Flooring for Green Life Smart Life House

The Green Life Smart Life home is using flooring inside which are helping to award the home with Environmentally Preferable Product points under the LEED for Homes certification.  There are three particular floors throughout the house that qualify for EPP points (Materials and Resources category).

The most used flooring throughout the house is reclaimed hardwoods that have been harvested from an old barn.  There are many barns and old buildings that have been set aside to be demolished instead they are harvested and reused as eco friendly flooring.  Besides the unique look and interesting history, reclaimed hardwoods offers so much more, using reclaimed woods is the environmentally responsible thing to do; it allows the wood to have a second life and saves new trees from being cut down.

Marmoleum flooring will also be used in the Green Life Smart Life home in the laundry room as well as the pantry.  Marmoleum is extremely eco friendly and is made up of many different natural raw materials.  It’s resistance to bacteria makes this particular flooring popular for schools and hospitals.  Marmoleum is also fire resistant, very easy to maintain, hygienic, warm and comfortable to touch unlike cold tile and it uses natural raw materials.  Rosin, wood flour, cork flour, linseed oil and limestone are the key ingredients to making Maroleum.

“As long as the sun shines and the rain falls, we can produce MARMOLEUM® and ARTOLEUM®.”  -Forbo-

The third flooring that will be used in the Green Life Smart Life home is Fireclay tile.  Fireclay uses unique, affordable and green methods to produce their tiles.  Using recycled materials to make their clay makes this a great choice for the green life smart life home.  Fireclay is very green in the sense that they recycle their kiln heat, water and all of their manufacturing waste that is reused throughout their business.

Flooring was a careful consideration on this project as all products has to be safe both the environment and the family – and add to the New England cottage décor in the home.  They are all extracted, processed and manufactured within the region making them great candidates for environmentally preferable product points.

Posted by: Kate Kiselka

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Abby’s Blog: A good, green hat

I’ve decide what I am getting my dad for Christmas. It’s a wonderful winter hat the Good Green Hat.  It’s good and green in many ways:

  • Profits protect rainforest through World Land Trust-US.
  • Plastic bottles are recycled to create the soft, fleece fabric.
  • Sewn in the U.S. by women receiving fair wages and education for a better life.
  • Helps educate kids about rainforests and conservation through Earth’s Birthday Project.

Each hat is only $14.95. http://GoodGreenThings.com

posted by Abby, age 6

The Marriot Courtyard Hotels get a makeover

Marriott, one of the largest hotel chains in the US, has started down the path to being green.  Every small step this huge hotel chain makes is going to be a big impact with hopefully more hotels will following in their footsteps.  Marriot is on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions close to 100 million tons by 2010, what an impact.  So they started in Washing D.C. where their headquarters is located.

By switching over to compostable plates and silverware they will be significantly helping the environment.  What a great way to leave a positive footprint in the ground!  They even went a step further by supplying their employees with re-usable coffee mugs and water bottles, to cut down the usage of paper ones.

Marriot headquarters even made an office model to how a green office should run.  With bubble cut outs in a carton like effect they showed which containers recycled what.  They even placed signs to show how shutting of a lamp that isn’t needed will save energy as well as their printers and monitors when not in use.

In the next five years Marriot plans to have their Marriot Courtyard hotels be LEED certified, they currently have more than 160 hotels in development.    The Courtyard Settler’s Ridge in Pittsburgh, Penn., will open next summer.  It will be the first hotel structured and designed with these standards. More than 30 of their hotels are being designed to receive LEED certification as of now – very impressive.

For a dollar a day Marriot is also offering their guest the ability to green their stay.  They have adopted a creative saying, “Green Your Marriott Hotel Stay for $1/Day.”  It is only offered to guests who book online and the $1 a day will go towards the preservation of a Brazilian rainforest.  By doing this it allows the guest to offset his/her carbon they generated throughout their stay.  What a fun an innovative idea!

By Kate Kiselka /  Follow me on Twitter

Billboard bags, the perfect swag

Did you know that 176,470 billboard ads are printed annually on 7,500 tons of vinyl to create attention grabbing, car swerving, crash inducing ads? Once they are removed from their structures, these large sheets of premium vinyl used to be headed for the wastestream. But now you can give your billboard ad new life.

AdVinylize is an affordable and eco-friendly solution for recycling used billboard vinyls into a variety of promotional products such as tote bags, messenger bags, and other innovative accessories.

Imagine, giving back a piece of your company in the form of unique, one-of-a-kind product such as tote bags, cooler bags, messenger bags or custom designed products, demonstrating your stewardship and commitment to the environment. By recycling your outdoor boards into corporate promotions, the life of your brand extends way beyond the life of the ad.

Billboard bags, I love me a swag bag.

posted by KDL | follow me on Twitter:  newscaster

A Farm Fresh Thanksgiving

(original post via Farm Fresh RI Blog)

After a rough start to the season – tomatoes and potatoes got blight, strawberries rotted in the rain – a mild November is producing a bounty of late fall veggies. Slightly frost-kissed, their flavor is rich and crisp and perfect for a celebration of the harvest. It’s a fitting turnaround for the place that Thanksgiving calls home. Ah, autumn in New England.

Make your Holiday dinners a 50-mile meal, focused on seasonal ingredients from our local farmers. They’ve endured a tough 2009 to grow our food and finally have the crops to show for it.

Courtesy of the Brown Herald

At the Wintertime Farmers Market in Pawtucket every Saturday 11-2, you’ll find a variety of veggies, fruit, eggs, meat, seafood, cider, flowers from 30 different farms and cheese, bread, pastries, coffee, jams from 20 other local producers. Plus, live music and a cooking demo by Chef Sophie of My Little French Cottage with butternut ginger soup and carrot leek potato soup to taste. It’s our state’s largest farmers market, with 50 local producers all under one roof and the widest variety of local foods available for your everyday meals and your holiday dinner. Some highlights at the Wintertime Market:

  • Cranberries from Fresh Meadows Farm
  • Beef and Pork from Aquidneck Farms, Hill Farm, Stoney Hill Cattle
  • Chicken from Pat’s Pastured
  • Apples and Cider from Hill Orchards, Barden Orchards
  • Jams and Sauces from many farms and producers
  • Local Cranberry Ice Cream from Kafe Lila for your hot apple pie
  • Broccoli, Sugar Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Onions, Potatoes, Carrots, and so many more veggies from a whole lot of farms!
  • If you’re looking for a turkey, they’ll likely sell quickly at the market. You may want to contact a farm directly to inquire.

There’s such great abundance right now of incredible food grown on farms right here in our own communities. Honest, fresh and bursting with flavor. It’s something to be truly grateful for.

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We here at Green Life Smart Life are thankful for organizations like Farm Fresh RI, who work to provide the community a link to one of our most valuable resources: our farms.  We love our locally source and organic produce and are lucky to have a farmers market even in the winter months.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Eat well and be well.

 

Posted by: Ashley / follow me on Twitter

A not so traditional Secret Garden

A secret garden on the rooftop of Minneapolis Target Center, home of NBA Minnesota Timberwolves is making the view from up above beautiful.  The Minnesota heat which reaches 140 degree won’t be such an inconvenience anymore.  The 2.5 acres of plants will keep the same temperature as the air and this will reduce the significant cooling and heating costs of the building.  Besides lowering the bills it will also keep 3.68 million gallons of water from running into the Mississippi.    

This is a great opportunity for Minneapolis and will be even greater when hopefully this fad starts catching on nationally.  Toronto has passed a new law mandating “green” rooftops for all new developments.  Any new development with 2,000 square meters must make sure their roof top holds between 20 and 60% of vegetation.  This new law is for residential space, commercial space as well as industrial.  There are mixed reviews about this law, many grumbles due to the extra expense this will cost.  But to others they see this extra expense paying off in the end. 

Chicago has joined by having 600 green rooftops.  This could be the start of something great for our environment, and why not it’s unused space.  Although the US has not made it mandatory like Toronto, Chicago holds the highest amount of green rooftops

There are so many benefits to having a green roof.  They are such a great way to insulate buildings and homes, and they reduce energy bills.  It is a great way to release oxygen into the air so car pollution is decreased.  This will also create a great space for workers at companies with green roofs to be able to enjoy the outdoors on a lunch break.  It is also possible to grow flowers, herbs, vegetables on these roofs; the Fairmount Hotel in Vancouver used their roof top space for this and therefore saves their kitchen almost 30,000 a year in food cost. 

By Kate Kiselka. Follow me on Twitter

Designer Green Countertop Options

Having attended Greenbuild last year, I am impressed at the increase in new “designer” options for surfaces and finishes I found at the 2009 show. I was already very familiar with Paperstone having just installed it in my house, but found some new options I might have to explore for my yet to be finished pantry.

ECO by Cosentino is a new  line of green countertops for kitchens and baths that is composed of 75% post consumer and post industrial materials. It reuses products that would typically end up in landfills, including glass, bottles, broken mirror, and porcelain from sinks and toilets, which are bound together with a corn based resin to create a durable and beautiful surfacing material. According to the company, ECO will utilize the equivalent of 60,000,000 glass bottles every year. Available in 10 designer colors, ECO prices at $68 – $110 sq/ft.

IceStone, a favorite of mine since the minute I saw it, is simply beautiful.  Durable surfaces made from 100% recycled glass and cement, IceStone looks a bit like granite but in my opinion, is brighter and sleeker. Didn’t get pricing but I’m going to guess comparable to the others listed here.

EnviroGLAS Products Inc. converts post-consumer and industrial glass bound for the landfill into sustainable and pretty cool looking hard surfaces such as their EnviroSLAB countertops. A standard 25″ x 60″ x 1″size countertop brings  100% recycled glass terrazzo into an affordable price range for anyone remodeling or constructing decorative surfaces and countertops. With eight glass options and fully customizable pigmented epoxy resin, can be custom manufactured for a price of around $50 sq/ft.

EcoTop is a bio-composite surface materials used for countertops, tabletops, floors and walls that is a made form FSC certified fiber that is a 50/50 blend of bamboo and post-consumer recycled paper. Bound together with a 100% water-based co-polymer resin formula, the product is VOC free and contribute to your LEED- H points. It comes in ten colors and looks similar to Corian and prices around the same. We put EcoTop in our master bathroom and laundry along with our shower surrounds.

I love the growing list of sexy, sustainable products for home design.

 posted by KDL | follow newscaster on Twitter