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circuit board furniture

Theo Kamecke has taken the common circuit board to great new heights with this stunning collection of furniture pieces. He’s made a series of incredible boxes and chests made from reclaimed circuit boards, and they have already sold to people like Aliens-creator HR Giger and Avatar director James Cameron.

“Either you get it or you don’t, either you like it or you don’t,” Kamecke explains. “I like to think that I am trying to make something comfortable and beautiful,” explains Kamecke, who uses vintage boards from the 60s. “You don’t need to understand much about computers to appreciate this.”

IKEA Installing Geothermal at New Denver Store

ikea-geothermal

We love this news! In partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Swedish furniture giants, IKEA, will be constructing a geothermal system for its new store in Centennial, Colorado, reports Sustainable Business. Ikea says it will be the first IKEA store in the United States to be built with geothermal heating and cooling. The store is expected to open in the fall of 2011.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says geothermal heat pumps can reduce energy consumption and related emissions by up to 72% compared to traditional electric resistance heating and standard air-conditioning equipment, according to the article.

What Is Mushroom Wood?

mushroom wood

Mushroom wood is growing in popularity among people looking for unique wood solutions for their home. Mushroom wood is generally cut from Cypress or Hemlock trees, and then salvaged from commercial growing mushroom farms. Most of these farms are in western New York and Pennsylvania. Mushroom wood is quite simply put, the wood used as the shelving for mushroom beds.

After every mushroom batch is fully harvested, the rooms and shelving are sterilized with steam. The preparation, growing and harvesting cycle takes about 16 weeks and is then repeated. During the growing process, the mushrooms produce an enzyme that fuses with the soft portion of the wood, leaving the material as if it had naturally weathered. The result of this is a richly textured wood with a lovely honey-brown color.

Mushroom wood makes excellent flooring and siding, and is often used as it is a reclaimed wood product.

Recycled Flooring Elevates Modern Green Design

staybull-flooring-brazilian-cherry-450px

Have you ever wondered what happens to the scraps of wood that flooring, furniture, and other lumber manufacturers leave behind? A lot of that wood is dropped off at a landfill, ground or burned. Clearly the disposing of wood using those methods has their own set of unique negative environmental impacts. But, what if there was a way to save that wood while also contributing to the growing eco-friendly interior design movement? Staybull Flooring is a company that does just that.

Staybull Flooring recycled flooring is composed of the leftover strips of lumber that were previously discarded. But, wait? Isn’t recycled flooring…you know…like old? Understandably, when people normally think of recycled wood flooring, the first thought that comes to mind is a rustic looking, country style home. It’s easy to see why. The old, worn look of antique flooring does give traditional interiors a desirable rustic look.

Homes and businesses that are aiming for a modern or contemporary look can now infuse their interior with a dynamic and versatile solid wood floor. The invention of an eco-friendly flooring product like Staybull shows that there are companies out there that are still creating innovative solutions that alleviate the environmental pressures that, in the past, went ignored. The more awareness we can bring to this kind of recycling effort the more board feet of lumber we can spare from being burned, or left to rot in landfills.

What NOT To Compost

home composting

Composting is a fabulous thing to do, and is finally becoming a trendy urban thing to do, with major cities now introducing composting programs for people that may not have a backyard.

So what can you compost? Tons of things – from garden lawn clippings, to raked leaves, to organic kitchen waste like vegetable peelings and coffee grinds. You can even compost shredded paper and toenail clippings.

Of course, there are quite a few things that CANNOT be composted, and throwing these things in the compost pile can be a deadly hazard:

Don’t compost any dead plants that have died from being infected by a disease or infested by insects. Diseased plants can spread the disease to your entire compost pile, and make for a big pile of unhealthy garbage.

Don’t compost meat or bones or anything that might attract vermin or maggots while its composting. Your compost pile could quickly turn into the next secret of Nimh.

Animal waste is a no-no for compost piles, and that includes the human animal. Dirty diapers are not for the compost pile, and neither are the contents of your cat’s litter box.

Finally, be very wary when composting weeds you have pulled from your garden. Morning glory/bindweed, sheep sorrel, ivy, several kinds of grasses, and some other plants can re-grow from their roots and/or stems in your compost pile.

Eco-Friendly Paint and Varnish Remover

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Home Strip is a new paint stripper that is totally safe to its user and the environment. Home Strip is perfect for use by the trade, industrial users and do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

Suitable substrates: all hard woods, all soft woods, all metals (including soft metals such as aluminum, brass and copper), Stone (including very soft porous stone), brick, marble, concrete, all plastics and fiberglass (may etch certain types of plastics).
Products it will safely remove: Lead-based paints, Oil-based paints, Solvent-based paints, Water-based paints & emulsions Polyurethanes Stains, Varnishes and waxes fire-resistant paints, Certain plastic coatings, Vehicle rust-preventative surface coatings.
Product features: Water-based, Non-hazardous, Non-caustic, pH-neutral, Solvent-free, Non-flammable, Non-combustible, Minimal evaporation.
Clings 100% to vertical surfaces – no drips or runs, hence no waste. Economical to use – independent tests have shown that on average Home Strip goes up to three times as far as dangerous solvent-based strippers.

Minimal VOC content; 0.000004%, as certified by an independent laboratory, following a flame ionisation detection test. Does not give off fumes – no need for ventilation and no need to work outside. Suitable for use by and near people with respiratory problems, such as asthma. Non-irritant – does not cause skin burns – safe to use around children and pets.

Home Strip website

How To Give Wood Furniture An Antique Look

distressed furniture

Antique furniture can be described in many ways – beautiful, nostalgic and EXPENSIVE. But fear not, you can give your non-antique piece an antique look with a few simple steps. Just set aside a can of elbow grease and a free afternoon and get ready to get distressed!

First off, take all the hardware and glass off the furniture. I’m talking about handles, mirrors, glass table tops etc. Think of it this way, if you don’t want to get stain on it, take it off!

After you’ve removed the pieces and parts, start taking off any finish. Stripping the varnish or paint or what have you is crucial – so spend the time and energy and do a thorough job. Ask your local hardware store which stripping agent to use depending on what you are stripping.
Once the furniture has been stripped, take a rubber mallet and give the piece a few whacks. Don’t break it, obviously, we just want to give the piece a look that says “I’m a hundred years old and I’ve seen my share of wear and tear!” A few well-placed scratches with a screwdriver might suit your furniture piece also.

Once you’ve taken all your aggression out, sand down any rough spots, then just lightly sand the rest of the piece to give your stain the perfect surface to sink into.

Staining furniture is fun, and you don’t need to be a talented artist to get a great result. With one old cloth, apply the stain in small sections and then gently wipe off with a dry cloth. When you lightly wipe off stain just after you apply it, more stain will build up in the distressed areas which creates a great antique look. Keep up the Mr Miyagi style wipe on wipe off until the entire piece is covered. Let that dry, then repeat – until your furniture is the color you want. I’ve stained pieces 6 times before!

When your piece looks like you want it, get some polyurethane and apply a light coat over the whole thing. Give it at least 36 hours to dry completely before you start using it, I like to let my stained wooded furniture pieces dry in the sun.

Loll Recycled Adirondack Chair

recycled adirondack chair

The Loll 4-Slat Adirondack is super green and super comfortable too!The thick recycled plastic is tough and solid. The company lets you choose either a clean flat profile or more traditional curves.

The standard seat height is 13.5 inches, which is truly the perfect size for this kind of chair. For easier entry and exit, choose the tall version at 15.5 inches. Add a matching 4-Slat Ottoman and the whole world will smile at you. Loll has made their chair available in seven environmentally friendly colors, so you’ll have no problem finding one that you love.

Eco-Friendly Cork iPad Sleeve

ipad-cork-sleeve

We were excited to see what kind of cool products would be coming out in conjunction with Apple’s new hot item, the iPad, and this awesome new protective case is exactly the kind of thing we love! Because the iPad is so lightweight and smaller than a laptop, people like to carry them with them.This soft sleeve, designed by TAPE, will make sure your fancy new iPad is protected from dirt and scratches. Made from FSC-certified fabric-backed cork, this cover will keep your iPad safe from harm when packed in a bag, or in your hand.