As we move into the heart of the summer now is  the time to plan exciting outdoor projects that bring satisfaction all year long. Summertime brings great memories – like eating outdoors, enjoying the sun, watching the sun rise, and on and on….Made from natural plant oils

Most of us have an opportunity to capture these moments at home. Outdoor spaces, from patios to decks to rooftops, let us spend time with family and friends. For existing structures, it’s easy to bring out their best with any of our coatings – such as Osmo Deck Oils or Vermont Natural Coatings; while quite different in their application, both bring out the very best in wood spaces like decks and walkways. To get those jobs started use Osmo’s Wood Reviver Power Gel, this has got to be the easiest, safest and most wood-friendly product available. It doesn’t use harsh chemicals that damage wood, does not require power washing (another wood destroyer), and when it is rinsed off it won’t harm surrounding vegetation. Plus application is a snap!

You may not know that concrete can also be treated, sealed and stained to create a warmer, friendlier space. Ecoprocote’s line up of concrete mix, sealers, etchers and architectural stains do amazing things with what was once just a hard white surface (or a discolored stained one!). Our staff can help you make great decisions that’ll bring that old space a brand new look.

For those who don’t have a deck but want one, consider our Western Red Cedar Decking. It’s solid, wide, beautiful to look at and to walk on, and affordable. Our FSC certified Tigerwood decking is remarkable- it’s beautiful varied hues make a statement to all who see it….and it’s from a sustainable harvested tropical source! Be sure to check which locations have these decking materials – once sold out they may not be available until late in the season. 

Moving indoors, there’s no better time to install a new floor than in the summertime. Whether you’re considering a replacement or a refinish, doing it while the weather is best will make it easier on everyone who lives there. We have gorgeous Foundations strand-woven bamboo flooring available for the DIYer and the Professional – while it is beautiful to look at, its real beauty is what you don’t see after it’s down: our Foundations lineup is all solid strand which will add years to its life and performance. On top of it being solid, it is also 14 mm thick… a rarity now as almost all manufacturers are opting to decrease their thicknesses down to almost half of ours. Don’t hesitate to call our stores if you need more information!

The beauty of natural hardwood flooring is unmistakable. We have an outstanding selection of hardwood floors from a select group of top quality suppliers. Consider the options by perusing our Serafina lineup, which includes 10 species in various widths, our FSC Tigerwood flooring or our selections of NW Big Leaf Maple, California Chestnut, NW Madrone, or NW Myrtle. Also available at our West Coast stores is DuChateau, an outstanding FSC certified hardwood flooring pre-finished with beautiful oil finishes.

Another very popular option is Marmoleum. There’s no other resilient flooring material that provides such a selection of remarkable colors and designs than Marmoleum. Available in sheets, tiles or easy to install click-in planks; homeowners are delighted with their new floors from Marmoleum.

Of course, there’s lots of other projects to consider, and we invite you to browse our website and find all the eco-responsible products that deliver outstanding performance to make your home beautiful. And of course, we’ll be delighted to see you at one of our stores.

 

 

 

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Earth Day is celebrated every April 22, and it does a wonderful thing- it reminds us to stay (or get) focused on the environmental challenges we face.  First held in 1970, Earth Day was the brainchild of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, who saw the opportunity to take the growing public concern about pollution of all kinds (some of us remember the intense air pollution over Los Angeles, the industrial pollution of waterways and skies around cities like Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and the growing impact of pollution on our wildlife back then) and focus that energy in a positive manner- not just be more aware, but to make sure to do something about it.

We’ve seen great things take place in the past 34 years- not to say there isn’t much more to do, but to recognize that we’ve gone from being relatively unaware and naïve to now knowing there are positive actions we can and need to take at all levels. Each individual step we take is a viable and important part of bringing us to the goal.

Green Depot uses our Green Filter to identify products that enable everyone to make the best choices for our planet.  We have a continually growing lineup of products to meet your needs- here’s just a few;

We have an exceptional selection of Flooring products, such as Marmoleum resilient tiles and sheets, Vida Cork and Capri Cork Tiles and Planks, Serafina, Nature’s Lodge and many other Hardwood Floors, and Wool Carpets from Bloomsburg, Woolshire along with a host of other fine manufacturers.

Whether it’s for rooftops, backyards, courtyards or balcony spaces, we now have remarkable choices that contribute to a better world. From rapidly renewable bamboo decking and tile products to durable and economical FSC Western Red Cedar to exotic FSC Tigerwood or composite  Trex decking,  our selection of products will satisfy the discriminating customer all while delivering on the commitment to being environmentally responsible.

And there’s no need to sacrifice style, color and innovation while being environmentally responsible by using Zero VOC paints. All of our paints from Yolo, Ivy Coatings, and AFM Safecoat provide excellent performance for both residential and commercial uses while positively contributing to our environment by eliminating Volitile Organic Compounds.

This year’s Earth Day global theme is Green Cities. We need to look both inward and outward to see the undeniable need for the world’s communities to become sustainable.  Without each of us, nothing big can, or will happen. This is a magnificent world we have the privilege to share and the responsibility to protect. Happy Earth Day to all of us.

 

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Creating a room for your new baby is a very big part of getting ready for his or her arrival! But, picking the colors and prints for fabric and walls and finding the right furniture are only part of the picture. It is important to make sure that the materials and supplies you choose for the room support your child’s health and development as well! Babies and small children breathe in more air for their body weight than adults do – which means that their exposure to air pollution can actually be greater than for adults – at critical stages of development too.  In this blog post, we offer Green Depot solutions to reduce your child’s exposure to chemicals of concern in the nursery like Formaldehyde, PVC, Flame Retardants, and more.

Flooring
Flooring is one of the greatest sources of chemical off-gassing in a home – and since small children often spend a lot of time on the floor, their exposure to those chemicals can be greater. Choose flooring that is PVC-free, has no-added-urea-formaldehyde, a non-off-gassing finish or chemical treatments of other kinds.

- Wool Carpet is an excellent choice for a nursery. Naturally flame resistant and easy to clean, wool carpet does not need the stain treatments and flame retardants that can get added to synthetic carpeting. Wool feels great soft and cozy underfoot and is known for its durability too – so it should last well into (or past) your baby’s college years!

- Cork Flooring is a quiet and resilient flooring option. This beautiful flooring is available in planks that click together and “float” without the need for adhesives.

- Natural Fiber Area Rugs are a great way to add a pop of color or pattern to baby’s room! Put one down over your wood floor to quiet footfalls during naptime.


Paints & Finishes
People say that high contrast and colors are great for a baby’s nursery so go bold if you want to, but choose a zero-VOC paint! We have several paint lines that are high on performance and  low on toxins. Click here to see our full selection! The finishes that you choose for flooring and furniture are equally important. Look for wood finishes that are low-toxic and won’t off-gas into the room for months. OSMO’s Polyx Oil wood finish meets German regulations for safety on children’s toys; and Vermont Natural Coatings is made from whey – a by-product of Vermont’s cheese industry!

 

Clothes and Bedding
When choosing bedding and clothes for our child make sure that there are no chemical hazards lurking. Believe it or not, some baby bedding and even pajama’s can contain toxic flame retardants! These chemicals are added with good intentions, but scientists are beginning to tie them to serious health and developmental concerns. Fortunately, we have a full line of organic cotton clothing and bedding products that are free of chemical treatments.


Baby Care and Toys
When buying baby care items avoid plastics as much as possible as they can contain chemicals called pthalates, many of which are known endocrine disruptors. We have a full category of options here.

- Diapers: 60% natural materials, and chlorine free for when you need diapers on the run
- Baby Bottles: made from glass with silicone sleeves for grip
- Silicone nipples: latex, BPA, phthalate and PVC free

Latex, BPA, phrhalate and PVC free
Latex, BPA, phrhalate and PVC free


Laundry & Cleaning
It is a little ironic that many of the cleansers available on the market today can actually pollute our homes with toxic fragrances and dangerous anti-bacterials at the same time that they claim to be making homes cleaner. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s website to see how the cleaning products in your home rate for chemical safety. We’d like to highlight these healthy options for keeping your house cleaning as clean as possible:

- Charlies Laundry Soap: hypoallergenic, non-toxic, biodegradable and concentrated – use approx 1 oz per load!
- Green Depot All Purpose Cleaner: our house brand, biodegradable, non-toxic and refillable at our refill stations
- AFM SuperClean: super concentrated, tough enough for toilets and safe enough for dishes!


Green Depot Registry!
If you’re expecting, our online registry program makes it easy to share the products you’d like with your community! Click here to sign up!

 

Want to look deeper into chemical safety for kids?

+ The Center for Environmental Health has an excellent page on Children’s health at home here.
+ CHEJ is another informative resource for information about chemicals and child health.
+ The State of Minnesota also has some great information here.
+ Read what the American Lung Association says about Indoor Air Pollution here.
+ The Environmental Protection Agency has a very informative website about child health here.

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Cooling Down the House

July 19th, 2013 | Posted by sschultz in Green Homes - (0 Comments)

July 19, 2013: NY1 has reported record-setting heat at LaGuardia airport  — 100 degrees — the highest on this date since 1977!  So, it seemed like a good time to review some steps you can take around your home to help keep you and your family comfortable through the hot summer months.

1) Keep your blinds and curtains drawn
While this can sometimes make your home feel somewhat dark and maybe dreary compared to the bright day outside, it is an easy step to help keep your interior shady and cool. Blocking the suns rays can go a long way. If you need to replace your window coverings, consider blinds that have insulating qualities. Comfortex offers window coverings that provide R-Value in addition to privacy.

 

 

2) Turn on your fan
A good fan will use a lot less energy than an Air Conditioner and keeping the air circulating will help you feel cooler. Based on the sleek design of a jet engine, our Charly Fans can move up to 81,000 cubic feet of air per hour! Maximize the cooling effect of the fan by keeping a spray bottle of water handy to spritz your brow. Refreshing!

 

 

 

3) Seal the cracks around your home’s doors and windows
Maximize the effects of your air conditioner by keeping the cool air inside. This is a tip that we bring up a lot — but it bears repeating: Caulk the cracks around your door and window frames to prevent air exchange with the outdoors. If there is existing caulk in the cracks that is failing, scrape all of it out before applying new product.

 

 

4) Insulate Everywhere
Fully insulating your home will help keep you cool and save you money.  Attics can especially heat up in the summer and will work against your air conditioner as it works to cool your home down. Make sure that you have great insulation up there, and that it is fully covering the floor of the attic – even the door to it! You might also consider lining the inside of your roof with a reflective insulation like Nest or Reflectix – this will bounce the heat-waves away from your attic in the summer. Once you’ve checked the attic, check the rest of the house. Even small gaps can make a big difference. Ultratouch Multi-Purpose rolls are perfect for filling crannies like the  areas around pipes, newly installed vents, and more.

 

 

5) If you have an attic, make sure that it is ventilated
An attic fan, installed with proper vents from which to draw, can have a huge effect on the temperature in your attic, and the load on your electricity.  The SolaTube Solar Attic Fan attic fan is one of the most technologically-advanced, environmentally-friendly ventilation solutions available. It circulates air and ventilates your attic space, to help keep your home cool and comfortable. Powered by Solar Star’s proprietary 10-watt solar panel, the Solar Star attic fan will not add to your energy bill while it helps lower it!

 

 

6) Stay hydrated
Dehydration can exacerbate the discomfort of the heat and cause some serious health problems too. Carry a re-fillable water bottle with you at all times! The Vapur Anti-Bottle is collapsible and freezable too so you use it as an ice pack until the water inside melts! It conveniently flattens out when empty so it can easily be tucked away into a bag or pocket.

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Western Red Cedar is a gorgeous and practical choice for all kinds of  exterior applications including siding, fencing and decking.  It looks great year after year, and weathers the elements and ravages of outdoor life especially well thanks to several intrinsic properties:

Natural Defenses
Thanks to preservatives that occur naturally in the wood fiber, Cedar is intrinsically resistant to moisture, decay and insect damage. These preservatives are also toxic to decay-causing fungi.

Dimensionally stable
Because of its low density and shrinkage factors, Western Red Cedar is one of the most stable American “softwoods.” It lies flat, stays straight, and holds fastenings tightly so your deck or siding stays sturdy and looks great – even with shifts in temperature and humidty.

All Weather
Cedar will stand up to the elements (sun, rain, heat and cold) year after year.

Rated for safety
Cedar exceeds safety classifications for flame spread and smoke development and does not require preservative treatments.

Easy To Work With
Western Red Cedar produces long, lightweight lengths of timber with a fine, straight grain and uniform texture that make it easy to cut, saw and nail with common tools. It is also very light on pitch and resin so it holds glue bonds and takes stain beautifully.

We are very excited to announce that our Seattle and Portland locations are now stocking FSC-certified Western Red Cedar decking, siding and fences from British Columbia. You will love it when you see it!

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Trex Decking

A gorgeous deck can add living space to your home, help you get more fresh air and sunshine, and create a comfortable space for  your friends and neighbors to gather on a beautiful day or summer evening! Earlier this spring we covered options for finishes for protecting and beautifying your deck. In this follow-up post we will cover our choice decking materials including tropical hardwoods, composites and more!

 

TREX DECKING
Using a unique combination of reclaimed wood and plastic, Trex decking and railing products provide the best qualities of both materials. The recycled plastic (from sources such as grocery bags and stretch film) shields the wood from moisture and insect damage so there’s no rotting, warping, or splintering.  The wood in Trex comes is the waste product of a wood working factory! This decking does not need a finish, and is resistant to UV damage, and pests. Durable and low-maintenance, Trex will hold up and look great year after year. We have seven beautiful colors to choose from, as well as railing and light options to give your deck the perfect finishing touch.

 

Tigerwood Decking

TIGERWOOD – In-stock in Seattle and Portland
Our FSC-Certified Tigerwood Decking is gorgeous and durable. A dark red tone, with dark and light stripes throughout, this Tropical hardwood has a high structural rating and is very easy to maintain. Tropical hardwoods are dense and resinous woods, full of tannins that protect the wood against rot, so you don’t need a finish. The density of Tigerwood makes it extremely stable and resistant to warping. A deck made of Tigerwood has a 25-30 year life span – even without a finish!

Over time your Tigerwood deck will naturally weather to a silvery grey color.  You can maintain the dramatic appearance of the new wood by applying a finish that offers UV protection such as Vermont Natural Coatings.

 

 

 

Western Red Cedar Decking

CEDAR DECKING – Coming soon to Seattle and Portland
We will shortly be introducing Western Red Cedar decking to our West Coast locations. Naturally resistant to moisture, decay and insect damage, this is a beautiful and classic choice for decking. Western Red Cedar has twice the stability of most commonly available softwoods. It lies flat, stays straight, and holds fastenings tightly.  This lightweight wood is easy to work with, and receptive to a wide variety of stains and finishes. Natural preservatives in the wood fiber make it strong against decay causing funghi, making it extraordinarily rot resistant. 

 

 

Learn more about our great deck finishes here.

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