“Doing things that align with nature” is the best way to carve out a sustainable existence, according to Ken Radtkey ’83. And he should know — he has spent his entire career focusing on how to work with the land. Radtkey cofounded Blackbird Architects in 1995, and for the past 26 years he and his team have created award-winning buildings, homes and landscapes that merge beautiful design and sustainable practices.
Ken Radtkey Offers Tips for Making Your Home Eco-Friendly
Use landscaping to enhance warm and cold spots. Plant trees, for example, to shade windows that receive lots of sun.
Gathering any water or moisture that comes off your roof is gold, according to Radtkey, and great for the garden.
Get a water meter smart device such as the Flume water monitor. Knowledge is power.
Make a compost pile and/or a worm bin. “Soil is full of carbon and it's great for your plants,” says Radtkey.
If you are buying a house, find out its Walk Score, which is a grading system related to the abode’s proximity to amenities like grocery stores, etc. “Building in the foothills is wonderful and enjoyable but is not necessarily the most sustainable,” Radtkey notes.