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VIDEO: Every Day is Earth Day at the Schneider Home

Jerry and Gloria Schneider designed their Southwest home with the environment in mind but offer tips that anyone can utilize.

“Every day should be Earth Day,” says Jerry Schneider.  And in Jerry and Gloria Schneider’s Southwest style home on Sea View Avenue, it is.

Environmental Design for All

A little over ten years ago, Gloria and Jerry had the luxury of designing a house that combined beauty and comfort with their passion for living in harmony with nature.  Jerry, a civil engineer with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, was able to bring all of his experience to bear on the beautiful project of their home.

One would think that Jerry and Gloria more than “walked the talk” via their home’s conscious design. But when approached about the house being featured on Patch and The View from Jack Smith’s Street, it was Jerry who suggested that we discuss features of the house that anyone could utilize no matter what style of home they lived in.

Home and Garden

Given Jerry’s recent graduate degree in landscape architecture from Cal Poly Pomona, it’s not surprising that the Schneiders also take an environmentally conscious approach to the outside of their home with everything designed for maximum water conservation.  Water thirsty plants such as roses and fruit trees are grouped together.  The flat roof over their garage not only hosts ballroom dance parties but a container garden.

Yarrow, a mowable lawn substitute, fills in the gravel and broken concrete paving of the pathway that leads from the gate to the front door and is bordered by golden California poppies.  Pots of succulents add color without requiring much water.  And the driveway is made from a permeable concrete that allows water to filter into the earth instead of running off to the sea.

Walking down the gold and green-edged path to the Schneiders' front door, it is clear that they "walk the talk" indeed.

Susan R April 21, 2012 at 02:45 PM
You said it more than once in your article. These people have plenty of money to put this kind of home together. Yep, engineer and graduate from Cal-Poly. Upper income can do these kinds of improvements. Environmental Design for all? I don't think so. Sounds like only for the rich or the 1%.
susan April 21, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Many simple choices we make add up to environmental benefit. If you need a path maybe think about water runoff. If you want some pitted plants possibly succulents etc. Often these choices are less expensive.
Susan R April 21, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Yes, for insultation, a high R number to keep noise out! And, yes for triple pane windows to keep noise out! Now lets raise taxes on that 1% so the 99% can get some free insultation and triple pane windows! I am all for that. Video only talks about what is done, but only a couple of photos. What people want is to see is what was done.
Susan R April 21, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Let's get free triple pane windows and insultation for the 99% instead of giving free golf carts to the rich. That was a nice giveaway to the 1%.
Susan R April 21, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Let's save the plants and the planet by stopping the noise that effects them. http://news.discovery.com/earth/trees-plants-noise-pollution-120320.html
Jerry Schneider April 22, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Yes, you got the intended message. You do not have to invest big $ to get big rewards in energy and water savings. There are many sources of information for tips on what anyone can do. The video and patch article were edited down and much was left out. Interested viewers can check out the EcoHome.org website link under "Archives" to see an article on our July 2003 open house that includes a complete listing of our home's features + many pictures. Jerry Schneider
Kim Axelrod Ohanneson April 23, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Susan R, In terms of examples of what was done in the Schneider house, there was a shot in the video of Jerry showing the insulation. There was a shot of the blinds that block out the sun. There was a shot of the transom windows as an *example* of how heat escaped the house and an explanation by Jerry of how people in older houses could use the same principle even without those kinds of windows. And for those who were interested in the bigger environmental purchases, there was a shot of the solar panels and photo-voltaic system for hot water. Patch is a community news website -- not HGTV! And the Schneiders' home is a beautiful and environmentally friendly home but it is far from being a mansion of the 1%!
Shawn Richardson April 23, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Holy cow, you are just willing to say anything in order to get people to support your worldview. Do you not understand what those studies to which you routinely link say or do you not care that your arguments are completely disingenuous?
Connie Rohman April 23, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I have admired the Schneider's dedication to the environment and to our neighborhood for a long time. What I liked about this video was Jerry talking about the little things that we can all do in our homes to control heat/cold naturally. Like the blinds, and the insulation, and thinking about air flow. A few years ago we installed a house fan at the top of our stairs, and it really helps move the hot air out and the cool air in. I know, it uses power, but we only run it for a few minutes and it cools the whole house down. No need for A/C. Thanks for the thoughtful interview, Patch! Connie Rohman
Susan R April 23, 2012 at 04:03 PM
I admire them too and good for them that they have money to do those things. And, those are NOT little things. Insulation and other stuff cost big money. A ceiling fan is reasonable, but not all things are. An attic fan is great too. They sell solar ones at Costco. But people on low income can not afford that either. Let's tax those 1% that can afford to make their homes environmental correct and give that money to the 99% that can not do that. Yes, triple pane windows and other freebies for the 99%. Yes, they are in the 1%. Look at their home. 99% live way less than that. Let's tax them!! Bottom line here is to think outside the box.
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