Shelter: Survival, Sense of Place + Social Status (Part 2)

By Brett Marlo DeSantis All living things on this planet need a form of shelter to survive. A fairly simple concept—shelter—something that forms a place of protection. Yet the subject is far from simple. How do we meet our basic needs in today’s built environment? We have become a somewhat static civilization. Most of our […]

An Intentional Way of Life

February 2016 Issue GHLL By Brett Marlo DeSantis Ravish natural resources, manufacture toxic things, produce more and more stuff with a less skilled workforce, developing a world of waste requiring rules and regulations to protect us from the stuff we have brought into being. Was this the intention of the Industrial Revolution? Industrialists were eager […]

To Behave or Not to Behave…

Featured in the January 2016 Issue of Gig Harbor Living Local Rethinking the way we inhabit (the short list.) By Brett Marlo DeSantis Recently George Washington University published a study on Nature and nurture: Human brains evolved to be more responsive to environmental influences. They are suggesting that the human brain is extensively shaped by […]

Hemp as Building Material, Part 2

Posted on Nov 27, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

Hemp as Building Material Part 2 From doubting to touting By Brett Marlo DeSantis It is environmentally friendly, easy to use and long lasting. How does hemp become a real building material? In 1938, Popular Mechanics Magazine reported: From the farmer’s point of view, hemp is an easy crop to grow and will yield from […]

Cultivate culture by salvaging structures. Part two.

Posted on Aug 29, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

“Protect the past. Shape the future.”-DAH&P By Brett Marlo DeSantis If every building has its own story to tell….what would yours say? Would you save the structure if you could? Would it have historic integrity? What are the qualities of a certified historic structure? What are the benefits of historic preservation?  There are the seven qualities to assess when considering […]

Transport yourself…

Posted on Jun 15, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

Gain time, relax and enjoy your trip. By Brett Marlo DeSantis Will you peddle a bike? Or go for a hike? Would you forgo your car if the trip was not far? Would you get on a bus if it wasn’t a fuss? Take a trip on a trolley, and bring your friend Wallie? Every […]

Designing Walkable Communities (Part 2)

Posted on May 30, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

Gig Harbor, you walked + reconsidered Designing walkable communities Part 2 Check out what your fellow citizens think of our downtown! By Brett Marlo DeSantis In February, you were invited to join the City of Gig Harbor & the Downtown Waterfront Alliance in conducting a walking audit of our downtown. We thank you for your […]

Are you certifiable?

Posted on Apr 25, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

By Brett Marlo DeSantis It’s in our history and nature to award a decorative object as a sign of our success. Today, we give every child a ribbon because they gave it try. They practiced and participated. It’s showing up that takes the most effort, right? I’m currently a soccer mom, and I want a […]

Think BIG, design small.

Posted on Jan 2, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

By Brett Marlo DeSantis Hopefully, by now you have read my columns on tiny houses and ADUs, and feel well-informed on some viable small building BIG living options. So let’s talk about the importance of design. It is critical in small spaces. Whether designing tiny, small or compact, time expended in the initial planning and […]

Is your home really a good investment?

Posted on Jan 2, 2015 in inspiring INvironmentalism

By Brett Marlo DeSantis The average American is getting older and the average American household is getting smaller. Most of us want to age-in-place where we developed our social connections and invested in our community. We are looking for financially sustainable lifestyles as solutions. And luckily, for some of us, ADUs are that answer. An […]