home | search | staffcontact us  


Design Forward Logo
Projects | About | Services | Products | Press | Events | Forum | Newsletters | Contact
Note: Design Forward LLC is proud to have served the Southern California area designing straw bale homes for over 15 years. However, we have moved on to other business ventures and have closed the business as of January 2017. We will not taking any new projects or responding to phone and email requests. This website will be left up as an archive of data for straw bale and design. You may find that some of the links are broken or out of date, but we will not be updating this site any longer. Thank you!
Newsletter Background

Join the Design Forward mailing list
June 2008 - [Sustainable Concepts] Cohousing and Laundry Soap
Sustainable Concepts )
Design Forward Newsletter June 2008, vol. 63
in this issue
  • Intro to Cohousing
  • Make Your Own Laundry Soap
  • Feedback


    Welcome to the June 2008 newsletter from Design Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.

    Quote of the Month: "In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create but by what we refuse to destroy."
    -John Sawhill, past president of the Nature Conservancy

    Lisa A. Swan

    Intro to Cohousing

    What is Cohousing?
    Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhoods.

    Cohousing residents are consciously committed to living as a community. The physical design encourages both social contact and individual space. Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes, but residents also have access to extensive common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground and a common house.

    Cohousing communities are usually designed as attached or single-family homes along one or more pedestrian streets or clustered around a courtyard. They range in size from 7 to 67 residences, the majority of them housing 20 to 40 households. Regardless of the size of the community, there are many opportunities for casual meetings between neighbors, as well as for deliberate gatherings such as celebrations, clubs and business meetings.

    The common house is the social center of a community, with a large dining room and kitchen, lounge, recreational facilities, children's spaces, and frequently a guest room, workshop and laundry room. Communities usually serve optional group meals in the common house at least two or three times a week.

    The need for community members to take care of common property builds a sense of working together, trust and support. Because neighbors hold a commitment to a relationship with one another, almost all cohousing communities use consensus as the basis for group decision-making.

    Article and Picture The Cohousing Association of the United States

    Make Your Own Laundry Soap

    Looking for a easy way to save a few dollars and also have a little fun - making your own laundry soap is easy and cheap. There are several recipes out there for making your own laundry detergent, but here is one:

    1/3 Bar Fels Naptha Soap or any bar soap
    1/2 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (Make sure it says "Washing" not "Baking"). This is also Sodium Carbonate and can be found at pool supply stores
    1/2 Cup Borax
    2 gallons of water
    Optional - 1/2 to 1 ounce of your choice of essential oil or fragrance oil

    Grate the soap and put it in a saucepan. Add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and Borax and stir until dissolved. Put 4 cups of hot water in the bucket. Add the soap mixture and stir. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let sit overnight and it will gel up (if using, add fragrance or essential oil at this point and stir). Use 1/2 Cup per load.

    The laundry detergent is great for washing all types of clothes and taking out even the worst stains.

    Article Lisa A Swan


    Design Forward works toward promoting Sustainable Design. If you know of a project that should be featured, please contact us. Let us know why you think it should be featured and give us a basic intro to the project, the sustainable elements and any websites or contact information.

    If you would like to submit a fun and/or entertaining quote about architecture, building, the environment or such, send it in! If it at all possible, include the author.

    If you have any other feedback concerning this publication, please feel free to send an email or use the form.

    Quick Links...

    phone: 626.796.2566

    [ to top ]

    Revised June 1, 2010