Yolo's Scout Palette with Rais Stove

So, you’ve caulked around all your windows, you’ve checked the insulation in your attic, you’ve covered your air conditioner unit and all drafts in your home are now officially blocked. Q: What more can you do around the house to make your family feel warm and cozy this winter?  A: LOTS!

In Denmark, a part of the world known for its long, gloomy winters, they use the word Hygge (pronounced HOOG-uh)to describe that perfect, warm, cheerful, comfortable, bright feeling that  is desired indoors during the cold, dark and dreary winter months. Candles, warm colors, a wood fire, textiles and good friends can all contribute to the experience of hygge.

Here at Green Depot we have many offerings that evoke hygge without without hurting your indoor air quality (an especially important feature when stuck inside with the windows shut…) Even better, you can improve the coziness of your home without any major remodeling!

YOLO COLORHOUSE PAINT
Conceived by a pair of interior designers, the YOLO Colorhouse palette is created to be timeless and easy to live with. Each color is designed to be a rich backdrop for comfortable living, adding a sense of depth to interior spaces. Their colors are designed to work together to create harmonious spaces as seen above in their Scout Palette with tones inspired by nature. YOLO performs like a premium conventional paint, yet it has low odor, no harmful chemicals, and no added solvents and no VOCs while still boasting excellent hide and durability. 

RAIS STOVES
Carefully handcrafted in Denmark by skilled craftsmen, nothing brings the authentic experience of hygge to your home like a RAIS stove! Some of the most efficient and least polluting wood stoves on the market, they are engineered to burn so efficiently that they even burn up most of the particulate matter in the smoke before it gets released into the air! This works so well that burning wood in a RAIS stove releases no more CO2 than would be released if that wood were naturally decomposing on the forest floor. In addition to being great for Air Quality, their efficiency means that you can enjoy a hotter burning, longer lasting fire while using much less wood than most wood stoves!

TATINE TISANE CANDLES
The bright glow of a candle combined with a delicious aroma can bring comfort with just the strike of a match. The maker of Tatine Tisane candles considers scent as a story, meant to delight and move you with a sense of personal connection. ”Celebration Day,” as seen at left, features scents of orange and pine – perfect for the holidays! Completely paraffin-free these candles are made from beeswax, soy wax, and a mixture of essential oils and fine perfumes.

 

BIOSMART INFRARED HEATERS
BioSmart® Infrared Heaters represent the state of the art in space heaters. The far infrared waves they produce move quickly on the water molecules in the air and heat your home evenly from floor to ceiling. Infrared heat creates a much cozier feeling than more common heaters because the unique shorter wavelength is a more penetrating, direct source of heat, much like the sun. This is considered the region of infrared that is most harmonious with the human body and the most effective at producing heat. BioSmart far infrared heaters produce energy waves in this therapeutic far infrared range. They are so therapeutic and healthy that Far Infrared is the heat source of choice for infant incubators in hospitals.

AREA RUGS
A natural fiber area rug can instantaneously warm up a room with color and texture. In addition to tieing a room together visually and offering a splash of pattern, an area rug can also offer friends and family a warm and comfortable place to gather in front of a wood stove or fireplace. Green Depot area rugs are free of toxic flame retardants and stain blocking chemicals so you can feel even more comfortable stretching out on one with a good book.



These are just a few ideas to make your home feel welcoming and comfortable this season! If you are looking for more design ideas, please check out our profile on Houzz.com!  We hope your coming cold-weather months are very warm and hygge-filled!!

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The EcoDorm at Warren Wilson College

Imagine the state of your average college dorm room: lights left on, electronics left charging, garbage and recycling thrown together in the same bin. A dorm can seem like the last place a person would find any sort of concern for the environment. But, as it turns out, sustainability is now spreading to college campuses across the country! Programs such as The Sustainable Campus and others are working with universities to help them reduce their carbon footprint and provide eco-friendly housing to students. All over the country, schools are adjusting how they manage waste, protect indoor air quality, and save energy.

From instituting programs that encourage students to change their behavior (turning off lights, unplugging electronics, and sorting waste) to adopting responsible building practices, colleges and universities are making great strides towards sustainability while improving their bottom line. In 2009 The New York Times  reported that more than 600 U.S colleges and universities had already made a pledge to become carbon neutral; and more than 90 dorms across the country were LEED certified. For example, they cite the EcoDorm at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina that consumes two thirds less electricity than a conventional building of the same size. Another example of a green dorm is a LEED Certified student residence building at Harvard University that features renewable bamboo flooring, low VOC finishes, and regionally sourced siding with recycled content.

If you happen to know a student who is moving into a dormitory this fall, help them (and their roommates) go green in their dorm room with these Green Depot solutions!

Keep Warm With Wool
Help save energy by turning the thermostat down and using a comfy throw blanket while catching up on course work! The Eco-Wise Pendleton Throw is 100% wool and is machine washable. Wool is a naturally renewable fiber and the fabric in these blankets has been Cradle to Cradle certified.




Prevent Phantom Energy Use
For all your electronics, from your phone to your laptop, a TrickleStrip –Saving Surge Protector will greatly reduce the amount of vampire/standby energy consumed by dorm electronics. Be sure to flip it to “off” when going out!

  

  

Wake Up On Time and In Style
After a late night studying, it is important to have a high quality alarm clock. The bamboo-clad Vers Alarm Clock Radio is compact, and is also a dock for an iPod. Gorgeously hand crafted, this unit cuts down on plastic use and the company plants 100 trees for every tree they use in production.

 

  

Deodorize the Dorm with Plant Oils – Not Petro-Chemicals
It’s common for every college dorm room to have that smell every once in a while. Be it from people living in close quarters, or the resonance of that pizza from three days ago, or maybe you can’t put your finger on it. Whatever it may be, Airscense to the rescue! This room freshener doesn’t cover up odors; it neutralizes them using a petro-chemical-free formula.

 

Charge Electronics Anywhere on Campus
The Solar Back Pack, efficiently charges all hand-held electronics through built in solar panels even as it holds textbooks and a laptop in its spacious main compartment. On a cloudy day, the charger can also be powered up using a USB power cable.



Zoe Bloom contributed to this post.

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Install Tyroc over new or seasoned concrete

Tyroc panels are just 1/2 inch thick

Let’s face it, choosing flooring for basements can be tricky! Concrete slabs, moisture issues, low ceilings, and un-even surfaces frequently combine to limit your floor covering options to carpet and well, carpet. Many people are happy with their carpeted basements, but if you’ve been longing to install a wood floor downstairs, Green Depot has the answer!

The key to this liberating development is Tyroc Underlayment. Tyroc is an engineered dual-layered subflooring system. The bottom layer is a waterproof, diamond-pattern, moisture-blocking membrane made of recycled rubber and plastic. This moisture barrier works better than a simple layer of plastic sheeting because it makes space between the cement and the flooring surface that allows water vapor to escape. The top surface of each panel is made of non-toxic Magnesium Oxide, a material that is exceptionally well suited for basements because it will not propagate mold or mildew and is fire, water and pest resistant. These panels are superior to a simple wood underlayment because they won’t swell or delaminate and they’ll remain stable as moisture and temperature levels fluctuate.

Installing the ½ inch thick Tyroc panels over your basement floor will help to level the surface of your floor, without costing you headroom. Once it’s down, you can choose linoleum, hardwood, cork, ceramic tile – and yes, even carpet if you like! Whatever flooring you choose, this underlayment will ensure that your floor surface is dry, warm, and quiet.

Serafina Flooring - Engineered for Stability

For added stability in a basement where hardwood flooring is desired, we recommend choosing an engineered floor like our Serafina flooring line. Engineered floors feature a multi-layered cross-grain construction that cuts down on the expansion and contraction of boards. To protect your indoor-air-quality, be sure to choose a product that is made with no added urea-formaldehyde!

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Cellulose Insulation filling the space between the apartment's floor joists. Great for sound insulation.

Cellulose Insulation filling the space between the apartment's floor joists. Great for sound insulation.

Graham Hill’s “LifeEdited” apartment is not only going to be very space-efficient – it will be very energy efficient as well! This past week, construction got started as they put down the essential basic subfloor, and under that, insulation!

First, they removed the existing floor. Then, using Cel-Pak Cellulose Insulation supplied by Green Depot, they filled in all the air space between the joists in the floor. The picture to the right shows how they blew it in right to the top of the boards and then leveled it off before installing the plywood subfloor.

A great choice for the quality of a home’s air, cellulose insulation is made from 100% recycled newspaper. After the newspapers get shredded down, they get coated with borate (a naturally occurring salt) which is an effective pest and fire retardant. This product is free of fiberglass and PVC – two materials which can hurt the indoor air quality of a home. Many people don’t realize that insulation can affect the quality of a home’s air even from behind the drywall – but as air circulates through the space it also passes through walls and crawl spaces. This increases as a home (or in this case, an apartment) settles, and small openings happen between floors and walls (usually behind the baseboards.)

Plywood Subfloor installation complete over insulated floor.

Plywood Subfloor installation complete over insulated floor.

Here’s a quick list of the benefits of cellulose insulation:

Energy Saving
Cellulose insulation is applicable in a wide range of settings, whatever the desired R-value. Cellulose fills gaps around pipes, wires and outlets blocking those hard to insulate areas where drafts can occur.  It even blocks heat transfer at freezing temperatures.

Sound Insulating
The density of cellulose makes it an excellent sound barrier – far surpassing the sound insulating qualities of fiberglass. Putting it between apartments this way will sustantially decrease the sound-transfer both directions! (STC rating of 45 in a 2×4 wall)

Fire Retardant
Cel-pak is impregnated with borates which makes it very fire resistant. Burn tests have shown it resist fire far longer than other types of insulation. Because the insulation contains so few chemicals, if it does succomb to flame,  the smoke it generates doesn’t generally emit the same kinds of toxins that other insulations can as they burn.

Pest Resistant
The same borates used to add flame resistance also inhibit mold and mildew and repel insects and vermin.

Click here to visit our Cel-Pak page.
We carry a variety of other insulation products as well. Click here to see our full offering.



Click here for an introduction to this exciting project!

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Green Holiday Entertaining

November 24th, 2011 | Posted by sschultz in Air Quality | Green Products | Living Green | Waste Reduction - (Comments Off)

Are you looking for ways to make your holidays more sustainable? From reducing waste, to increasing energy efficiency, to reducing toxicity there are tons of ways to make our celebrations more sustainable. Our friends Corey and Lynn over at Celebrate Green have lots of creative ideas for greening Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.  Another great resource is Practically Green where you can find tips on avoiding BPA in your holiday meals, green gift ideas and more! Below are some of the green solution available at Green Depot! You can see all of our eco-friendly Holiday Supplies by clicking here.

Holiday LED String Lights
Light up your home this Holiday season with LED lights, the energy efficient version that uses up to 80% less energy to operate than traditional incandescent lights. Use them indoors or out to brighten your holidays

 

 

Dinuba Stainless Steel Water Container
This beautiful stainless steel container is stylish and functional. Use it for storing and serving water at events, or for everyday use on your countertop or in your fridge. This is a perfect alternative to the classic tub of plastic water bottles – even better it’s BPA-free! Great for water – or your favorite festive beverage! Comes in 5L and 15L sizes.

 

Compostable Cups
These compostable 12oz cups are made of Kraft Paper coated with corn-based lining. Great for hot or cold beverages – you can use them for hot apple cider, or rum punch. At the end of your party, unlike those red plastic cups, these don’t have to go to the landfill.

 

Juniper Ridge Room Spray
Few things evoke the feeling of holiday more than the fresh scent of pine trees. Juniper Ridge’s Room Spray was made to capture the smell of the forests of the Cascade Mountain range using real, wild-harvested botanicals, no toxic or artificial chemicals.

 

For more, browse all of our eco-friendly Holiday Supplies by clicking here.

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It’s September, and colder months loom just on the horizon. The days will soon grow shorter, and most of us in colder climates will be spending much more time inside of our homes.

The home environment isn’t necessarily one we readily consider. When we think about living sustainably, we usually consider how our actions might impact the natural environment outside of our homes – how the products we buy affect the health of watersheds, or forests; how they contribute to climate change or preserve biodiversity. We consider how the products we purchase impact the lives of the people manufacturing them.

But products used in the home – whether it’s cleaners, or interior paints, or furniture, or our vacuum cleaners – affect the air quality inside our living spaces, our home environments. Many conventional products (like those containing volatile organic compounds, or VOCs) can detrimentally affect our own health.

Indeed, this is such a legitimate concern for many that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has an entire website devoted to educating folks about the health of their home environments.

As the EPA site summarizes quite well, indoor air pollution is caused by a number of problems. The main cause of concern – which may require a professional evaluation to determine if it is a serious issue in your home – are leakages from any indoor combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, or tobacco.

But the EPA also notes that products used for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, hobbies, and outdoor sources such as radon and pesticides can contribute to an unhealthy indoor environment. Moreover, building materials, furnishings, and air fresheners can release harmful components into the air more or less continuously. GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS There are lots of options available to anyone looking to improve the quality of their home environment.

Here are a few ideas from Green Depot:

1. Testing: Testing is the first step to knowing if you have an issue with your indoor air quality. The National Jewish Health Family Air Care Indoor Allergens and Mold Test Kit is a big step in determining if you have any issues. This kit comes from the nation’s leading respiratory hospital and enables users to screen their homes for the five most common triggers of asthma and allergies, testing for cat, dog, dust mite, and cockroach allergens, as well as 13 species of fungus or mold. Another option for testing indoor air quality is a Radon Gas test kit. Prolab Inc produces both a short term and a long-term radon test kit, providing you a comprehensive analysis of radon in the home.

2. Air Filtration: Breathing air that has been purified of harmful gases is beneficial to the health, as well. The Andrea Air Purifier is the first air purifier capable of absorbing toxins like formaldahyde, using the absorptive properties of living plants. It contains an air fan to draw air into the plant’s chamber and then releases it, purified. Any household plant can be used as the filtration agent.

3. Humidifying: Using a humidifier during the winter months can help alleviate respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and nosebleeds. The Germ Guardian H1000 Tabletop Humidifier is an Energy-Star rated cool mist humidifier. It runs silently, using ultrasonic technology, and unlike other humidifiers has an anti-bacterial coating to prevent the introduction of mold and mildew particles into the air it is improving. It utilizes a metal diaphragm vibrating at high frequencies to create water droplets which are then expelled into the room.

4. Vacuuming: The Electrolux Versatility Upright Vacuum is a full-featured vacuum cleaner. This cleaner includes a quick-release wand, allowing you to vacuum hard-to-reach spaces on the ceiling and in difficult corners. High impacts plastics and rugged construction make this a durable product, and the anti-odor HEPA filter captures 99.7% of pet dander, dust mites, pollen and mold for healthier indoor air.

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This may not be a complete list of all the things you can do to improve your indoor air quality (switch over from conventional fiberglass insulation to a healthier option like Ultratouch eco insulation). But, we hope this proves to be a good place to start and give you some ideas!

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit: http://www.greendepot.com

For more information about indoor-air-quality, we recommend you visit the EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/

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