By Mary Reid Barrow and LRNow Pearl Home Coordinator Terri Gorman
From the ordinary, such as shopping with reusable bags to the extraordinary, such as becoming beekeepers, Dominque Denson and her family are the ideal Pearl Home to kick off LRNow’s Pearl Home of the quarter recognition.
Dominique, LRNow’s communications coordinator, husband Brian, and twin boys, Bryce and Micah, age 9, live in Trant Berkshire with their dog, Rupert. Nothing much about the Densons or their home distinguishes them from the rest of the neighborhood, except for their Pearl Home sign and maybe the beehive out back.
They just quietly go about making a difference in the environment, day in and day out. They are committed to all the popular green practices such as reusable bags, scooping Rupert’s poop, not releasing balloons, recycling, and planting native plants and trees, to reducing flooding and stormwater runoff from their yard.
They also have incorporated some not-so-easy environmental pluses into their lives. Not only did they take up beekeeping to encourage pollinators, but they also installed a low energy geothermal heating and cooling system that saves up to 60 percent on their energy bills!
Dominque said she came to living green gradually, beginning when she moved out on her own. Her roommate cared about the environment, and she learned from her, plus she was on a tight budget.
“It came down to trying to be frugal and not be wasteful,” Dominique said.
When she and Brian married, Brian was, and still is, working in the environmental field, and the two of them began gradually changing the way they lived.
“We learned that what’s good for our bodies is what’s good for the planet,” Dominique said.
They cut back on the amount of meat they were eating and have been raising their own organic vegetables for several years. When making their own compost turned out to be a challenge, they began using Tidewater Compost’s services and purchased compost material from Drishti Composting.
The Densons, who live on Lake Trant, also took advantage of LRNow’s Pearl Yard program to install a rain garden in a low lying area to help with stormwater runoff into the lake.
Dominique purchases many of the food items they don’t grow from Essential Organics. She stores bulk items, like flour and dried beans, in the panty, moving them, as needed into large glass jars in the kitchen. Most other food items are stored in reusable containers, too.
“I have a hard time buying small bags of things,” Dominique said.
And that is probably the only aspect of their lifestyle that Bryce and Micah don’t like. They would rather have individual bags of chips, and such, in their school lunches, she said. On the other hand, the boys really like the vegetable garden and the bees.
Dominique and Brian try not to be wasteful and repurpose or reuse whatever they can. They recently switched to Trex decking and donated their wood decking to LRNow, who will be using it for raised beds and a picnic table at their office.
And as for Rupert, the dog, he fits into their lifestyle perfectly, too. Not only do the Densons scoop his poop, but they adopted Rupert, a Bichon Frise-Poodle mix, not from a breeder, but from a Washington D. C. shelter, qualifying Rupert as a very environmentally friendly pup!
If you are interested or know someone who is committed to Pearl Home practices and would like to be featured as our next Pearl Home of the quarter contact firstname.lastname@example.org