Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Posts Tagged Green & Eco Friendly

Green On The Go

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Found this great article over at Dornob, talking about 5 mobile green houses.

Ever see a shopping cart piled high with plants? How about a greenhouse on the back of a pickup truck? No, then perhaps a flatbed garden on wheels? Or at the extreme of eco-strange: how about a typical mobile-home trailer that folds out into an entirely fake green garden – the ultimate portable kitsch patio?

Green Gifts

Don’t stress out if you missed the opportunity to have one of the fabulous gifts from our green guides shipped in time for the holidays. There are plenty of thoughtful last-minute green gifts for everyone on your list! So whether you haven’t been able find that special something for your sister, in-laws, co-worker, or even your best friends, we have the prefect ideas that are earth friendly and easy to put together. herb planters, seeds kit, recycled cans, edible, baking, cooking ingredients gifts eco green holiday “last minute” guide 2009 diy handmade

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1. HANDMADE SEED STARTER KIT A great gift for almost anyone on your list is handmade seed starter kit. You can customize a planter by covering or painting an aluminum can, a yogurt cup, or any other container with a bottom that can be punctured for drainage. Avocado8 has some great tips for the type of soil and seeds to use for a starter kit. To make it even more special, you may want to add a few plant markers to the kit. You can design your own, or use a template, like this one from Goldtop design. sustainable design, green design, last minute gifts, green christmas presents, eco holiday gifts, edible gifts

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2. EDIBLE GREEN GIFT Edible gifts are a standby last-minute treat. Holiday cookies made from organic ingredients will be enjoyed by all, but if you aren’t very savvy with baking you could try something easier like spiced nuts, chocolate-covered gummy bears, or even your own fudge sauce. Green cooking tip: reusable silicon mats are great for eco-friendly baking. Another nice alternative is to create a cute package with all the ingredients and instructions needed to make a special recipe – try a chocolate cranberry cookie mix, or hot cocoa mix. sustainable design, green design, last minute gifts, green christmas presents, eco holiday gifts, vase

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3. RECYCLED CUSTOMIZED FLOWER VASE Giving someone flowers can be a nice last-minute gesture for the holidays, but it will be even better when you give them a bouquet in a handmade vase. You can follow these easy instructions to make one from a recycled glass bottle using glue and yarn for a simple and classy look, or for a ceramic-inspired creation try this technique using puffy paints. sustainable design, green design, last minute gifts, green christmas presents, eco holiday gifts, DIY sketchbook

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4. A PERSONALIZED SKETCHBOOK OR NOTEPAD Another easy gift is to make vintage-inspired notepads or sketchbooks with 100% recycled paper. You can use a thrift store book cover, or make your own cover by wrapping a sheet of cardboard with a newspaper, fabric or even paint chip samples. Don’t worry; there are online tutorials that will help you with the binding techniques. digital gifts, online gifts, sustainable design, green design, last minute gifts, green christmas presents, eco holiday gifts,

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5. DIGITAL GIFTS Go digital with your last-minute gifts this year. For musical friends, gift them a custom playlist you made with iTunes, or send them a gift card for Amazon’s mp3s. For literary types, buy them a digital book for their kindle, or a subscription to a digital magazine or newspaper from Zinio. Photo junkies will love it when you buy them a pro account on Flickr, so they can organize and share all their photos online. sustainable design, green design, last minute gifts, green christmas presents, eco holiday gifts, gifts of time

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6. GIFTS OF TIME A last-minute holiday present that is net-zero and consumerism-free is to give the gift of your time. You can make coupons using holiday letterpress cards, like these eco-friendly sustainably harvested yellow birch cards from Night Owl Paper Goods. Some ideas for coupon themes: offer to do an eco-friendly house cleaning, laundry duties for a month with natural detergents, prepare an organic meal, or offer to paint a room with low-VOC paints. For more great gifts ideas, be sure to check out our Gifts of Time Guide.

Reprinted: Inhabitat 12-2009

Billboard Refit

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I have been preaching the need for us to live allot more locally, for a variety of reasons.   As we do the old infrastructure of our 1600 mile salad will no longer have its usefulness. I wrote about how retrofitting a grocery store was one example of this, well here is another.  Dornob talked about this great concept

There are nearly 500,000 freestanding billboards in the United States alone. What if any number of these could be converted en mass into functional, modular prefab homes that could be shipped and installed in rural and urban areas around the country – eco-friendly, cheap new housing from recycled old billboards.

Prefabrication and portability are nothing new in architecture and transportation, but world-changing modular and mass-producible visions  like this concept by Nocturnal Design Labs are few and far between. Unlike most conventional prefabs, these spaces are planned with interior layouts, sun paths and wind patterns in mind, giving the result a distictive and dynamic shape.

rom the curved modern shell and functional interior spaces to the high-up locations with varied views, there is more to this than simply a clever idea from a forward-thinking designer – these are best understood as prefab building prototypes, the potential start of an entire movement in adaptive reuse already being explored by various architects and designs.

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Happy Halloween!

I normally only post Monday to Friday, but since its a holiday I decided to do a quick post.

Check out Green Costumes for kids over at Inhabitat

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Clorox GreenWorks Really Green?

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I have seen these products all around now, which made me wonder if these products where truly green or just green washed (faking or just going with the fad)  Inhabitat put this to rest today

Reprinted: Inhabitat Evelyn Lee 8/2009

Launched in January of 2008, Clorox’s line of natural cleaning products, Green Works, currently holds more than a 40% share of the natural home cleaning market. The first year success of their product single-handedly grew the natural cleaning product market by more than 80% in one year by selling Green Works through their current distribution chain in more than 24,000 stores alongside their regular household cleaning products. However the question remains, is Green Works truly green? Critics argue that since no industry standard definitions currently exist for natural cleaners, Green Works is simply deeming itself green against its own standards – a dangerous trend to set. Read on to find out more.greenworks3

According to their website, Green Works sets their own very stringent standards to ensure that their cleaners are at least 99% natural – a.k.a. coming from renewable resources, being biodegradable and free of petrochemicals. They attribute the 1% to synthetic ingredients including a preservative and green coloring but are working to find alternatives to be able to claim that the line is 100% natural. On the other hand, because no standard exists, those who are on the lookout for product authenticity question the use of corn-based ethanol which has a larger greenhouse gas footprint than petrochemicals, as well as the use of coconut oil, which contributes to rainforest habitat destruction. Clorox has done their best to remain openly transparent about the ingredients in their Green Works line by publishing their ingredients on the product and responding to such questions online at their blog and through their Shades of Green Journal.

So where’s the rub, you ask? As stated on their Shades of Green blog, “The Green Works brand stands for powerful cleaning done naturally and we have stayed true to that promise. Our proposition is aimed at the mainstream consumer who is interested in natural products that clean, are affordable and easily accessible. We are achieving our goal to mainstream natural cleaning.” The company has delivered on their promise to bring natural cleaners into the forefront at a 15-20% premium over their natural competitors that are often carried at a 50-100% premium. On the other hand, if it weren’t for the success of their product, it’s questionable whether or not Clorox would continue to carry their natural line unless it continued to drive their bottom line – which doesn’t tend to sit well with those who are constantly on the lookout for a more sustainable product. Despite their commitment to their natural product line, Green Works, Clorox has done little as a company to internalize their sustainable chatter into their overall operations and product manufacturing.

IS IT GREEN?

The simple answer is yes. Green Works is a product that can, for the most part, claim truthfully that their product is 99% natural. On the other hand, those looking for cradle to cradle operations and a company whose foresight is focused on a more sustainable future may want to look elsewhere. After all, in the end Clorox will always be a bleach company that is driven by the success of their products and the bottom line.

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