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La Brea LED lamp from David D’Imperio

imperioled1_1.jpgThe naturalistic form of this desk lamp caught my eye.  Does it resemble the skeletal remains of a fire damaged tree or a coral tower shooting up out of some abstract sea.  Either way, I like it.  Lighting designer David D’Imperio has create this, and many other, striking lighting fixtures in his Stony Run, Pennsylvania studio.

David is currently specializing in lightweight aluminum designs.

The 14 X 13″ La Brea lamp consists of 18 light emitting diodes on a steel and acrylic structure.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

chinese drywall – a stinky problem

chindwl1.jpgHomeowners in states across the country, and in Florida in particular, are experiencing problems with imported Chinese drywall.  The recent housing boom (2004-2006) and building materials shortages associated with hurricane Katrina caused builders to go outside the U.S. for drywall (gypsum).  Though the problematic Chinese drywall has been found in 14 states and over 100,000 homes, Florida was a particularly active market for imported drywall.  Florida homeowners have been confronted by stinky odors and malfunctioning air conditioners, problems that appear to arise when humidity reacts with Sulphur in the imported drywall to create off-gas.  The problem corrodes air conditioning pipes and copper wiring while producing a noxious, rotten egg smell that permeates the home.  Local health agencies are exploring the potential allergy and respiratory issues that may well be associated with the problem.  Though the Florida Dept. of Health issued a statement stating that the level of emissions from the drywall posed no “immediate health threat,”  affected homeowners are concerned that they’ll be stuck with properties with decimated values.

There may also be evidence that some South Florida contractors, developers and builders were aware of potential problems.  I can hear someone calling their lawyer as I type.

photo: wsj/zuma

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EarthLover – eco shopping that’s affordable

Helping the Fair Trade economy as well as Mother Earth just got a little easier.  As much as we like to recycle, reuse and DIY, sometimes we just have to dip into our pile of green in order to dig up something fresh — especially when it comes to gift-giving.  With graduations, weddings and father’s day around the corner, we’re shining the spotlight on an e-tailer that’s easy on the planet, and easy on the wallet:


The site is easy to navigate — you can shop by product category (green teen, eco baby, men, women, etc) or whether a product is: handmade, recycled, organic, natural or renewable.  And Alternative Consumers receive 10 percent off by using EarthLoverAC code at checkout.  Here are just a few of my personal favs:

Vinylux Album Covered Sketchbooks – 65 pages (100% recycled, chlorine-free paper), available in 2 sizes, ($14)

MegaTote handmade from recycled Cambodian Rice Bags in red & white or green & yellow, ($21)

Frugi Organic Cotton Happy Hat – too cute, in Moonbeam, Dusky Pink or Blue, ($11.50)

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mr. happy – a faux green poser


I admit it, I’m becoming a green corner cutter.  I’m in Florida this week and I need to get some eco-indiscretions off my sweaty chest.  Perhaps it’s the cookie-cutter sameness of this environment, the heat or the humidity, or just a congenital deficiency in the moral fiber department, but I’m losing it.  Anyhoo, today’s green shame list:

  • Took out the in-laws recycling to the curb.  Hopped into my rental car, a fire-engine-red Dodge Charger.  Headed to Dunkin Donuts to get NY Post and coffee.  Three strikes.  I’m out.
  • Got back to the hacienda.  Turned up the AC a notch.  I’m can feel the bad karma building-up…
  • Didn’t fight with the lady of the house over the use of a paper plate (no it wasn’t made of recycled paper).  Damned convenience.  I’m losing my grip…
  • Left the laptop on all night (was in sleep mode).  A minor indiscretion but they all add up…
  • Forgot the reusable bags in the car when I went into the local Publix for supplies.  I can feel myself slipping away…

More later as the struggle for redemption begins…

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Energizer’s Energi To Go Line beefs-up iPhone solar charging


Energizer’s boosting the charging capabilities of its Energi To Go line of portable small device chargers to include extended iPhone 3G and solar charging.  The two new AP Charger packs for the iPhone will consist of the AP1000, and the longer lasting AP1500, which will cost $50 and $80 respectively.  The AP1500 charger is estimated to double the length of a typical iPhone charge.  Available sometime this month.


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