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Wednesday, October 29, 2014


the LED light bulb that shines when the power goes out

SmartCharge LED Bulb

If you live in an environment that is prone to extreme weather events like big winter snowstorms, high winds, or hurricanes you might want to contemplate what’s going to happen when the lights go out (and they will). One solution – an energy-efficient LED light bulb which contains a rechargeable battery that keeps the bulb lit when the power goes out and operates like a normal LED light bulb when the juice is on.

The SmartCharge LED Bulb was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign that reached 183% of its target. SmartCharge is a nifty solution for folks who experience frequent power loss, or those who can’t afford to be left in the dark. (more…)

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

votive candles vs battery-powered LED lights

LED vs. Wick: shedding a little light …

halloween votive candles

A glowing Jack-O-Lantern is about as iconic Halloween as you can get. But lately, more and more families have been switching out their old fashioned candles for new battery-powered LED options. As LEDs grow in popularity they are slowly replacing traditional candles. So the question becomes, are these battery-powered LEDs more eco-friendly than their candle counterparts?

LED votive candles

Let’s breakdown some environmental pros and cons of each option. An LED candle:

  • CONS – it has a plastic body and powered by batteries.
  • PROS – they last longer than a candle (so we won’t go through as many) and they come with no risk of fire or fumes. Here are some rechargeable battery-powered LED votive solutions on

Whereas traditional candles:

  • PROS – usually burn themselves out leaving little behind so there is less waste for the landfills
  • CONS – most candles on the market are made from paraffin wax, which is a petroleum product derived from oil. Burning this type of candle increases dependence on oil and also releases byproducts like carbon dioxide, toxic toluene and benzene. Exposure to these substances is linked to nervous system damage and endocrine disruption. Lastly, there is always a risk of fire.

Perhaps it’s these negatives of a conventional candle that has families turning to the LED option … but with anything battery-powered we need to take into consideration what impact the batteries have.  One-time use batteries are commonly alkaline batteries and when they’re done they are discarded. Almost all Halloween candle LED substitutes use one-time use batteries. And the batteries contain harmful materials like cadmium, lead, mercury, copper, zinc, manganese and potassium that we don’t want leaching into ground water. Because of their toxic nature they can’t be tossed in the recycling bin, nor can they be tossed in the trash. Every city handles battery disposal differently but they do need to be collected and disposed of properly.

acorn candy soy votive candles

(above) Candy Corn Soy Votive Candles with Cotton Wicks, scented with phthalate-free scented oil (3-pack, $9) @ theprismaticpeacock on etsy.

Which brings me back to the candle option … you can make your traditional candle cleaner and greener by: (more…)

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

rustic children’s woodland art on reclaimed wood

reclaimed wood fawn art

Does your little lover of nature need some woodland creatures or rustic art to adorn their room? These handmade artworks will add rustic charm to any kid’s room or nursery. These sweet pieces of wall art have been designed and made by the husband and wife team of Denise and Robert Devenie of Devenie Designs.

reclaimed wood woodland scenes

Woodland creatures, trees and messages are featured on weathered reclaimed planks that have been hand painted, refinished and sealed. A cool way to add inspiration to (more…)

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

design Provocateur – vintage furniture given new expression

burning rainforest chair

Art or furniture? The answer is – both. design Provocateur is a New Jersey based collection of artists, architects and designers led by Robert delPazzo. The design group creates furniture and decor that merges art and design with discarded, recycled and vintage materials to create unexpected art furniture – like their “Louis XV” gilt lounge chairs (above). The chairs have been re-upholstered with custom printed cloth featuring a thought-provoking image of the burning rainforest. (The rainforest image was custom printed on the fabric by Duggal of New York)

painted vintage chaise lounge

The striking vintage chaise lounge (above) has been custom painted by artist Nelma Guimaraes. This OOAK piece features a secret storage compartment under the cushion and oodles of exotic style.

recycled love seat

The “Dirty Secrets Bench” (above) is constructed from an eclectic assortment of chairs backs and furniture pieces – all (more…)

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

5 fabulous furniture pieces in reclaimed wood

reclaimed wood bed frame and headboard

What could be more rewarding than joining a growing trend in eco-friendly interior design and saving precious trees? If you’re a friend of the Earth and decorating your abode the answer is probably – not much! That being the case, we thought we’d do a quick roundup of 5 great home decorating solutions that all involve reclaimed wood.

This modern looking bed frame and headboard (above) possesses clean lines, modern styling and all the character of the reclaimed wood from which it’s constructed  … and it’s suitable for regular or memory foam mattresses. Made from reclaimed antique pine, and/or oak, the bed can be ordered in any size. The twin is $840 from BarnWoodFurniture

reclaimed heart pine dresser

(above) A modern dresser created from vintage, reclaimed wood, this classy OOAK piece features: touch release drawers, salvaged wood, finished birch and reclaimed heart pine. $1,350.00 from Croft House LA (more…)

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

rustic zen – handmade reclaimed barnwood coffee tables

reclaimed barnwood coffee table

I’ve got a feeling we may see one of these reclaimed barnwood coffee tables on the set of Talking Dead this season … Furniture pieces with a rustic industrial style can enhance a space with either a retro or modern decor – and the basic material (reclaimed wood) is eco-friendly and sustainable.

barnwood coffee table

These handmade tables by the The Zen Artist possess a great rustic patina that’s created by the alternating arrangement of weathered rectangles of (more…)

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Creative DIY: fun ideas for giving new life to old pianos

upcycled piano fountain

Old pianos that have become family room eye sores can present an over-sized disposal challenge. Before you send old Betsy to the basement, sell her to strangers at a garage sale, or a make a strenuous trip to the local landfill, there may be another, more fun solution. If you’re handy with power tools and have a little vision you can transform your old beat-up piano into a new piece of furniture for your home or garden. There are many (more…)

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sustainable Furniture: Handcrafted Designer Mirrors

handmade maple mirror yellow blue

I love the elegant lines of these handmade mirrors created by furniture maker and craftsman, David Hurwitz. Hurwitz utilizes hand carving and traditional methods of furniture construction and joinery to create pieces with modern flourishes and contemporary style.

designer maple mirror

The craftsman uses only FSC Certified woods like cherry and maple in these museum-quality lyrical pieces. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo and certification is (more…)

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