Intro Pages

Forward: A Brief Introduction

Washington is a very diverse and beautiful State with a lot to offer, and it’s population is growing by the year. The larger cities are struggling to manage this growth in a way that can be sustained for the long term and maintain if not improve usability for residents, visitors, and commercial undertakings. While this may seem like an issue  that is better left to Civil Engineers and City Officials, the choices of each individual have a measurable impact. The home one chooses to live in can have an impact on traffic congestion, waste management, resource management (water, electricity, goods,) stormwater diversion, and pollution reduction. (Rubs back from standing too long on soapbox.) Now that I’m finished telling you why you should buy a sustainably designed home….

Photo Courtesy of Bomun

Photo Courtesy of Bomun


Let me tell you why you want to buy one: Imagine no electricity bills, no gas expenses for commuting, reduced food expenditures, no sewer or waste management fees, no water bills. OK, you got me. Can’t really get around the cable, phone and internet bills if you want those things, but what kind of lifestyle could you live with your basic costs of living were drastically reduced? Pay off your student loans before you turn 40? Save up for that trip you always wanted to take? Quit the second job? Work 20 hours a week instead of 40? What would you do with the extra time?


Formaldehyde and many other dangerous chemicals are used to make some of today’s construction materials. These can drastically reduce air quality in homes causing illness. Most homes today do not facilitate the production of food or household products. It is much easier to grow food around or in your home when it is set up to facilitate this lifestyle. Organic products are expensive. Wouldn’t it be nice to know where your food is coming from?

The Rundown

The goal of Sage Digs is to provide resources and information for those seeking ways to obtain a beautifully built, Eco-friendly, sustainable home in the Inland Northwest, focusing on Eastern Washington, specifically Spokane and the surrounding area. Featuring interviews with and/or assessments of local builders and reporting on recently constructed sustainable, net zero, passive heating/cooling and tech homes as well as local providers of green, sustainably procured construction materials will be a cardinal objective. Some of these construction methods are new and some have been around for millenia. I’ll try not to go too deep into technical details as far as sustainable design is concerned, but I’m not making any promises. For those interested in delving deeper into technical aspects, I will provide some resources elsewhere on this blog.

Slowly, the world is opening up to the idea of creating sustainable systems and engaging in a way of life that doesn’t detract from the environment. The Inland Northwest I envision is a more efficient and resilient one. Help me make that happen. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below, or contact me directly. Polite advice is appreciated (go easy, I’m new at this whole blog thing.) Thanks for reading!


One thought on “Forward: A Brief Introduction

  1. Solar Energy in Spokane

    solar energy from the sun

    Using the sun to make electricity makes a lot of sense environmentally but does it make good sense economically? With the available incentives for solar energy in Spokane Washington it makes good economic sense also.

    I have a 26 panel solar electric system on my home and I have had this system for one year now.
    One of the first questions that I get asked from people who show interest in solar energy is, “How long does it take the system to pay for itself?” The short answer is; my system will pay for itself in about 7 to 8 years. This time frame is largely due to government incentive programs, both from the federal government as well as the state. There is a link at the bottom of this post that will take you to a more in depth explanation of the incentive programs for generating solar energy in Spokane Washington.

    Using solar energy in Spokane is going to vary from other parts of the country in a few ways. The first consideration is how much sun you get on an annual basis. In Spokane we have quite a few more sunny days than the west side of the state but not as much as other parts of the country. Another part of the formula is how much you pay for electricity. Because of hydroelectric energy, Spokane pays less than much of the country.

    All areas of the country will be able to take advantage of the federal tax credit. It is a onetime tax credit of 30% of the cost of the entire system. This credit is written to expire tax year of 2016.

    The federal government mandates a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) that includes wind, solar, biomass and geothermal sources of electricity. Programs will differ from state to state. These programs do require that your home be hooked up to the power grid. I have read a little about some of the programs available in other states but I am really only familiar with the program in Washington State. The information for other states is readily available on the web and is well worth checking into.

    For more information go to “The News Room” at

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