment company was simple.  The real and more important challenge became how to rehab homes to cleaner, greener living environments for the future families who would own them.  With each project we intend to take the care and thoughtfulness as if these were houses our families planned to move into.

Our passion for creating cleaner and greener homes comes from a deeply personal concern for human health and the health of the environment for future generations.  We, like many others, know how illness can devastate a person and their family.  Understanding the science of some diseases and the environmental factors which can cause them, drives us to be mindful of avoiding as many toxic chemicals as possible in our house flipping projects.  Again, we want to ensure the homes we create are environments we would feel confident about living in ourselves.

Yesterday was a productive day of shopping cabinets, counter tops, sinks and lighting fixtures.  We bought a few things to add to our stored items for this house and are beginning to see the design plans come together.  I like to actually have a visual of the items we are putting into each room while we continue shopping, so I started a spreadsheet with pictures of the items we have purchased so far.  I struggled to find a photo online for one of the vanity lights we bought and was disappointed when I did.  The light was listed for sale online with the following warning:

Prop 65 Warning

WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.  

Upon further investigation…  This warning means a chemical material used to make this lighting fixture is included in the approximately 800 chemicals listed as hazardous to human health according to the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.  The list, determined by The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and the California Environmental Protection Agency, summarizes naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects.  The companies can knowingly continue to use these materials as long as they notify the consumer with the Prop 65 label.

Now do we believe by using this vanity light you are asking for cancer? No.  Do we believe this company manufacturing the lights maliciously plan to make people ill?  No.  Is it possible that businesses ignore the health of consumers over the profit for the company? Perhaps.  And do we, as a business trying to be profitable, have to also ignore the health of consumers?  Absolutely not.

Unfortunately it will be impossible for us to eliminate ALL the harmful chemicals which are utilized in housing materials, however, we are committed to reducing as many as possible.  And for all of the progress we made in buying products for our newest renovation, you can consider us in need of one more new vanity light.