Archive for March, 2008

Real Simply Green

March 31st, 2008


There’s an interesting story in the April issue of Real Simple magazine called "How Green Are You?"   Instead of a Cosmo-like quiz, it breaks down real daily eco-habits and the one-year effect it has on the planet.   It’s definitely worth checking out. 

Here are some of my favorites:

1.  If you recycle newspapers and magazines, one person’s one-year effect is 581 pounds of CO2 emissions saved.  Recycling paper saves trees and saves energy to make new recycled paper products.

2.  If you wash your laundry on a cool setting, you save about 349 pounds of CO2 emissions a year.  Even moving washing from Hot water to Warm water can make a difference.

3. If you stick to the speed limit when driving (65 MPG vs 75 MPH), you save about 1500 pounds of CO2 emissions a year.   Going a bit slower not only saves you around $200 a year in gas savings, but it really gets you to the same place in about the same time.    I have one of those GPS devices in my car, and whenever I’m running late to a meeting, I noticed that driving 10 MPH faster only gets me to my destination about a minute sooner.  So what’s the point?

4. If you drive a hybrid car that gets at least 46 MPG, you save about 3660 pounds of CO2 emissions a year.    That’s pretty cool.

5. If you plug major electronics into power strips so you can shut them off when not in use, you save 1608 pounds of CO2 emissions annually.   Just flipping the switch on the power strip effectively TRULY turns off power.   

TOTAL SAVED: 7698 pounds of CO2 emissions a year. 

PB Green

March 29th, 2008


I am so on the fence about this: Pottery Barn’s reusable water bottles.

First the positive:   They are well aesthetically designed, a fair price point, and it’s great that a store like Pottery Barn is doing something green.

Now the negative: The totally knocked off Sigg, the original makers of the reusable water bottle.

What do we think?   Here’s another shot of another design that I think is a bit more less effective:


Two Decorating Ideas

March 28th, 2008


I’m looking forward to the twice-annual Renninger’s Antique Extravaganza outside of Kutztown, PA this Spring.    I always try to make it to this flea-market-on-steroids because you never know what amazing things you can find.   And with a new home in dire need of furniture and accessories, I have a more immediate need than ever before to go.       This year, it falls during the week of April 21st—Earth Week—and I am doing everything humanly possible to keep at least one day that week open so I can scavenge the market.    Earth Week, you see, is probably my busiest week of the year.   

Anyway, what I want to do for the hallway in the new house is do an eclectic mismatched gallery of different types of artwork: photographs, pencil drawing, oil painting, etc.    I love the one-of-a-kind look and I think I can achieve this by slowly picking up inexpensive flea market art here and there.     The above shot is the staircase in a Ralph Lauren store in Atlanta, GA.   


And here is a simple idea in taking mismatched vases, compotes and other dishes and doing a grouping of cut flowers.   Even floppy tulips look elegant by having them stay enclosed inside of vases.   Glass and crystal containers are SO EASY to find at flea markets, so I will defintely be stocking up.   Can anyone guess where I took this shot?

Water Smart Showerhead

March 27th, 2008


I was recently in New York City for a party sponsored by Kohler and actually got to meet family members who actually had the last name Kohler!    I thought that was pretty cool, because you rarely meet people with bear the last name of the namesake company.    It would be like meeting someone named Fred Starbucks, if the company was started by someone with the last name Starbucks.  And you say, “oh, i Love Starbucks!”     So, here I am meeting a Kohler family heir and professing my love for (of all things) bathroom sinks.

In the gift bag was something I actually needed: a super water efficient massaging showerhead.   My showerhead that I’ve had in my bathroom was terrible; sure, it was water efficient and looked nice, but the water pressure felt like the shower was just spitting on you.      Before that, I had one of those inexpensive aerating showerheads that pumped lots of air into the water; it felt like millions of tiny aquatic nails were attacking you in the shower.     It had to go.

This WaterSense approved one from Kohler is amazing.   It uses just 1.5 gallons per minute, has numerous settings (although, I prefer just one setting), and it took just 20 seconds to install.   I wish I had grabbed extra gift bags at this event, so that I could give away extras as prizes on this blog.    But if you’re in the market for one, look for Kohler WaterSense approved showerheads.   I definitely approve.

CORRECTION: These showerheads are NOT WaterSense approved by the EPA.   In fact, there are no showerheads yet approved under the WaterSense program, but plenty of toilets, faucets and other water-efficient products.  I’d imagine there will be showerheads soon.   Regardless, this is still a very efficient showerhead and one I definitely recommend.  Thank you to Bryan Cohen at Colehour + Cohen PR for the heads up!

Good (Hardworking) Friday

March 26th, 2008


Last Friday was a very long day.   It started with a 5AM wake-up call where I was walking down a quiet Fifth Avenue in New York City with a giant box of Easter props: dyed eggs, baskets, candy boxes, decorations and much more.  With the new set at CBS, we have to dress the set way before the 7AM show start, hence the super early morning rise and shine.    It was Good Friday and I was doing a segment on CBS The Early Show about throwing an eco-friendly Easter.    By 830AM, the props were boxed up and I was on my way back home to Pennsylvania.

I drove straight to the new house where I was met with crews on top of crews working on the house.  I like it when it’s very busy at the house because I feel like a lot is getting accomplished.   And it also reminds me to remember who has keys to the house as well! 


It’s so exciting that the kitchen floors are set and grouted.   I love how the faux wood grain pattern on top "warms" up the floor and gives it interest.   Here’s a tighter shot:


A few blog posts back, I asked for some help in choosing a kitchen countertop.   Even though the overwhelming choice was to go with an apple green color, I decided to keep it simple and go with the Manhattan Gray in a microfine finish.   These countertops are from IceStone in Brooklyn and are made entirely out of recycled glass ands concrete.    Here’s the undermounted Kohler kitchen sink and countertop!   


Now that the floors and countertops are installed, all I have to do is wait for my amazing plumber to come and install the water lines throughout the kitchen.  I can’t wait to see the faucets installed and ready to go.    I love this very deep kitchen sink. 

Today, I’m going to start tackling the kitchen cabinets.  It’s been my goal to refinish them by painting them myself and lining the inside with cork.   I think it’ll take just one day to do this.   Somehow, I think I’m underestimating the this project…