Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
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Green Idea of the Week: This week after spotting a massive dust bunny under my sofa, I thought about how much work would have to be done to make my home photoshoot-worthy. It depressed the hell out of me. I looked around at the excess tables that don’t I don’t really have a space for, checked out some of my art that was out of rotation, realized I’d had two extra chairs sitting in my dining room that I couldn’t even walk around, and that I had USPS boxes stacked under my desk that needed to be stowed away. It seemed a major makeover was in order. Unfortunately, I was in too much of a Hoarders-inspired frenzy to take time out for “before” pictures, but in a nutshell, I rotated art and furniture in and out of different rooms (kids, don’t try this at home without some Clariton and a dusting cloth on hand), and felt like I had a whole new interior. My point is, you can completely redecorate and freshen up your home without consuming any more products (besides the aforementioned Clariton). Do you even know what you have stashed away in the nooks and crannies of your home?
That being said, it’s probably hypocritical to pick a favorite green product to tempt you with, but I’ll tell you why I feel comfortable recommending the STAACH Cain Collection Bench. It’s made by two hands with two tools right in New York, and it’s made from certified sustainable wood sourced in the U.S.A. The reason I thought of it after reflecting upon my makeover frenzy is that this is a multipurpose piece. You can rotate it in and out of any room in your home. In the living room, it’s a coffee or side table that doubles as an extra seat. In the kitchen, you can use it to boost you up to the high shelves. In the bedroom it can serve as a bench at the foot of your bed or as a nightstand. In the bathroom it can hold folded towels next to the bathtub. If you choose black, gray, maple, poplar, or white, it will go with almost any color palette.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
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Wondering what to do to celebrate Earth Day? Check out the Earth Day Network. Perhaps start by calculating your carbon footprint here. Afterwards, try to think of one seemingly small thing you can do to try and offset it. I know sometimes we all feel green guilt and think that being green means we have to give up toilet paper. Maybe it does, but I’m not going to. In the meantime, do what you can. It’s not hard, it just takes a little time to come up with new routines. Here are a few very easy ways to help – c’mon, I know you know all of these, they are total “duhs,” but are you really following through? Just try one for a month, then add another one the next month, and so on. As a bonus, most of this stuff saves you money. If you are already doing all of these things, keep up the good work:
- Buy Local. Find out when and where local farmer’s markets take place; I promise it’s fun!
- Swear off bottled water.
- Vow to recycle more than just your newspapers and cans (for a guide to what to recycle and where you can recycle it, check out Earth911).
- Replace paper towels and napkins and switch to cloth. You’ll get over feeling like you need to iron the napkins very quickly!
- Unplug your electronics when they are not in use. Make sure the dishwasher and washing machines are full when you run them. If you use a dryer, try to do loads back-to-back.
- Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. They’ll save you money in the long run, and the quality of light they emit has greatly improved in the last few years. I know at first they were about as flattering as the light in an airplane lavatory, but now they are fine.
- Install a digital thermostat. Pick one up at Home Depot and wait until the heating dude comes for maintenance. He’ll probably do it for you if you can’t figure it out, especially if you duke him a Jackson.
- Think back to what your driving habits were like when gas was $5/gallon. Have you slipped back into your old habits? Pretend it’s $10/gallon and act accordingly.
- Bring reusable bags to the grocery store. If you have them but always forget to bring them, keep them in the car. After you unload the groceries, make sure to throw them back into the trunk.
- Make the no coal call.
- Stop by and read one of the many fabulous environmental blogs. Some of my personal favorites include:
The Lazy Environmentalist
These are just the tip of the iceberg. Do you have a favorite eco-centric blog? If so, please leave it in the comments section!