Wall Flame by Radius Design

In the depths of winter the primal side of us emerges in a longing for nourishing food, cheerful company, comfort, and the security of warmth.  In the past all this often came together before the fireplace.  What better than to snuggle up and watch the flames flicker and dance, as the fire turns one’s home into a snug little burrow?

Today, however, the sheer energy-inefficiency of a traditional fireplace can make it a less-than-desirable fixture in one’s household.  Yet the allure of captive flame remains.  So, how to satisfy that ancient longing?

 

Why, bypass the fireplace, of course.

 

Enter Wall Flame I & II, the sleek brain-children of Michael Rösing, managing director of Radius Design, in Brühl, Germany.  Gone is the large, surrounding containment structure, gone the flue, gone the chimney.  In short, gone is the fireplace itself, and in its place is left a simplicity of flame. Read the rest of this entry »

Dead Batteries? Get an Eco-Clock

Since I know that throwing batteries in the landfill just means you’ll eventually be drinking the toxins in them later when they have seeped into the groundwater (lovely thought), I’ve always been a good girl and taken them for safe disposal at a place I found on Earth911.  However, I don’t want to drive to my local battery recycling center every time my son uses up another set of AA batteries in his flashlight (which he uses under the covers to read books at night when he doesn’t think I’m looking – kids never change).  So I let a small stack of them pile up on a back bookshelf until I realize that I no longer have a small pile of batteries, but rather a very large, messy pile of corroding acids and metals.

Not that it’s ever actually gotten that bad.

Not exactly (ahem).

That (not so big and messy) pile of batteries is why I want one of these!  See, those “dead” batteries still have just a little life in them yet, and by combining the power of twelve of them at once, I could not only point out to my son that it is actually past his bedtime (and that I know he has a flashlight and a book under his covers), I would also have a place to store up to twelve batteries before making that trip to the hazardous waste center.  I love stuff that multi-tasks!

The clock will even tell you when a battery is REALLY dead.  As opposed to mostly dead.

Read the rest of this entry »

Silent Running – Zephyr’s Next Generation Europa Range Hoods

Shhhh…

Hear that?

You don’t?

Perfect!

Milano Wall

That sound you don’t hear is Zephyr’s new Next Generation Europa line of range hoods.

Napoli Island

The reason you hear hardly a thing isn’t because the hood is so loud it drowns out your smoke alarm when you set the bacon on fire (come on, it’s happened to all of us, right?).  No, it’s because these range hoods are equipped with Zephyr’s DCBL™ Suppression technology.

What’s that you ask?  Well, let’s take a look under the hood, shall we?

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Heated Glass Towel Warmers by Thermique

Does anything feel as luxurious as a warm towel on a cold autumn morning?   Mmmmm….  Cozy!

With the Thermique Heated Glass Towel Warmer, you can have have that wonderful warm fuzzy towel without sacrificing style, or the environment.  Read the rest of this entry »

Newport Green Home Tour This Saturday

If you are in the Southern California area this Saturday, stop by and say “Hi!”.

Here is the information:

Guided Tour and Open House
Saturday, October 22nd, from 10am to 12pm

Tour a LEED for Homes registered custom home in Newport Beach while it’s still under construction with exposed studs. Builder John Steed of Maverick Home Builders, Project Manager Laura Sanders of Jeannette Architects in Long Beach, Interior Designer Rachel Hulan of Path Design, Consultant Evan Little of Permaculture Properties and other design team members as well as USGBC-OC volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and lead two scheduled tours through this cutting edge home. Targeted certification level is Platinum. Targeted certification level is Platinum. Light refreshments will be served.

10:15am – 1st guided tour begins
11:15am – 2nd guided tour begins

Parking:
Street parking is limited. Try parking at Grant Howard Park off Heliotrope and 5th.

Cost:
$5 Students
$5 USGBC-OC Members
$15 Non-Members

Registration:
Tickets are limited, so make sure to reserve your spot early. Contact the USGBC-OC chapter at 714-832-3616 for more information or go to our website at www.usgbc-oc.org to register.

Thanks for visiting, and hope to see you there!

Rachel

Oh No! There’s a Monster in My Toilet!

Just had to share this adorable “Toilet Monster”…

From Dutch design company Ecoreminders, this cute little guy is actually a PVC free vinyl decal that seeks to remind you of the wasteful water monster lurking in every toilet. Read the rest of this entry »

Summeritis & Quick Tips for a Cooler Home

Dear Readers,

I have a confession.  I have a bad case of summeritis.  You know, that disease caused by warm, summer mornings spent sleeping in a bit later than you meant to.  Afternoons where the only thing busy are the bees humming around the copious flowers in your backyard.  Days where you try to figure out how to look at least semi-professional in a tank top, and all you want to eat is ice cold watermelon for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  A disease characterized by distraction, lethargy and hair gone wild with humidity.  Yeah, THAT summeritis.

So, I apologize for the infrequency of my postings of late.  I’ll see what I can do to catch up once the weather starts to cool again next week.  Meanwhile, here are a few energy efficient tips to cool your house down when the weather warms. Read the rest of this entry »

“Light is Like Water”… – Liquid Light

One of my favorite short stories ever is the hauntingly beautiful “Light is Like Water”, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  In it, two young boys discover that they can make electricity flow from a broken bulb in the apartment, just like a tap, creating a lake of liquid light upon which they can float a little raft and have adventures amongst the islands of sofas and chairs.  I wonder if this is what Marquez saw in his minds eye when he wrote that story…

These beautiful fixtures are from Liquid Light.  The creations of Venice, CA based artist Tanya Clarke, they are formed from salvaged plumbing fixtures, hand formed glass drops, and LED lights.

Although lovely as sculpture in their own right, these fixtures really come into their own when you flip the switch.

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“You Look Radiant” – Art Glass Radiators

In many parts of the world, radiators are still the heating source of choice.  There are a lot of good reasons to use them, including avoiding the indoor air quality issues associated with forced air heating.  However, radiators have one little problem,…

they usually look like this. Hmmm…  not the most inspiring look for a room, is it?

Now this is a bit more like it!  Read the rest of this entry »

Greentech Meets High Tech on “This New House”

The DIY Channel’s new show, “This New House” premieres tonight, July 29th, at 8PM/7C.  If the trailer for the series is any indication, it should be chock full of innovative, high tech products, many of them geared towards energy savings and other aspects of green living.

One of the projects highlighted in the first three episodes is the Cleantech Teaching Center, a state of the art showcase home located in Beverly, MA.  This house features an entirely LED lighting system, rainwater recovery system, geothermal energy, and solar photovoltaic panels.  Sustainable materials were used throughout the interior, including Trend USA’s lovely Trend Q recycled glass tile.  Cleantech Homes, LLC has applied for LEED PLatinum status for the home. Read the rest of this entry »