Friday, February 27, 2009

Little Break

I'm off for a little break in the sunny south, St. Augustine, Florida, to be exact. I'll maybe put up a thing or to, but... I'm really in need of a break before Sustain gets going full swing. See you when I get back! (photo: M-a Belle)


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Vintage Friday - 26 Olive Olive Street

I'm so excited about today's vintage Friday! I was all set to post on Eileen Gray's glass table, but well, she'll just have to wait because I've fallen in love with 26 Olive Street! They are a new shop on Etsy that I found just this morning (!), but their carefully curated vintage collection is wonderfully whimsical yet practical. Plenty of little objets to suit any taste, and they're shop/site is very well put together. Here are a few of my favourites:

love/hate light box

student's lap chalkboard

moth ashtray (I don't smoke but I still think its cute!)

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Designing Green - Stern McCafferty

Sorry for the no-show yesterday guys - I was away at the National Home Show, in Toronto. Don't worry, to make it up I'm serving up a double dose of green home design by architects Stern McCafferty. "Members of the US Green Building Council, Stern McCafferty takes a pragmatic approach to sustainability - they focus on the use of resources where they have the greatest impact, and seek to provide clients with buildings that are timeless, enduring, and healthful." These are beauties - enjoy!

Beacon Hill -
From the renovation of a historic home in Boston.

Jilani Loft -
A residential loft in a converted power storage structure.

Love the contrast in this room!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pure Green Living Series - Amie from EcoFrenzy

This is Amie Vaccaro. She lives in San Francisco and is the author of EcoFrenzy, an amazing blog that lends a business perspective to sustainable living, as well as new green products, green research, and green living in and around her city. I hope you enjoy her angle on green living; stop on over and pay her a visit. (I hope you don't mind the lengthy post: this is good stuff!)

What she does for a living: "I am an Associate with Social Venture Technology Group (SVT Group), a boutique consulting firm focused on measuring, managing and communicating social and environmental impact."

Green Philosophy: "I am an aspiring sustainability aficionado and advocate living in San Francisco. I want to share what I know of green happenings with others and create a place where others can share their wisdom as well. I am not as green as I could possibly be - sometimes I forget my coffee mug or reusable tote bag, other times I don’t buy the organic fruit - but I am working on that."

How Amie lives Green (from EcoFrenzy): "These are the four items I take with me every day. I haven’t always done this, but now that I have gotten into the habit of packing reusable goods I’m realizing how much money and more importantly resources I’m conserving."

1. The reusable “plastic” bag: We’ve all heard how important it is to bring your own bags when grocery shopping etc. I’m advocating bringing your own bag everywhere.

Planet Savings: 500 bags/year. An average American uses 300-700 plastic bags a year (according to ChicoBags). Let’s say 500 bags on average. 97% of these bags do not get recycled and end up in landfills or littering the landscape.

Financial Savings: $15/year. Many retailers will give you a 10 cent credit for bringing your own bag. Assuming only 150 of the 500 times you use a bag each year gives a credit, you’ll be saving $15 over the course of a year!

2. The reusable “brown paper” bag: It’s perfect for pastries, fruit and veggie purchases and other small edibles and other delicate small objects. It basically replaces the brown paper bag.

Planet Savings: 180 bags/year. Let’s say the average American uses one every other day. Going reusable will save 180 brown paper bags per year per person.

3. Travel coffee mug: I carry it with me everywhere for all my hot and cold daily beverage needs.

Planet Savings: 300 cups/year. Among coffee drinkers, average consumption is 3.1 cups per day. Let’s assume that half of these cups are imbibed at home with reusable kitchen mugs. So without a travel coffee mug, the average American will use ~300 paper or styrofoam coffee cups per year. Ouch.

Financial savings: $30/year. Many coffee shops offer a discount for bringing your own mug; your mug will pay for itself after 4 to 8 months!

4. Reusable water bottle: carrying your own water bottle not only ensures you stay hydrated, and protect the environment, it also keeps toxic plastics out of your body.

Planet Savings: 100 bottles+/year. Americans drink an average of 99 liters of bottled water per year; over 80 percent of plastic bottles are simply thrown away, according to Green Options.

Financial Savings: $100+/year. Americans spent $15 billion on bottled water. If you’re buying bottled water at $1 per bottle, twice a week, you could stand to save $100 a year!

PG Note: Thank you so much Amie for being the first contributor to Pure Green Living. Keep in mind, your own green living contribution can be anything, from your craftiness, decor, bike route, clothing, food, career.... If you can't think of anything, maybe you should start! Come on guys, I look forward to hearing from you. For more info, click here.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Eco-Style - WC

Monday brings another Eco-Style post, and I'm loving this bathroom from Domino. I've never seen a concrete backsplash, but how very eco-chic, not to mention easy and cheap. Wooden sinks are quite popular these days - they're most often made of teak (because it is naturally water-resistant), but I've seen them made of walnut, oak and bamboo as well (they just need to be epoxied). Scroll down for more great eco-style sources.

Teak bathroom vessel sink from William Garvey. Also, see Canadian manufacturer Aura for more designs, or make your own: you need a little know-how to create the tight seams needed, then finish the sink by applying an epoxy-resin to make it water-tight.

These recycled porcelain tiles are from Crossville, Inc., and are produced in sleek, modern sizes and colours. See AFM Safecoat for a toxin-free, eco-friendly grout sealer.

The fabulous cork stools pictured above are the Vitra cork stool, available at Design Public.

These Shoo-foo low-impact bamboo towels are luxurious and soft - organic, eco-friendly, biodegradable, fair traded and naturally anti-bacterial.

Deck your bathroom out in eco-style with this bathroom set from Ecocentric, made with 100% recycled glass.

NOTE: I've never seen a recycled content or otherwise eco-friendly bathroom fixture. The most important thing here is to make sure you install an aerator, the single most effective and easy water conservation method for your home (no water pressure losses either)!

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Vintage Friday - Alarm Clocks

I have always liked desks or nightstands styled with vintage clocks, which inspired this week's vintage Friday, which to date have been pretty mid-century mod (which I love), but I thought it was time to throw in a little kitsch! About the clocks - I have always wanted to add one to my nightstand, but I'm afraid they'll tick too loudly! Any thoughts from vintage clock owners? In the meantime, enjoy the photos.


This one is a vintage punch-clock! From Treehugger.

From Apartment Therapy
p.s. - if you're looking for one, they are everywhere at fleamarkets and on eBay.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Designing Green - Cisco Pinedo

If you like the couch featured in my earlier eco-style post this week, you'll enjoy learning that Cisco Pinedo (the man behind the sofa) is a made made from modest roots. Born in a rural village in Jalisco, Mexico, raised in urban South Los Angeles and now leader of a multimillion-dollar ecological home furnishings company, one of the few major furniture manufacturers that hasn’t fled Southern California in search of less expensive factories and labor overseas. He makes furniture with reclaimed or responsibly harvested wood, organic fabrics, water-based glues and natural finishes. I was inspired to read more about him, and found these photos of his home (eco-style, of course) in Sunset magazine.

Simplicity is key - the room is sparsely furnished and decorated with items found while travelling or trolling flea markets.

This end table made of petrified wood is one of his most treasured objects.

The light fixture above the table is made from an old wine flask.

The kitchen features cabinets made of raw, reclaimed wood.

The shower tiles are also made of petrified wood.

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Care Package

Re-usable bags have become one of the most accepted socially conscious green themes, which is wonderful. But do you ever stop to think about where your bag is coming from? Enter its-laS-tik stretchy bags of hope, made in the U.S. Not only are these bags chic enough for the most discerning fashionista (check out the metallic range), they are made in a factory in New Orleans that was rebuilt and is staffed by hurricane Katrina survivors. If that's not enough, 5% of profits goes towards helping NOLA's homeless. (psst - they're design for looks as much as comfort: they move with you when you walk, making them more comfortable to carry, and will go back to its original shape after being stretched out.)

Get these at for $15-25, or find them at my store, Sustain, when we open in April.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cartolina Recycled Notebooks

What lovely notebooks from Cartolina Cards! Designed by Fiona Richards, the notebooks feature vegetable based inks and are printed on recycled, FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified paper. I always keep a notebook in my purse as I'm always writing down little tidbits to check out later. I think these would do nicely!

Also, congratulations to Fiona- I read on her blog that these notebooks were picked up by Anthropologie! If you're lucky enough to have one near you, go pick one up!

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