April 15, 2008

Literally Make Your Apartment Green

wall-plant-holder.png Ever wanted to have plants growing on your walls? Lifehacker suggests DIYers can create a plant wall from the above diagram, as the retail indoor wall plant hanger sells for $250. House plants are known for improving indoor air quality. I'd much rather grow plants to clean air than rely on an energy using air purifier.  Besides, the plant wall is very cool for your green home decor.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 20, 2008

Whirlpool Eco-Friendly Concept Kitchen

Whirlpool0.jpg Whirlpool has developed an eco-friendly concept kitchen inspired by natural ecosystems. This concept kitchen is 70% more energy efficient than standard kitchens. It is designed to use 60% of the water and heat generated from appliances to power other appliances in the kitchen. For example, heat produced by the refrigerator's compressor is used to heat water for the dishwasher. Why didn't someone think of this sooner?
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 28, 2008

Is Bamboo Really Green?

bamboo-forest.jpg There's no doubt that bamboo grows like a weed, but what about the processes used to turn bamboo into fabric and flooring?
  •  LA Times: Green clothes: How green is my bamboo T-shirt?- This article states that farming is what makes bamboo clothing green, but that "strong chemical solvents such as sodium hydroxide (NaOH - also known as caustic soda or lye) and carbon disulfide in a process also known as hydrolysis alkalization combined with multi-phase bleaching" is used to break down the woody shoots and leaves.  These chemicals are especially harmful to workers.
"growing it is really green, but manufacturing it into useful plywood boards, for anything that the tubular stalks won't do on their own...well, not so much. It's a pretty messy, intensive process; as such, it's important to look for bamboo made with water-based, formaldehyde-free adhesives with low/no-VOC finishes, if you're looking for some grass-based interiors."
"the manufacturing processes where bamboo the plant is transformed into bamboo the fabric are where the sustainability and eco-friendly luster of bamboo is tarnished because of the heavy chemicals, some of which are toxic, that are often required. Very, very little bamboo clothing would qualify as sustainable or organic clothes."
Bamboo can be processed naturally, similar to how linen is processed from flax, but "very little bamboo linen is manufactured for clothing because it is more labor intensive and costly."
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 4, 2007

Kitchen Composters: Consider the NatureMill Automatic

Considering buying a kitchen composter, but worried about the amount of work it will require? Concerned you don't have the yard space for an outdoor composter? Concerned about the smell? Consider the Porsche of composters -- NatureMill's automatic kitchen composter.

To use it, add your organic waste -- food scraps (including meat and dairy), coffee grinds, and even pet waste (yuck!), close the lid, and voila. NauralMill's composter uses the hot composting method -- mixing, air flow, heat and moisture -- to create compost without icky odors. The compost gets transferred via a trap door to a lower chamber so you can keep adding new waste and making more compost in the top chamber. Remove fresh compost every two weeks.

Worried about the energy such a composter might consume? From the NatureMill website:

A NatureMill automatic composter recycles its weight in waste every 10 days, diverting over two tons of waste from landfills over its life. This reduces emissions of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas produced when organic matter decomposes in oxygen-starved landfills. Compost returns nutrients to the environment, reducing our need for chemical fertilizers. NatureMill uses 5 kwh / month of energy - or about $0.50/month - less than a garbage truck would burn in diesel fuel to haul the same waste. It is made from recycled and recyclable materials.

Available at Greenfeet.

Looking for something smaller and simpler? How about a stainless steel compost pail?

Other composters stories:

Finding the Best Composter for You
Natural Urban Composter
Envirocycle Backyard Composter

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

November 30, 2007

Solar Powered LED Holiday Lights Update

A quick update to our earlier entry on solar-powered LED holiday lights. Looks like Sportsman's Guide is sold out of their stock. But Get Organized has 26' strings of 60 lights available for $20 a string on Amazon.

The lights don't need to be plugged in. They charge up by day, turn on automatically at dusk, and last for approximately eight hours.

Buy them at Get Organized.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

November 27, 2007

Let There Be Light: Emergency LED Flashlight

11P67QG4RKL._AA207_.jpgHere's something everyone needs: an emergency shake-and-go LED Flashlight. Shake it for 60 seconds and you get 30 minutes of bright white light from three LED bulbs.

The Princess LED Flashlight is great for camping, power outages, or to keep in your glove compartment. And, with no batteries and LED lightbulbs that last over 100,000 hours, it's good for the environment as well. Plus, it's waterproof (just in case).

Buy two or more and get 5% off each of them on Amazon.

Available at Princess LED Flashlight.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

November 5, 2007

Solar Powered LED Holiday Lights

solar-LED-lights.jpgUpdate: Sportsman's Guide appears to be sold out of their solar-powered LED lights, but Get Organized is carrying them for $20 for a 26' string of 60 lights. Buy them at Get Organized LED holiday lights.

We've switched our clocks for Daylight Savings Time. And what better use is there for that extra daylight than....solar powered LED holiday lights?

Sportsman's Guide
is stocking these lights, available in strings of 50 or 100 bulbs, and in white or colored lights. Place these lights anywhere outside - cover your house, string them on a tree, deck the front bumper of your hybrid SUV - and the sunlight will recharge the battery. When the sun goes down, the lights turn on automatically. Voila! Twinkle, twinkle, without the high electric bills or eco-guilt.

ArrowContinue reading: "Solar Powered LED Holiday Lights"

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

November 1, 2007

Preserve Jr. Recycled Toothbrush by Recycline Supports the National Wildlife Federation

Now that your little ghosts and goblins have devoured their Halloween candy, let's take a look at an eco-friendly toothbrush.

If your little cookie is too smart to be wooed by bubblegum flavored toothpaste and a Dora the Explorer toothbrush, check out the Preserve Jr. recycled plastic toothbrush by Recycline.

The toothbrush handle is made of 100% recycled plastics, including at least 25% recycled Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups. The ergonomic, pea pod shaped handle makes it easy to grip. The nylon bristles are soft and gentle on kids' teeth and gums.

Each brush features a fun fact about one of three endangered animals: the Karner Blue Butterfly, the Utah Prairie Dog or the Grizzly Bear. And a portion of the proceeds from each toothbrush sale supports the National Wildlife Federation's efforts to protect endangered species.

As if good dental hygiene isn't a reward in itself.

Available at Preserve Jr. Recycled Toothbrush.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 2, 2007

Klean Kanteen Sippy Cup - BPA-Free for the Whole Family

stainless-sippy-cup.jpgBPA-free drinking vessels aren't just for babies and grown-ups. Check out your toddler's sippy cups to make sure they don't contain the dangerous chemical compound found in hard plastics. (Here's how to tell.)

We first started paying attention to the risks of Bisphenol-A earlier this month when we realized the bottles we were using for our baby were made of the hard plastic associated with the chemical. We've since replaced our hard plastic baby bottles with BPA-free soft plastic bottles and recycled our old Nalgene bottles in favor of Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles. Next up? BPA-free stainless steel sippy cups.

The Klean Kanteen stainless steel sippy cup is safe and non-leaching, with no epoxy coating on the inside of the bottle. It comes with a non-leaching #5 polypropylene adaptor and #5 polypropylene sippy spout. (The Klean Kanteen Sippy Cup also works with the Avent Sippy Spouts - two of which are included - and is dishwasher safe. ) When your child outgrows the sippy spout, you can replace it with any other Klean Kanteen cap.

Available at Klean Kanteen.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 7, 2007

Weekend Reading: The Costs of Green Architecture


Inhabitat has a great article on how much it costs to create those amazing green buildings we all know we want around. Though green buldings are more expensive - isn't it worth it? Find out.

One of the key issues that plagues green architecture proponents worldwide is how the cost of green building compares to conventional construction. After all, if a green building is more expensive than a standard one, what incentives do the developers and moneymakers have to go green? Despite what you may think, thanks to a new study by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, we can safely say that building an environmentally-friendly building is not as expensive as commonly thought.

Read the entire article at Inhabitat

Blogpire Productions at Permalink social bookmarking

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