Turning your ordinary writing utensils into your favorite pens, the Seven Year Pen greens up your office supplies, writing up to 6.5 feet a day for 7 years (uh, can you say “hand cramp?”). Available in colorful designs and clever graphics, the best part about these pens is that they’re eco-friendly — reducing waste by increasing the barrel size inside each pen up to six times the amount in your everyday BIC.
EXTRA: Eco-Friendly Home Improvement and Building Products >>
Happy Earth Day!
Did you know the average family spends $2,300 per year on energy costs? Think about what you could do with that $2,300. (I, personally, would nab that Gus sectional I’ve been coveting for the past 6+ months.) Matt McGovren, brand manager for Nexia Home Intelligence, shares a few tips and tricks for saving energy and making your home a bit greener. Some are easy changes you can start today, and you’ll instantly see lower bills and more money in your pocket. Plus, each small change makes a great impact on the environment, too.
Maintain Your Interior — About half of energy costs are spent heating or cooling your home. Installing a programmable thermostat that’s compatible with a home automation system can help reduce energy use and save money on those bills each month.
Hit the Lights — Use motion sensors to control both interior and exterior lighting. Using sensors to control lighting is perfect for busy families or anyone who can’t remember (or can’t be bothered) to turn off the lights when they’re not needed.
Don’t Be a Vampire — Appliances that are plugged in but not in use still generate electricity. In fact, vampire power is estimated to account for one percent of global C02 emissions — but it’s an easy habit to kick: just unplug. Schedule your products to only be on when needed using products that control lights and small appliances when you’re at home and away.
Stop Running — Most Americans use between 80 and 100 gallons of water a day. This Earth Day, make a pledge to conserve water by taking shorter showers and turning the tap off when you’re scrubbing your dishes.
Set Reminders — Get email or text alerts when it’s time to change your HVAC filter. Having a fresh filter keeps your system running efficiently, saving you money.
Looking for more tips and ideas? Green your home this spring with energy efficiency updates from HGTV.com.
Happy Earth Day, one and all! In addition to all the small “acts of green” you can do for the planet — biking to work, switching to green cleaning products — why not show your support every day with some cute home decor like these Tree Hugger pillows from Zinc Door?
Tallk about eco chic! The felt pillows look so soft, and I love their retro hippie-era designs and earthy color palettes. In fact, I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree…or Tree Hugger pillows.
How do you plan to observe Earth Day?
We asked Design Happens readers to tell us their plans for celebrating Earth Day in our April 22nd giveaway. Y’all are a busy group! Lots of folks are starting or expanding veggie gardens at home while others are launching and coordinating recycling programs at the office. Our winner, Noeleen, is “working with a local master gardener on a design to remove the front lawn and put in natives to save water and give me plenty of color. I cannot wait to see it completed.” Neither can we! Please send us pictures.
Noeleen wins a red cedar Urban Planter Box from Farmer D Organics, who are green superstars themselves. Noeleen has two weeks to reply to our messages before we randomly select a new winner.
I’m the kind who trusts a friend’s opinion far more than a celeb endorsement. When Anna told me how much she adores Atlanta’s Farmer D Organics, I knew I would too. Farmer D’s makes and sells some of the richest, most sustainable compost, fertilizers and organic pest controls. But they are much more than an organic gardening store — Farmer D’s is part of a growing movement. Their site and blog are chock-full of useful information and inspiration if you’re looking to start your own biodynamic garden to feed your family and your community.
Seeing as today is Earth Day, it’s appropriate that we’re giving away one of Farmer D’s Urban Planter Boxes. They’re made on site from sustainably-harvested red cedar, so you know they are good for the environment. (And smell delicious!) Leave us a comment before 12/11c Monday, April 25th to be entered for a chance to win.
This week’ question: How are you celebrating Earth Day? Putting in a rain barrel? Starting a bee hive? Planting a tree?
Click for official rules.
For some, doing something “green” on Earth Day feels forced. But what could be more natural, rewarding and eco-friendly for design types like us than repurposing old furniture, fixtures and architectural relics into chic new pieces for our homes. (And you can save money!) I consider myself a pretty creative person, but I would never have thought to turn an old headboard into a coat rack or a salvaged sink into a bird bath. Luckily, there are plenty of experts in the design world coming up with cool step-by-step projects that are good for the planet. Here are my favorite repurposed design ideas, five easy DIYs from HGTV.com that give tired and unused items a stylish new lease on life.
HGTV.com: Paint Eclectic Chairs for a Cohesive Look
Way too often when I’m scouring Craigslist, I see a random dining room chair for sale and think, “What the heck would I do with one chair?!” Well, Brian Patrick Flynn suggests choosing an eclectic mix of chairs, painting them a unified color and reupholstering them in matching fabric for a fabulous we-belong-together look.
It is rare for an American city to acknowledge the need for smart, greener growth. However, a New York City zoning regulation states that any new residential unit must a have 30′ yard.
I admit that I was shocked to hear that there was a such an law was on the books in this densely packed, land-starved city. So I wanted to celebrate this smart, green rule on Earth Day and show you the gorgeous way MESH Architects accommodated it in this North Brooklyn home with a center atrium. This former industrial garage space invited the outdoors in and became a stylish home.
Sometimes going green can put a dent in the bank — a buggy full of organic groceries can cost almost as much as the monthly payment on a Prius. You don’t have to take out a loan to make your home, clothes and life more eco-friendly. I’ve found some eco-chic deals in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
An aggressively bookmarked copy of Eco-Chic Home currently resides on my desk. It’s full of some of the smartest and cheapest green home ideas I’ve ever seen. My favorite tip is to take homeless buttons and turn them into napkin rings (p117).