Warming Gifts for a Green Home

Warming Gifts for a Green Home

Barb and Tom with their new Upcycled BikesAfter so much hard work from the entire team, Barb Scott and Tom Elliott moved into their custom, extremely green, home just in time for the holidays. The Desert Rain project has been a such long haul, with so many design and material challenges, and Tom and Barb have been so unswerving in their dedication to the project, that a few of the team members (Al Tozer, ML Vidas, Morgan Brown, and Timberline Construction) wanted to give them something special as a house warming gift.

But what do you give someone whose home is the epitome of green building and sustainability?  Barb and Tom have been dedicated to researching where every bit of hardware used to construct their home is from and how every fiber of material has been harvested, treated, and transported. The team knew their gift should be local, reclaimed/recycled/upcycled/salvaged if possible, and most importantly serve an important function.

When James (Fagan of Timberline Construction) suggested a set of city or commuter bikes from Bend Velo, the team agreed wholeheartedly. These bikes are more than merely cleaned up old cruisers. They embody the core values the Living Building Challenge encourages and are, in fact, symbols of community.

Bend Velo Custom Upcycled BikesBend Velo refurbishes old bike frames into stylish new commuter bikes. It’s a concept owner Eric Powers has built over the past few years into a local brand he calls J. Livingston. The J in the J. Livingston line is actually John, an avid bicycle commuter and community minded person who also happens to be Barb and Tom’s neighbor down the street.

Local metal fabricator and welder, Hans Eriksson, not only worked on the Desert Rain project, he also does projects for Bend Velo.  A talented metal worker, Hans alters traditional men’s bike frames, making them step-throughs like the bike Barb now has.

Wood Fenders from Salvaged MyrtlewoodThe new bikes have another special feature you won’t find on many other rides – custom and locally made, wood fenders by Woody’s Fenders. And, like all things Desert Rain, these fenders are made from the most locally and sustainably sourced materials – in this case, scraps of wood flooring from the Desert Rain home itself, which is salvaged Myrtlewood. These fenders are as stunning as you might imagine.

These bikes come with racks for carrying things, are geared for getting around town efficiently, and have custom, classically styled paint and accents. The His and Hers set will undoubtedly be put to good use over the years to come by Tom and Barb as well as the friends and family that visit them.