From everyone at Green Depot,
From everyone at Green Depot,
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.
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 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
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!
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.
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.
Sometimes the changes in our global climate seem like so large of a problem that it can be hard to imagine how one individual, family, or community can make a difference. Do not be discouraged! There are actions that you can take this month in your home, apartment and office that can make an impact.
“How?” you ask…
Through improvements in energy efficiency!
Before we dig into some action ideas, take a look at some of the points from the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 report Buildings and their Impact on the Environment: A Statistical Summary:
As illustrated above, buildings (both residential and commercial) contribute greatly to energy use and carbon dioxide emissions which contribute, in turn, to climate change. Therefore, increasing the efficiency of our buildings should help slow the changes we’re seeing. Anyone who lives and or works in a building (i.e.: most Americans) has a place where they can (through direct action or influence) make a difference. Actions taken to conserve energy in our built environment have the dual benefits of fighting climate change and saving you (or your landlord, or your company) money on the electric bill.
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas both big and small:
|Caulk The Cracks: Sometimes even the smallest gaps can make a big difference. Running a bead of caulk around window and door frames helps stop drafts and save energy.||Cover the Fan: If small cracks make a difference, imagine what a 10″ hole can do! Stop unwanted energy loss through your exhaust fans. These magnetic covers are easy to put on and take off as needed.
||Seal the Pulleys: Permanently stop cold drafts infiltrating your house through the pulley assemblies inside your casement window frames with easy to install Pulley Seals.|
|Paint the Roof White: The heat island effect of cities can be greatly reduced by painting roofs white – this reflects the sun’s rays rather than absorbing them so buildings stay cooler.||Get Double Pane Performance:
Indow Windows interior inserts give you energy saving performance equivalent to replacement windows without the cost, hassle and waste of replacement and allow you to keep the charm of your originals.
|Blow in Some Insulation: With cellulose insulation, you can add significant R-value to your walls without taking the house apart!|
Still more ideas…
1. Pipe insulation, shown above, keeps pipes from freezing, sweating, and losing heat.
2. Switch and outlet gaskets prevent drafts through places we might not consider particularly drafty, but are a source of energy loss.
3. Xtra-Foam seal drafty windows, doors, and leaks with this low expanding, multipurpose foam.
4. Air conditioner weatherseals seal the gaps around air conditioners and in windows
5. Indoor window insulating kits seal windows airtight.
6. Water heater insulation jackets make home water heaters more efficient. Handheld adhesive foam prevents leaks around doors and windows.
7. Bonded Logic Ultratouch Mini Rolls help to seal known gaps in insulation, reducing noise and energy loss.
8: Air conditioner covers prevent winter air from entering through a window unit air conditioner.
Whether you love throwing large backyard barbecue parties, or prefer lounging quietly in the sun with a good book, a beautiful deck is the foundation for enjoying your outdoor spaces at home. Winter is almost over and soon it will be prime deck-sitting time. In part-one of this two-part series we’ll give you some ideas for finishing your deck (whether it be a traditional wood, or an exotic species). In part two, we’ll talk about the different benefits of our decking options!
Osmo Deck Oil is easy to apply (almost impossible to screw up, actually) and it will not flake, peel, blister or crack over time. This finish penetrates into the wood grain, strengthening it from within and allowing the wood to “breathe” as temperature and humidity fluctuate. It smooths the surface of the wood and protects it against damage from weather, water, beverage spills (wine, beer, soda pop, etc), and the colored versions even protect against damage from UV rays (the Clear “Teak” does not offer UV protection.) One of the other exceptional benefits of Osmo Deck Oil is that it is very easy to maintain. Should you decide that your deck could use another coat of finish, you don’t have to sand or apply a chemical stripper! Just clean the deck well, and then apply another coat of deck oil right on top of the old.
+ Will not crack, flake, peel or blister
+ Penetrates the wood grain and strengthens from within
+ Easy, “no-mistakes” application
+ Effective on exotic and domestic species
+ Great colors!
Refresh Your Existing Deck: Osmo Wood Reviver Power Gel
If you have a deck that is looking old and weathered but still has lots of structural life left in it, Osmo Wood Reviver Power Gel will bring back its good looks! With just one application, this innovative new product rejuvenates, revitalizes, refreshes, and returns resilience to exterior wood that has been dulled, grayed, and weathered. Osmo Wood Reviver Power Gel restores the natural character of exterior woodwork to near its original color, gently without damaging the wood grain. After treating your deck with the power gel, finish it with one of Osmo’s Deck Oils for long-lasting beauty.
+ Refreshes and cleans weathered wood decking and exterior furniture
+ Revives resilience and color without damaging wood
+ Ready to use, no need to mix or measure
+ Brush it on, wash it off
More Deck Products:
|Vermont Natural Coatings: Using the strength of natural whey proteins and water-based resins, this finish is waterproof and provides protection against mildew, mold and harmful UV rays.||Acri-Soy Penetrating Clear Sealer: This finish, based on natural plant oils protects deck surfaces by creating a molecular bond and seal. For a stained surface, apply a coat of TimberSoy Natural Wood Stain first – then finish with a top coat of Acri-Soy.||Ready-Strip Deck Brite:
This non-acid brightener and cleaner is safe for decks and other exterior surfaces. Back to Nature Ready-Strip Deck-Brite contains no acid, is biodegradable and non-flammable