August 28, 2007

Medlock Ames Solar Powered Winery

Medlock Ameswinery

It's sunny in Sonoma and a perfect place for a giant solar topped winery to debut. The Medlock Ames Winery has come to full fruition beautifully with glowing wine reviews and an operation that is now 100% solar powered. The winery building, designed by George Riley of Sebastopol, incorporates passive solar design, natural daylighting and natural ventilation.

Via Inhabitat

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

August 13, 2007

The PowerPod: A Green Home That Arrives In Cambridge, MA

Power Pod

Being Cambridge, MA residents we were very excited to see the news of greener homes arrive in the bay state. What's even more surprising was the fact the PowerPod is designed right in Massachusetts - Lawrence, MA to be exact. We'll have to check out their offerings and perhaps one day have a greener home ourselves.

The PowerPod is a modular home that incorporates many green design elements, including a solar butterfly roof that collects rainwater and includes an active solar array for electricity and hot water. Designed by Lawrence, Massachusetts based PowerHouse Enterprises, the PowerPod can be transported on two trailers to your site for assembly. Measuring just 480 square feet, the floor plan highlights an open living/dining/kitchen area that opens onto a front porch. High ceiling create a sense of spaciousness. A PowerPod home costs about $100,000 or $200 per square foot.

Via MetaEfficient at PowerHouse Enterprises

Blogpire Productions at Permalink social bookmarking

June 28, 2007

Birch and Willow Handmade Lamps and Sconces

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Want to bring the forest into your home? Artist and designer Katherine Ahern of Birch and Willow here in Boston makes one-of-a-kind pendants, sconces, and lamps from bittersweet vines, grapevines, reeds, sea grass, and stones.

cairn3.jpgThe lamps are positively gorgeous, and create almost magical shadows and reflections. Pictured here are Ahern's Roost Pendant Lamp (above) and her Cairn Table Lamp.

Ahern explains Birch and Willow's mission as "Nature illuminated." Her philosophy carries over to an eco-friendly manufacturing process, outlined on the Environment page of the Birch and Willow website.

ArrowContinue reading: "Birch and Willow Handmade Lamps and Sconces"

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 27, 2007

Kitchen Coffee Handmade Soap by Flower Peddler Bath and Beauty

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Got an email last week from Michelle at Flower Peddler Bath and Beauty, purveyors of natural bath and body products. She noted that people often go the natural route out of concern about the environment or to avoid chemicals, but that sometimes "natural" products can be pretty boring. Flower Peddler works to counter that notion with products that look, smell and feel bright, exciting, luxurious -- basically anything but dull.

Flower Peddler actually began as, you guessed it, a flower store, near Richmond, VA. They noticed how customers reacted to the fragrance and color in their bouquets and developed an interest in aromatherapy. That led to interest in handmade soaps.

The site has a number of cool products, including lines for men, kids, and babies, as well as seasonal soaps and a spa line.

Here's their Kitchen Coffee Soap, good for removing kitchen odors and oils from the cook's hands. The soap includes real coffee grounds for a natural abrasive to clean and deodorize, and lots of moisturizers to keep your hands soft.

Buy Kitchen Coffee Soap.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 11, 2007

BioBags: Bio-degradeable, Compostable Garbage Bags

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"Have you blogged about BioBags yet?" Jane asked the other day from her kitchen. She came out with the box. "They're fantastic. You NEED to write about them."

BioBags are 100% bio-degradable, 100% compostable garbage bags. Made from cornstarch, they help to eliminate regular plastic bags from landfills, rivers, and forests. When disposed, BioBags will biodegrade as naturally as food scraps, leaving no harmful residue.

BioBags trash bags are GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) free and polyethlyene-free, with no polyethylene used in their production process. They're certified for use in organic agriculture, yet are shelf stable just like paper towels. And, importantly for those of us considering using them in our trashcans, they won't begin the composting process until the proper conditions are met - moisture, warmth and micro-organisms.

Plus, Jane loves them. Which is good enough for us.

Buy BioBags 13-Gallon Kitchen Bags.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 1, 2007

Weekend Reading: Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus

51b4dNyoX5L._AA240_.jpgRuss and I spent time last weekend cleaning the house from top to bottom, preparing for our "new arrival." I wish we'd had a copy of Green This: Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus.

According to the description on Amazon,

Deirdre shows how cleaning house the environmentally responsible way can be as effective and often cheaper than the more traditional, toxic, means. This volume includes:

* Simple, efficient cleaning methods for every room of the house

* Spotlights on everyday products (all purpose cleaner, glass/window cleaner, laundry detergent) and the toxic ingredients you should be wary of

* Summaries of the latest research on the toxic effects of ordinary chemicals

* Resource lists of widely available "green cleaning" products and retailers

Filled with tips and testimonials, Greening Your Cleaning will show you how to streamline your cleaning products and practices, and how easy it is to make "living green" your way of life.

Buy Greening Your Cleaning by Deirdre Imus.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

May 24, 2007

Comparing Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

676ced98-41ac-4df1-a570-e279526e913f_300.jpgNYTimes writer William Hamilton may think compact fluorescent lightbulbs have a long way to go before they're widely accepted, but we're ready to say the bulbs are here to stay. The question is, which compact fluorescent bulbs work best and where will you want to use them? Well, readers, here are our two cents.

On Earth Day, Russ and I dropped by Home Depot to pick up our free compact fluorescent bulb, plus a couple of extras for good luck. And, because my husband is a scientist, we did a few tests, trying out different bulbs in different locations around the house.

We picked up three lightbulbs by n:vision -- in Soft White (green packaging), Bright White (blue packaging), and Daylight (red packaging). The Soft White is a 14 watt bulb -- the equivalent of a 60 watt regular lightbulb. The Daylight and Bright White bulbs are both 19 watts -- equivalent to 75 watt regular bulbs. According to the packaging, these bulbs can save $56/year in energy costs if the lightbulbs are used for 3 hours a day. All three bulbs have a 9 year warranty.

So, now the question of the hour, which bulbs - if any - would we use around the house and where would we use 'em?

ArrowContinue reading: "Comparing Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs"

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

May 16, 2007

Mow Your Lawn: Buy a Push Reel Lawnmower

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Sometimes it makes sense to get back to basics. A push lawnmower saves gasoline, reduces emissions and noise pollution, and gives you a great workout while keeping your lawn looking green, well-trimmed and lovely.

Scott's 20-inch push reel mower is light and maneuverable, solidly constructed and durable, and at $120, reasonably priced. Has five blades which can be adjusted to nine different grass heights.

Buy Scott's 20-inch Push Reel Lawnmower.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

May 15, 2007

Bamboo Dinnerware Utensils

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We've blogged before disposable bamboo dinner plates. But what about flatware?

Turns out Bambu also makes disposable bamboo utensils, sold in sets of eight. Each set contains 24 pieces -- 8 forks, knives, and spoons. Made of bamboo, they are compostable, bio-degradable, and even rinse-able if you feel like using them more than once! And at $7.95 for the set, quite reasonable at $1/place setting.

Buy Bamboo Utensil Set.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

April 30, 2007

Bag-E-Wash: Re-Use Plastic Baggies

packaging.jpgPlastic grocery bags have gotten a lot of press lately. San Francisco recently banned them; our own home city of Boston is talking about similar legislation. From our perspective, your best bet is not to use them at all. Invest in an EZ Bag (or a bunch of them, as we recently did).

But what about plastic baggies? They're convenient for storing and transporting food, and they seem more durable than your run-of-the-mill grocery bag. It's hard to eliminate their use completely. We suggest washing and re-using them.

We've written before about the wooden plastic bag dryer, a multi-pronged dowel which allows you to wash and air dry up to 8 plastic bags at a time.

Jeannie Piekos, founder of Bag-E-Wash, has another idea. She invented Bag-E-Wash, a product that allows you to wash plastic baggies in the dishwasher.

ArrowContinue reading: "Bag-E-Wash: Re-Use Plastic Baggies"

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

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