The New Face of FLOR
Most of us are familiar with FLOR tiles and think of them as being bright solid colors—not exactly ideal for a log home. But FLOR products have come a long way since the company was established in 2003. Now the eco-friendly tiles are available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and patterns—everything from cow hide to Navajo designs to rustic textures.
The 19.7-inch square carpet tiles are easy to install with the company’s unique, nontoxic FLORdots—no glue or nails needed. You can create an area rug or runner or carpet a whole room wall to wall. Since all of the tiles are the same size, you can be creative and design your own carpet, mixing and matching colors and patterns to embellish your unique style. FLOR tiles are washable, but if a tile is damaged it’s easy to replace it with a new one.
Why is FLOR a green product? All tiles are made of renewable and recycled content; for example, 100% natural wool and recycled plastic water bottles. The squares hug your floor, eliminating the need for rug padding, which saves time and money as well as reduces waste. FLOR uses renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and landfill gas to power its manufacturing facilities. More than 90% of FLOR products are made in the USA. The carpet tiles have lower VOCs than most other products in the flooring industry and contain an antimicrobial that prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew. Best of all, FLOR has a return & recycle program; when you are tired of your carpet squares you can return them to FLOR and they will be recycled into new products!
Made in the USA: Artesano Copper Sinks
Artesano Copper sinks, based in California, uses the craftmanship and artistry that have been passed down through the generations since 1538 to create stunning copper products, from sinks and bathtubs to tiles and outlet covers. All of the company’s products are made from 99.76% pure (lead-free) recycled copper hand-hammered to perfection. All waste copper is again recycled as is the reclaimed wood used in the process. The company is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, Los Angeles branch.
Copper is the oldest metal known to man-kind. It has exceptional natural antibacterial properties that kill bacteria and germs in a matter of hours. The quality of copper is judged by the purity of the metal and the gauge (thickness) of the sheets used in fabrication (the lower the gauge the thicker the copper). Buyers should beware of copper items made in India or China; they may cost less but could contain lead and other impurities.
We think copper and wood make ideal companions in a log home!
Loll Outdoor Furniture
This colorful and stylish furniture is made from recycled milk jugs! The company, which sources its materials from the U.S. and Canada, reclaimed nearly six million pounds of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), keeping it out of a landfill. Every pound of furniture weight uses about eight milk jugs. Loll furniture is nonporous so will not retain dirt like some outdoor furniture. The color is added to the material when it is processed so goes all the way through, and it is protected from UV damage. Loll does generate some waste but 99% of it goes back to a plant for another round of recycling. Loll is a great choice for outdoor furniture that will last and require little or no maintenance. Check out all of Loll’s creations at www.lolldesigns.com
It’s hard to imagine that paper can be turned into gorgeous solid-surface countertops, but it’s true! PaperStone uses 100% FSC-certified, post-consumer recycled paper saturated with PetroFreeTM phenolic resins that contain ingredients such as cashew nut shell liquid. The saturated sheets are then fused together under heat and pressure, creating a dense, homogenous, nonporus composite product that will not delaminate. PaperStone’s surface provides a lifetime of stain resistance and will absorb virtually no liquids. Any cuts or scrapes can be sanded or rubbed with an abrasive pad and treated with PaperStone Finish. Because it is so rigid and dense, it can be used without extra supports on counters that extend up to 18 inches beyond the cabinetry. PaperStone emits no radon gases and is completely VOC-free. It has a Class A fire and smoke rating and is heat resistant up to 350 degrees. It has been certified “food safe” by the NSF, the public health and safety company. It has also been certified to FSC standards by the Smartwood program of the Rainforest Alliance.
Gaiam Organic Bedding
Gaiam’s organic cotton premium sateen bedding not only looks beautiful, it’s also eco-friendly. Woven of 100% organic cotton, it has a luxurious 350 thread count with a subtle satin sheen. The bedding comes in 10 vibrant colors: aubergine, dusk, iron, lemongrass, natural, punch, rattan, tiger lily, wheat, and white. It meets all the requirements for GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), which governs the production, processing, maufacturing, packaging, labeling, exportation, importation, and distribution of all natural fiber products. So Gaiam’s bedding is not only made of organic cotton, it’s created with environmentally friendly dyes and finshers, has low VOC content, and meets social as well environmental standards. Visit www.gaiam.com for more green products.
Paint It Green
Benjamin Moore is committed to creating environmentally friendly paint. Its Natura® Waterborne Interior Paint has zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which means the paint is completely odorless and emits almost no harmful gasses. It is 100% acrylic, spatter resistant, durable, and washable. And it’s self-priming on most surfaces. Natura® comes is every color Benjamin Moore offers in all of its paint lines, so you can have the color and performance you want in a wall finish.
Did you know that your water heater is the second biggest consumer of energy in your home, after your HVAC system? GE aims to reduce that consumption with GeoSpringTM, the first hybrid electric, Energy Star® qualified water heater. On average, it costs $520 per year to operate a standard water heater; GeoSpring reduces that to $195. It uses 62% less electricity than a standard water heater and will pay for itself it 21/2 years.
GeoSpring combines heat-pump techology with traditional electric water heating methods on the market today. The hybrid system is designed to absorb heat in the ambient air and transfer it to the water, requiring much less energy than generating radiant heat. GeoSpring takes up the same amount of space as your current water heater and contains the same amount of hot water. It also allows you more control: water temperature can be increased in one degree increments from 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. There is even a vacation mode that lowers the temperature to 50 degrees while you’re away then automatically returns to your regular settings the day before you return.
Food accounts for almost 50% of all municipal solid waste. There is more food in landfills than diapers, styrofoam, or tires combined. Although food will decompose naturally, when it’s buried under layers of trash and saturated with water no oxygen can reach it and it becomes embalmed for centuries. Landfills produce methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that is more potent that carbon dioxde.
Consumers can reduce the amount of food in landfills by composting, and NatureMill has made the process simple and clean—no open outdoor pit of rotting vegetation to handle and no worms, bugs, or smell! The vessel-contained composting system can be installed under the counter, in the garage, or in the laundry room. The temperature, air flow, moisture, and mixing are all controlled by a computer. Just plug it into an electrical outlet and you’re ready to begin. If you are a gardener, you’ll have a source of rich organic compost with a minimum of effort. NatureMill is made of recycled and recyclable materials and costs just 50 cents per month to operate.