O.K. now that Halloween is over, the stores are filled with Yuletide tunes, people are buzzing about Black Friday insanity, and the stores are filled with all kinds of Holiday decorations. Here are a few quick tips to decrease your holiday carbon footprint.
1) Consider sending holiday cards over the interwebs. I hate this idea because holiday cards are some of the only good snail mail I receive all year long, but it will save on paper and the energy used to deliver your cards. If you can’t stand the thought, at least use recycled paper, and be sure to recycle the cards you receive.
2) Use reusable or recycled wrapping paper. If you’re like my grandparents, you neatly folded up every piece of wrapping paper you ever used and put it in a drawer, and never used it again. You can use newspaper, recycled paper, cloth bags, or a pretty extra piece of fabric you have around the house to wrap up your gifts. Here’s a fun video with some good ideas if you want to get super-crafy:
3) If you do the tree thing, don’t feel too guilty. Christmas tree farms are not the enemy. Just be sure to leave your tree out for mulch composting after the holidays. You may also consider a live tree to plant later (though honestly, in most parts of this country, January 1st is not exactly prime dig-a-hole-in-the-ground-and-plant time).
4) E-cycle: If you’re expecting to upgrade some of your electronics via some killer gifts, make sure you dispose of your old ones in a recyclable way. If they are not fit for donation or resale, check the EPA’s guidelines for E-cycling them.
5) Buy eco-friendly gifts. I love to shop handmade, and from the green sections of retail websites. I’ll be working up a list of what Design Public has to offer in this arena in the coming weeks. Here’s one of my many faves, the k studio Birds Pillow:
We are totally digging the designs over at dylan gold this week. Everything they make forces you to think “Hmmph, check out that little twist” or “Ha! That’s clever!” or “Why didn’t I think of that?” However, the piece that gives us the environmentally friendly happy glow is the one that reuses waste pieces of wood and puts them together into a beautiful piece of furniture. The Wasted #1 and Wasted #2 coffee tables are modern and clean, yet they pulled together from a patchwork of scraps, which is very apparent. It’s a great dichotomy. I also like the idea that each one they make will be dictated by which pieces they collect, and thus will be unique. There’s nothing like having a piece of furniture that no one else will ever have.
What makes it green? Materials may vary, but those shown are Europly, Marine ply, exotic and domestic hardwoods – scrap pieces that would otherwise have wound up in a landfill.
It is coated in water-based polyurethane.
For more information on where to buy and to see the entire collection, click here.
Well, it seems everything Artecnica is catching my eye this month, even if I cannot seem to ever spell the company name correctly on the first pass! I’m a wicker FREAK, and even I never would have thought to put it together with a recycled scooter tire in a million years!
Tires are pretty much the bane of the planet’s existence. When Lake Lanier was so empty during the drought last year, way too many of them were discovered dumped in its basin. Have you ever seen a tire fire on the news? They rage on for days. I say, whatever uses we can find for used tires, go for it.
While I’m not sure how I would truly use this as a bowl, I picture a bunch of them arranged into some fabulous composition on a wall. A straight line of them would be great in a loft space with high ceilings, and a random arrangement on a smaller wall would be very graphically striking.
Here’s the rest of the scoop on what makes them green, and also how they help to alleviate poverty in Vietnam:
transNeomatic is designed by Estudio Campana and handcrafted by skilled artisans from rural Vietnam. Through Vietnamese non-profit organization Craft Link, Artecnica collaborated with Hai Tai rattan weavers and Hmong women weavers to create each piece. Disadvantaged Vietnamese youths were also enlisted to assemble the totes, providing them with artisan training and a framework by which they could establish sustainable livelihoods.
transNeomatic is a conceptually innovative container bowl crafted from a repurposed scooter tire and natural wicker. Each tire is thoroughly steam-cleaned and finished in an eco-friendly sealant. transNeomatic comes with an optional handwoven hemp cover that slips over its rubber base. Each piece is packaged in a reusable drawstring tote.
I read with interest about GreenPrint this week, a company selling software that cuts down on the amount of ink and paper used in printing. The story’s angle was more about how to go from a great idea to a successful venture, but regardless of how far along the business end has come along, the idea is great, and apparently, the latest version of the software has ironed out a lot of hiccups they encountered along the way. For more information, click here. Of course, the lazy version of this is to at least print on the front and back of paper, and to keep a paper recycling bin next to your printer.
In the right under my nose category of living greener this week, I pick the Artecnica TaTu Coffee Table as the product I am currently coveting. Besides the fact that it can break down into a large bowl, tray, and basket, and that it is handcrafted by South African artisans, here’s what makes it green:
Artecnica’s Design with Conscience® products spotlight the design process from concept to creation, calling recognition to the value of artisan labor and craft techniques. In creating these products, Artecnica uses eco-friendly materials and production methods, promoting manufacturing processes that are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable.