Adventures and Advice in Home Remodeling

February 13, 2009

A few years ago, my husband and I embarked upon our first real renovating adventure.  Married just over a year, we had just moved, my husband had begun a new job, our first child was a few months old, and we had just bought a condo that had been poorly cared for and was in desperate need of cosmetic remodeling.

New paint, cleaning, patching up the drywall holes…that was the easy part of our journey.  All of the flooring needed to be replaced, (other than the ceramic tile in the entry), and the kitchen cabinets were waterdamaged and in need of repair or replacement.

We decided to use hardwood throughout the main floor, and carpet  in the lower level and loft above.  At the time we knew nothing about finishes, let alone green choices, but we had a cousin’s father in the flooring business.  After visiting a few other local flooring shops, we chose to use our family connection and ordered the carpet and wood flooring.  (Oh that we’d known about cork and FLOR carpeting)!

Meanwhile, after doing some local research on cabinetry, we decided that replacement was definitely out of our budget.  A family friend and interior designer, Kris, from Pinto Pony Designs, recommended a local painter who does cabinetry painting in several styles, including our desired, antique style.  Soon, the doors to our cabinets were off to her garage.  (Once again, knowing about VOCs in paint would have been Read more

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We Got Green: Jack Johnson – what are we handing down to our children?

February 12, 2008

Treehugger recently ran an interesting set of videos highlighting Jack Johnson, and the story behind his latest album (Sleep through the Static).  In one particular segment Jack Johnson talks about improvements to his home, and his responsibility as a parent when asked, “As a father do you feel more responsible for the type of world you’re handing down to the next generation?”


Green Deets: Jack Johnson 10 from George Spyros on Vimeo.

Jack Johnson?s record label, Brushfire Records, is blazing a trail in environmental responsibility among record labels. Brushfire is headquartered in a newly-renovated green building, leveraging a number of innovative features to keep their environmental impact low. These features include: solar panels providing all power for offices and studio, interior/exterior wall insulation made from100% post consumer waste (cotton from blue jean scraps), Duro-Last green roof, and recycled shingles. In addition, the label pays close attention to its internal operations, monitoring energy use and increasing efficiency through lighting and fixtures, reducing office waste and ensuring company-wide recycling, sourcing sustainable goods for office supplies and other operational needs, and offsetting all company CO2 emissions.

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We Got Green: Gruppie Girl selects no VOC paint from Sherwin Williams

January 29, 2008

sherwin williams no vocZero VO What?

The battle between living green and having nice, new, shiny stuff is a theme that often runs through my life.  Blame it on all of those home shows that I am addicted to, but I have a need to redecorate my house.  Recently I discovered how green my home decorating choices can be.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that the air quality inside your house can be two to five times worse than the air outside.  Most Americans spend 90% of our time indoors.  That is a dangerous cocktail. 

Volatile Organic Compounds or VOC?s are those sneaky gasses that are contained in conventional house paints, cleaners, lacquers and some furniture.  They are responsible for much of the toxic air in our homes.  When we paint the inside of our homes with paints that contain volatile organic compounds, our family breathes them in long after the paint is dry.  VOCs can cause nausea, loss of coordination, kidney damage, repertory infections and memory loss just to name a few of the lovely side effects.

There is a better Read more

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