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Wednesday, April 9, 2014


scraplights – designer pendant lamps from recycled cardboard

scraplight sun pendant light

I just discovered these striking designer pendant lights created by cutting-edge, Seattle-based design firm, graypants. The company’s flagship “Scraplights” series of handmade lights is finely crafted from recycled, corrugated cardboard.

scraplight moons

scraplight drum light urban

The lights come in a variety of elegant shapes and provide warm, intimate light that can work stylistically in a wide range of interior spaces – from rustic to modern.

scraplights production

Rugged and sexy, each unit is precision cut with a laser and assembled by hand using a nontoxic adhesive. All scraplights are treated with an environmentally friendly fire retardant. Custom shapes and sizes are available. (prices range from $235 – $8,000)

scraplight drum detail

about graypants:
Seattle architects, Seth Grizzle and Jonathan Junker founded “graypants” in 2007 as an expansion of their architectural work and the Scraplights series was one of their first creations. The Seattle design firm now has a sister office in Amsterdam.

related: more eco-friendly home decor finds from The Alternative Consumer

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

solartab portable solar charger – kickstarter find

solartab solar charger

The never-ending proliferation of power-hungry portable devices and the lack of great, long-lasting battery solutions continue to make keeping your smartphone or tablet charged and operational a major challenge. One new, sleek solution is the Solartab portable solar charger — an eco-friendly, off-grid power solution with a great minimalist design.

solartab solar charger

Solartab is the design creation of CurrentMESS, a three-person startup consisting of Simon Methi, Mathias Einberger and Eskil Vestre. The multinational trio is currently based in both London, UK and Shenzhen, China. CurrentMESS just (more…)

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

handmade beetle-kill pine bat house

handmade bat house

Spring is the time to start thinking about the critters you want to keep close to your home. Instead of fearing beneficial insect eaters like bats, you should embrace these much-maligned little creatures and encourage them to roost around your yard, making a bat house a smart addition. Chris Bradley makes his handmade, signature bat houses (pictured above & below) from upcycled beetle-kill pine – a very eco-friendly detail.

handmade bat house

A single little brown bat can gobble-up 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour – so put down the Off and bug spray, make some new furry friends and start using natural pest control. About beetle-kill pine – the mountain pine beetle has decimated the lodgepole and ponderosa pine forests of northwest Colorado. One of the few positives of this invasive attack – as the beetles lay their eggs, a blue-green fungus stains the outer sapwood layers of the tree, resulting in a dramatic blue and cream coloring of the underlying wood.

The bat house dimensions are 16″w x 16″h x 3 1/4″ deep. The shelter has a single 3/4-inch wide opening that houses up to 20 bats – the house’s exterior has a smooth varnished finish, while the interior surfaces are left rough for bats to cling to. Includes instructions and mounting hardware. On Sale Through April with free shipping to the US.  $50 @ sacred resource

related: more design articles featured on

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

5 cool sustainable container homes

Containers of Hope home

We are big fans of repurposing cargo containers and converting them into dwellings. What better way to store your most precious cargo – your family, or loved ones – than in a stylish, sustainable home? Here are just a few of our favorites …

container home interior

Containers of Hope ext

(3, above) The 1000 square foot Containers of Hope home was designed and created a few years ago by architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe. The finished product, which stands in San Jose, Costa Rica, cost an incredibly low $40,000.

container house ext

Another container home favorite – designed by Boulder, Colorado’s Studio H:T – is the “Container House” (pictured above & directly below). A home that beautifully integrates into its surroundings and  challenges its occupants to be efficient.

container house 3

The design features two shipping containers that “saddlebag” a taller common space which connects to the adjacent rock outcroppings and overlooks expansive mountain views. (more photos and details)


Take one recycled blue shipping container, add: flooring, large windows, a wildflower-filled green roof, a composting toilet and some tastefully selected retro furnishings, and you’ve created one stylishly green guest house. (photos above & below) (more…)

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Monday, March 24, 2014

salvaged wood mantle – rustic style


Here’s a straightforward, sustainable take on a wall shelf or small mantle. Phillie-based, CSC Design Lab, creates these made-to-order pieces from salvaged joists recovered from demolished local homes. The wood used is primarily Douglas fir or hemlock recovered from old buildings within a mile radius of the designer’s shop (reduced travel distance = lower emissions).

salvaged wood slab shelf

The shelf is mounted on steel pipe mounting brackets – the steel is usually 90% recycled – and sealed with zero VOC coating. The wood is finished with eco-friendly pure tung oil. The salvaged wood slabs are 8″ x 54″ and priced at $180 @ csc design lab.
If you’re handy in the woodshop and so inclined, this would make a great DIY project.

related: more eco-friendly home decor finds from

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

reclaimed wood media console

reclaimed wood media console

Lucky Blu Designs scours NYC and Connecticut for reclaimed wood from old buildings under renovation or demolition. From their character-laden salvaged wood they craft tables, desks and unique pieces of furniture like this media console (above and below).

reclaimed wood media console

This media console is from the designer’s SOHO Collection and features an open concept storage area, a variety of carefully selected recycled and reclaimed woods and steel legs. The interior storage area is finished with a dark Jacobean stain – with a clear sealant applied inside and out.


I like the idea of placing modern technology – like your bloated flat screen TV – on top of a OOAK chunk of New York City history. (more…)

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