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The Grass Is Always Greener: Santa Monica vs. Mount Washington For 'Green House' Recognition

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Photo by @sevenphoto via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Two area homes have been placed in the solar-powered spotlight this week -- a Santa Monica 1910 Craftsman that underwent a green transformation and a three-story Mount Washington house that connects to its natural landscape on at least two sides of every room.

The house in Santa Monica, situated one block from the beach, boasts an organic garden of fruit trees and vegetables kept hydrated by recycled laundry and shower water, double- and triple-paned windows, solar-generated power and hot water, blue jean insulation and a Roman cooling system that vents cool air from the earth 150 feet below the yard, according to NBC LA.

Also on the property is a "guest-room size" treehouse built into a 164-year-old giant fig tree. Obviously.

According to the owner, the house holds a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) "platinum rating with 104 out of 108 LEED points."

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After breaking ground in 2009, the 2,400-square-foot green-modern Mount Washington abode was finally ready for move-in this past April featuring the first permitted graywater system in Los Angeles "since California adopted new rules for recycling household waste water as landscape irrigation,"according to the L.A. Times.

The home was built to draw in cool air from the bottom-floor with a central stairway designed to allow hot air to exit through top-floor windows, exterior panels are made of recycled CDs, insulation is made of recycled glass, large composting bins dot the property, and its roof is light-reflecting and energy-collecting. Naturally.

A solar array meter keeps track of how much electricity is being generated by the panels, and a 1,500-gallon cistern houses a surplus of rainwater.