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Green Articles

Time To Go Solar: Make Money with the Power You Produce While Upgrading Your Home

Posted by Ellen Strickland on

It’s definitely time to take advantage of challenges we face today in power consumption and production. There are both passive and active approaches available for producing energy, and solar offers both. Getting energy from the sun is nothing new, but designing systems that are affordable, efficient, and aesthetically complementary to our homes are finally becoming a reality. Active solar systems (systems that collect energy from the sun with equipment like photovoltaic cells) are now designed to supplement and even replace increasingly expensive grid electricity. Panels, screens, and even roof shingles are now available that turn a normal residential roof into...

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Sleep Systems: Do As the Romans Did

Posted by Ellen Strickland on

Many of us spend about one third of our day every day in the same contained environment – sleeping. We breathe into and surround ourselves with the bedding frame, mattress, bedding, and pillows. The more natural the materials we use; cottons, wools, linens, natural latex, the healthier the space. Unfortunately, we also inhale whatever finishes, solvents, sealants, preservatives, or treatments have been applied to the materials. For example, 98% of most of the wool allergies people suffer from usually have more to do with the chemicals that are used to treat the wool than with the wool itself. It is...

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Recycling: One’s Trash is Another’s Treasure

Posted by Christopher Horner on

Designers, artists, and creative businesspeople are making beautiful things out of trash. Artists have used recycled materials in their artwork since the early 20th century – Picasso, Braque & Gris built priceless collages out of newsprint, labels, and other found materials. Here in Santa Barbara local artist Rafael Perea de la Cabada exhibits pieces that incorporate recycled and found materials in many of his compositions. In Mexico colorful tinware is made from old cans and hubcaps. In Morocco steel-rimmed tires are fashioned into elegant water urns. Stripped out multicolored telephone cable wire is woven into baskets in South Africa. In...

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Recycled Tile

Posted by Christopher Horner on

Tiles are found everywhere in the home: on floors and walls, kitchen counters, in swimming pools and fountains, walkways and terraces, around a fireplace, in bathrooms, and even on the roof. They may vary in their color, strength, or the way they are manufactured and finished, yet they all begin with a natural material that is ideal for home surfaces. Recycled content ceramic tiles are an underutilized yet cost effective alternative for installations. Their high density and durability increase thermal storage capacity in flooring and structural applications inside and out. High density limits moisture absorption and creates a temperature-resistant surface...

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Recycled Teak: A New Year Rings In The Old

Posted by Ellen Strickland on

These newly crafted furniture pieces are made from recycled old-growth teak wood reclaimed from deconstruciotn sites throughout Indonesia. The planks are salvaged from demolished buildings, bridges and wharves. Recycled teak is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use in hot and cold climates. Antique pieces remain from the legacies of the Dutch Colonial erqa, Javanese Sultan’s fine arts, villager folk art, Chinese coastal traders and primitive furniture. Reproduction pieces are fashioned from salvaged planks by master Indonesian craftsmen to suit market taste.

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