Posted in Green Design, Recycling, Who Knew

Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

Don’t ya love it when you can reuse an object and it actually looks cool? Notice anything familiar on the table? This coffee table uses reclaimed wood from a bowling alley.While no one would ever think high end modern style and bowling have anything in common…

William Stranger’s “Second Life” project proves to be an exception to the rule. Using reclaimed wood from a local LA bowling alley, Stranger has created a number of different and interesting pieces that include a coffee table, bench and diptych. Read the full story at PSFK

Posted in Green Design, Quirky Design Details, Recycling

Recyclable Lids Give Old Cans a New Life

In the spirit of reduce, reuse, and recycle Recyclable Lids Give Old Cans a New Life

Northumbria University graduate Jack Bresnahan, drew rave reviews at the New Designers 09 exhibit in London for his innovative design of biodegradable, plastic lids designed to re-purpose tin can containers.

Innovative concept, yet I will add my own “Kitchen Designer” caveat. When re-purposing tin cans, I would recommend reusing recycled tin cans for
dry, non food
storage items only.

Reason: Food Storage Safety. 1) tin cans gives off a metallic taste to food. 2.) the soldered side seam and bottom of a can may leak over a period of time. I had a sticky mess in my pantry one day when I discovered an unopened tin can of mandarin oranges leaked syrupy juice after sitting a long time. 3.) A metal rust ring can collect on wet surfaces.

Lest you think I am kicking the tin can idea to the curb, this recycling idea is a good start to keep us moving forward with “cradle to cradle” product design.

A passionate believer that designers must take responsibility for their designs from conception to disposal, Jack feels that ‘anything that ends up in landfill is simply poor design’.

All Images, copyright by Jack Bresnahan

Posted in Architects, Green Design, Sustainable Design


When architect Michelle Kaufmann and her husband set out to purchase an affordable green home, to no avail, they decided to build there own. Thus a new company was born out of a need for clean, affordable green living.

Prefab has never looked so good. Michelle Kaufmann’s prefabricated homes are a far cry from what we are used to seeing. Her designs are unbelievably cool and modern and affordable. If you are a fan of Frank Gehry and Michael Graves, the influence may be present as Kaufmann previous architectural experience included working for both architects.

Kaufmann’s designs bring modern, affordable sustainable living to a new generation of home buyers. The beauty of the design is in the eco-friendly materials used. What’s more, Kaufmann makes a reasonable argument for prefab designs. She is quoted as saying, “In countries like Japan, many homes are factory made, resulting in 50 to 75 percent less waste than is generated by building the typical American House. When you think about custom homes built on site, it doesn’t make any sense, it’s like asking to have a car built in your driveway.”

There are six exclusive models from which to choose from. Home sizes range from a mere 725 square feet to 2,400 square feet.

Home costs typically start at $250 to $300 per square foot. Custom built homes start at $400 per square foot. Costs include all construction costs aside from the cost of the land. Typical construction time: 12-14 months.

What’s more, you can try before you buy. The Reid House, located at Lake Chelan as a vacation rental, and featured in “Sunset & Dwell” magazines, offers an opportunity to experience green living in a tranquil environment and modern prefab structure with luxurious amenities. Rates vary seasonally, from $175 per night to $300 per night.

Photos below from Reid House.

Posted in Counter tops, Green Design, Green Guard Certified

Stain Resistant Granite Countertops

Love natural stone but not the maintenance? With anti-stain technology, worrisome maintenance for granite, marble, quartzite and soapstone initions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –> is a thing of the past. Innovative Stone® , just debuted it’s premium anti-stain natural stone counter top collection, called Everlife™. This new environmentally conscious collection does not require sealingtypical for most counter top surfaces- and is protected by Innovative Stone’s breakthrough PermaShield™ technology.

Madura Gold

Everlife Stone is stain resistant, easy to care for and requires no sealing. With the added assurance of a 15 year warranty, consumers can enjoy worry-free enjoyment. Currently there are 45 natural stones to choose from, including marble and slate! View the samples on the Everlife web site to get a better view. Be sure to click on the slabs to view the full slab.

How do they do this?

It’s all in the science of molecular technology. PermaShield ® is a penetrating technology that has been scientifically engineered to provide the best protection for granite surfaces. Every Everlife™ granite slab is engineered with Innovative Stone™’s proprietary PermaShield® technology. This anti-staining technology, combined with decades of experience, allows Everlife™ by Innovative Stone™ to provide a free 15-year limited warranty for stain resistance and material integrity. To learn more about Permashield, go to

PermaShield™ does not affect or alter the surface of granite, leaving no added color or coating.

Aristocrat Black

Environmentally Safe Technology.

Everlife is certified by GREENGUARD® Environmental Institute and NSF International*, The Public Health and Safety Company as a safe and sanitary material. *NSF-51.

Both of these independent, non-profit organizations have classified Everlife natural stone counter tops to be safe and sanitary for use in the home due to the materials ease of cleaning and preservation of indoor air quality.

Bianco Carrara

Hassle Free Beauty of Natural Stone.

Every Everlife™ granite slab is treated by Innovative Stone™’s proprietary anti-staining PermaShield® technology, which protects granite from staining for 15 years subject to the terms and conditions of the limited warranty.

Available through your local fabricators and Everlife Dealers.

The availability of Everlife marks the first time that consumers will be able to purchase PermaShield-protected natural stone counter tops outside of The Home Depot and Expo Design Center. To find a dealer near you, click here.

Shiva Kashi

What you should know about selecting your slabs

Can I view my Everlife™ granite slab prior to fabrication? Due to the variation found in natural stones, in-person slab views are encouraged and may be coordinated by your local Everlife™ dealer, through their corresponding slabyard. This not only assures that you are pleased with the color you have chosen, but may give you the ability to select the precise slab you desire prior to countertop fabrication and installation.

For more facts visit EVERLIFE

Posted in Green Design, Sustainable Design

What does a LEED certified House look like?

Living Green – Top-rated green home opens for tours

Here is a short video link to Codding Cottage, a Sarasota home on tour this month. It is one of the greenest homes in the nation and has received rave reviews from the public.  
It also has the honor of having the highest rating a home can receive, LEED platinum certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the national standard in green building. 
For more information, please visit,
Congratulations to the whole team at Josh Wynn Construction. 

Posted in Green Design, New Products

How green is your message?

As I was preparing handouts for a workshop my company is presenting tomorrow, I subconsciously thought, how much of this printed material will wind up in the garbage can? Wasteful isn’t it. There has obviously got to be a better way.

It was kismet that the next email in my in box was from Michael Anschel wrote a clever commentary about the marketing materials exhibitors handed out at GreenBuild, U.S. Green Building Council‘s annual International Conference and Expo. The irony of printed materials handed out to market the “green” stance of the company is actually not green at all. As companies are becoming greener so should the marketing material. Take a look at the creative ideas manufacturers are coming up with over at by clicking on the link.

I have attended many KBIS Expos and local trade shows in the past and each time I vow to only let the vendor swipe my card. Nonetheless, I still come back to the office with some literature that becomes useless in six months time. Really, all I want to take away at an Expo is the business card of the vendor so I can write a note about the product I saw and then visit the website for more information. And that leads me to the next problem. I don’t even want to get scanned if it means I will be bombarded with 3″ ring binders or thick envelopes of literature. I can get everything I need on line. My favorite idea that takes the place of literature is the USB Business card, as shown below. Bam! Give me one of those! I got your name, email, phone, fax and your packet of info of your new products I won’t see on your website right now.

Portland Cement Paperless Press Material.
The back of an over sized business card.

Are you wondering what to do with all your techno trash?

  1. There are companies like, Green Disk, that will take all that old technotrash piling up in your office, store room, attic, or garage and safely and securely destroy your old data, recover reusable components, and recycle all of the rest of your accumulated technotrash – all at your convenience, at home or at work.
  2. – collect CDs for SPCA. Donate and Recycle your old CDs. Save Cats and Dogs.
  3. Some people suspend old CD’s from fruit trees on a bit of fishing line. They spin and are claimed to scare away birds. Perhaps you could hand them near the fridge to scare away hungry ten year old boys. From PC where 30 readers responded with their own tips.
  4. Here are a more ideas from 101 Things to to with CD’s and DVD’s.

Green Notes:
  • What means are you taking to go paperless?
  • Provide your clients ReWritable media.
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle