An exciting (and well-publicized) example of this is the Sanctuary development on Capital Hill in Seattle.
The original church was built in the early 1900s and has been a distinctive landmark of the neighborhood for years. Through the renovation of this historical icon, ecological- minded urban residences are being created.
The preservation of the beautiful building was a cornerstone of the project planning. Architectural details, bricks, wooden pews, flooring and windows were repurposed and used within the new residential development as stairs, detailing, in-fill and patching. New sustainable aspects of the housing itself include dual flush toilets and tankless water heaters. › Continue reading
I’ve been reading a lot lately about air filtering house plants and which ones are the best for the job. Turns out, most are specialized to remove specific toxins, so lets first look at the list of indoor toxins so we can find out which plants you need to remove those toxins. Pretty much all plants are going to improve air quality, these have just been researched more than others and/or are better performing at removing certain things. Also keep in mind that many of these are also invasive weeds, so please keep them in pots in your home and take care when disposing of them.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) in the home is introduced from dry cleaning, printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, and adhesives. This chemical is considered by the National Cancer Institute as a potent liver carcinogen.
Benzene is present in many common items including gasoline, inks, oils, paints, plastics, and rubber. It is an eye and skin irritant as well as being a contributing factor to leukemia in humans. Repeated skin contact with benzene will cause drying, inflammation, blistering and dermatitis.
Formaldehyde is a extraordinarily common in almost every indoor environment. Found in everything from particle board or pressed wood products used in many furniture pieces, to grocery bags, facial tissues and paper towels. Even common household cleaning agents and air fragrances contain formaldehyde. With carpet backings, fire proof coatings, permanent-press clothes and natural gas all containing the toxin, it is nearly impossible to avoid.
Its great to see people taking design hints from nature, and the ANDREA is no different. Well, actually, it is more of an integration of nature. Housing an actual live plant of your choosing, it uses more than just a filter to clean your air, it uses a whole process of nature.
While it may just appear to be a plant in a plastic dome with a fan, it is actually much more complex. Funneling the air through the leaves and roots of the plant, particles and harmful airborne toxins are absorbed and converted by the plant using the natural process of nature. No, that is not the technical term, but lets just say the chemical processes get complex.
Designed by Mathieu Lehanneur and David Edwards of Harvard University, it is not only pleasing to look at, it is also effective at reducing indoor pollution levels. Our homes and offices can have higher pollution levels than outside due to toxic cleaning chemicals, VOCs from interior paint and offgassing office furniture which house plants can be fairly effective at removing.
While I am sure the reductions aren’t going to be as big as your run of the mill carbon or HEPA filters, they also don’t make as much noise or have replaceable filter pads. Plus, as a bonus, they produce oxygen, that thing that we all breathe to stay alive- bet your household filter doesn’t do that!
Vintage planes are like vintage automobiles, they have a certain class and distinct style about them. Some people like them, and some people love them. I personally love all the polished aluminum, patterned rivets and sleek forms of the aircraft from the past- back when you used to wear a suit on the plane and they used to fly to places like Havana.
MotoArt brings that feeling right into to your living room, bedroom or office with their vintage aircraft furniture. Sourced from actual pieces of aircraft history, each design incorporates a meticulously cleaned and polished piece of and truly unique vintage plane. More than recycled or reused, these pieces are re-fashioned to accentuate their beauty and design.
Most pieces are modernized into desks, beds and office components- a meld of vintage technology with modern technology into a wondrous work of art. If automotive is more your thing, you may want to check out these vintage car furniture designs.
I love bamboo. Its beautiful, its durable, and its a great sustainable and renewable resource, so I am pretty excited about Plyboo by Smith and Fong. Certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and available for LEED credit by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), these surfaces and flooring are all about sustainability. Made from FSC certified bamboo and palm, these flooring and paneling alternatives have a beautiful and unique modern but warm look.
Smith & Fong’s Plyboo flooring, plywood and veneer are derived from Moso bamboo harvested from a forest that requires no irrigation, fertilizers or pesticides. Each year, only 20 percent of the plantation’s bamboo (or only the five-year growth) is cut, ensuring the forest canopy remains intact and the ecosystem is not disturbed.
Both the Durapalm and Plyboo flooring, veneer and plywood use a urea formaldehyde-free adhesive called PlybooPure™ and pass the California Air Resources Board (CARB)’s formaldehyde regulations for composite panels. It also earned the world’s first non-wood FSC certification for its bamboo resource in China, providing third-party validation of a truly sustainable industry. Additionally, Smith & Fong retain a relationship with the actual bamboo farmers, to ensure the quality and sustainability of the operation.
Seattle moms Melissa Maffei and Melissa Van Flandern both have a passion for the simplicity and beauty of modern design which is wholly apparent when you step into their children’s furnishing store Tottini. Brimming with bright colors and interesting shapes, your children will instantly fall in love with everything in the store, and you will appreciate the clean modern design.
Surrounded by fresh children’s products with sustainable green design, recycled content and modern eco-chic simplicity and materials, Tottini is the place for green kids (and their parents). Art and design take center stage at this children’s furnishings boutique, products and furnishings are well designed with clean modern lines. Most toys and furnishings are made from organic cotton, sustainable wood, bamboo and recycled plastics- but lack nothing in the fun department.
› Continue reading
I just found this great sustainable modern design home collection from Amenity, and I want it. The designs are a perfect blend of modern and eco chic, all made from sustainable hemp and organic cotton and dyed with natural vegetable based dyes.
Producing their goods locally (printed and sewn in Los Angeles, CA) and only with eco-friendly dyes and minimally-processed natural fibers, their manufacturing process mirrors their ethic. Hand drawn and individually printed by Amenity’s founders, Nicole Chiala and Kristina de Corpo bridge clean modern design with eco friendly home decor to create this collection.
I was also very excited about their Nursery collection of organic bedding for babies and children. Although I don’t have children of my own, I do feel that the less exposure to harsh chemicals, the better, especially during childhood development. Not only are they natural, they also look beautiful with fun blocky plants and animal prints, so chic parents take note!
With an array of organic and sustainable bedding, pillows, wall art, and even handwoven alpaca throw blankets from Peru, Amenity home decor makes a great addition to the somewhat limited sustainable and eco-friendly modern home design pool.
In addition, Amenity home has been so generous to provide The Chic Ecologist readers with a 30% discount! Just use the code “sunshine” when checking out, the code is good until March 15th, 2009.
So you want to paint a few walls in your house, but are wondering how to do it in the most green environmentally friendly way. Interior Decorating can cause a lot of waste and produce harmful vapors, but you can reduce these by examining your options a little closer. Take the simple task of painting a wall, you need a drop cloth to protect your floors and surrounding areas, tape for getting those clean edges, rollers, buckets, trays, etc. Professionals tend to have heavy duty equipment, built for reuse like thick canvas drop cloths and metal trays, but what about for the do it yourselfer who doesn’t have any use for buying these heavy grade materials and doesn’t have the storage for it?
First lets start with the materials. While a canvas drop cloth tarp would be best for large jobs, multiple rooms, or if you have the extra storage; for those one time jobs take a look at the biodegradable Eco Drop floor covering. It works just as those regular plastic drop cloths do, but with a biodegradable twist. Made with renewable and biodegradable vegetable based plastics, these will have a much easier time breaking down over time, and are renewable. At $3, it won’t break the budget and is quite comparable to your plastic alternatives.
When it comes to trays, there are many options. Ideally a reusable metal tray which you could use over and over again would be the most eco friendly solution. However, for those who need a disposal option, the Bio Tray is a biodegradable paint tray made from recycled cardboard with a thin layer of plastic on top (to prevent paint absorption into the cardboard). You can further extend the life of the tray (or swap colors easily) by lining it with aluminum foil for a quick color change and cleanup. Just rinse and recycle the foil when done, or reuse it for another paint job.
Rollers can be a bit more tricky as these are most certainly disposable after a few uses. I try to rinse and squeegee as much paint as I could out of them, but I usually could only get 1-2 more uses out of them before they became patchy and unusable. Now you can be more eco friendly with Whizz Green rollers made with recycled materials.
Paint can be just as if not more important when choosing decorating green. You want to select a paint with low, preferably zero VOC content (check to make sure the pigments don’t contain VOC as well, as this is how several paints that claim no VOCs actually have some). VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds and can lead to Sick Building Syndrome (the building isn’t sick, but it is making you sick). This is what gives off that harsh paint odor and causes headaches when painting and during the drying process. Nowadays these paints are easier to find as most major paint brands have a zero VOC paint available in their line. They tend to be more expensive, but usually are much higher quality, allowing for just a single coat and better coverage (you use much less paint).
You can find most of these products at your local Home Depot or Lowes, and ask your local paint store to stock them if they don’t. You may be able to order them over the web through several green decorating retailers as well. When decorating, if you can’t reuse, then look for items that are recyclable or have recycled content; and if you are going disposible, try and find biodegradable items to stay green.
[via daily danny]
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