The LifeEdited Apartment transforms to allow for all aspects of home life in just 420 sf

Graham Hill’s LifeEdited apartment is finally complete and, in a recent article, the New York Times is calling it the apartment of the future!

Launched in 2010, the project began as an international competition. Graham Hill (the founder of Treehugger) challenged designers around the world to come up with a design that would allow for a large sit-down dinner party, comfortable lounging for 8, space for overnight guests (with privacy), a home office, a hideable kitchen and more! The winning design was submitted by Romanian architecture students Catalin Sandu and Adrian Iancu and construction began!

The build out of the apartment included many green features from the drywall and the insulation to FSC flooring and 0-VOC paints!

Graham Hill’s project is a thought provoking and inspiring demonstration of just how little space, and how little stuff, it actually takes to live a 21st century American lifestyle. Transforming apartments, along with transforming furniture and compact appliances, are becoming more and more popular and that means that soon, more and more of us may have the opportunity to live large by living small – just like Graham Hill.  Visit the LifeEdited website for more inspiring examples of compact living spaces and innovative, space-saving products.

Last year, Treehugger founder Graham Hill announced a new project called “LifeEdited.”  Inspired by mounting evidence that owning more stuff does not lead to more happiness, he decided to find a way to “have it all” without all the things that frequently seem to go along with that. First, he purchased a much-smaller-than-average apartment in New York City. Then, he challenged designers from around the world to come up with a design for his new 420 square foot space that would allow him to reduce his dependence on stuff and still live comfortably.

Graham Hill had certain requirements for his finished apartment design. Because he needs a home office, likes to host out-of-town guests, hold large dinner parties, and has hobbies that require some storage, the apartment had to allow for the following:
• a sit-down dinner for 12 people
• a comfortable lounging option for 8
• space for 2 overnight guests (with some privacy)
• a home office
• a work area with space for a rolling tool chest
• a hideable kitchen

Creative ideas for apartment designs poured in from all over the world that included minimalist bicycle storage, moving walls, and myriad takes on transformable furniture. You can see all of the designs (including the winning submission) that came in by clicking here. Anyone who already lives in a small space, or who is even just flirting with the idea of downsizing, will find these designs inspiring.

With products from Green Depot like drywall, 0-VOC paints and FSC-Certified woods, the project build-out is finally under way! We’ll be blogging about the project’s progress, so check back for updates.


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For more information about LifeEdited, please visit lifeedited.org

This week, Green Depot Founder, Sarah Beatty hosted a special evening with “The Father of LEED,” Rob Watson, and Jigar Shah, CEO of The Carbon War Room. 75 people gathered for a discussion of the political, environmental, and technical realties of the race to prevent unmanageable climate disruption. Attendees included representatives from across the community including lending firms, retail stores, designers, artists, media and event companies, climate change organizations, public schools and universities, green building experts and more! This kind of cross-disciplinary discussion is vitally important if we hope to begin to tackle the issues of our time. All of the event’s attendees are dedicated, in their lives and organizations, to thinking bravely and differently about how to combat climate change. The challenges that we face are universal – engagement and cooperative action from all segments of our markets and communities is essential.

The leaders of this week’s discussion are both prominent, active leaders in the fight against climate change, Rob Watson and Jigar Shah.

Rob Watson is pioneer of the modern green building movement and  is best known as “the Father of LEED” for his leading role in the development of the LEED green building rating system, the most widespread and fastest-growing international green building standard. In 2007 he founded EcoTech International Group to meet the fast-growing demand for green building technologies and services worldwide. As the Director of International Energy and Green Buildings Programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Mr. Watson has worked in China on green building programs and market development since 1997, and is a recipient of a “Green Innovation” award by China’s Ministry of Construction, the only foreign expert so honored.

Jigar Shah is the CEO of the Carbon War Room, Jigar is dedicated to identifying business-as-usual practices and replacing them with low-carbon solutions. Prior to the Carbon War Room, Jigar founded SunEdison in 2003. Under his leadership, SunEdison revolutionized the solar industry by introducing a business model to sell solar as a service. The transformation to solar power service agreements is responsible for turning solar services into a multi-billion dollar industry. Jigar is also an expert on energy project finance, changing energy policy, working with entrenched stakeholders, and convincing individuals to embrace energy technology. He works closely with entrepreneurs, policymakers, and investors around the world to develop, incubate, and implement sustainable solutions.

The event was sponsored by Tipping Point Productions and Serious Energy.

We look forward to continuing the conversation at future such events, and in the community at large.

Click here to visit our Homepage.

How can you incorporate sustainability into your life beyond the paint you put on your walls, or the toilet you choose to install? By greening your holiday celebrations! Pacific Northwest eco-mavens Corey Colwell Lipson and her mom Lynn Colwell have written a book called Celebrate Green which is an incredible resource for ideas on how to make holidays healthy and eco-friendly. The first holiday that they set out to tackle was Halloween – a holiday typically heavily laden with PVC and High Fructose Corn Syrup. They got so inspired, that they quickly launched Green Halloween® — a non-profit, grassroots initiative to encourage families to find eco-friendly costumes, decorations and treats! Now a nationwide movement, and a program of EcoMom Alliance, Green Halloween educates and inspires communities all over the country by showing how easy, affordable, and fun it can be to factor our earth and our health into our daily choices.

It is easier to green your Halloween than you might think, it just takes a little forethought! Here are some of their great ideas:

+ Instead of giving away conventional candy, consider items such as pencils made from recycled newsprint, temporary tattoos sporting eco-savvy themes, or 100% fruit leathers. Even organic lollipops are better for children and the planet and some come in compostable wrappers.

+ Instead of buying a costume this year, see if you can make one out of materials you have lying around your house, can borrow from a friend or can find at a thrift store. Or, host a costume swap with your neighbors.

+ Decorate your front lawn, porch and home with items from nature. Pumpkins, gourds and hay are all great, green items that can be composted when November 1st rolls around.

To read all about Green Halloween and find fun events near you, visit GreenHalloween.org. You can learn how to get involved locally, sign up for the super nifty newsletter, and get fab DIY costume ideas, recipes, upcycled décor how-to‘s and more. There‘s even a trick-or-treat bag design contest for kids! So forget orange and black. With upcoming events in cities across the U.S., this community initiative is adding much-needed green to Halloween. It‘s a scream!

Check out this video of Corey showing green Trick or Treat alternatives to Halloween Candy:

Portland's Planet Repair Institute

Portland is among the greenest cities in America – from the way they eat, to the way they get around, to the way they build their homes. Every year, City residents and contractors push the envelope for sustainable materials and energy efficiency, and every year Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability curates a tour of some of the year’s most exciting projects. They call it the Build it Green! Home Tour and Information Fair and tickets are now on sale!  2011 is the 10th anniversary of the BIG! Tour and Fair, and will take  place on Saturday, September 24th! 

This is a fantastic way to learn about the latest, greatest, and most inspirational things happening in green building in the Rose City! This year’s tour features 20+ homes – each of which incorporate outstanding sustainable elements, from energy-savings to sustainable material use. These homes will be open for ticket holders to tour, and the homeowners will be on hand to answer your questions!

Among the homes open on the tour will be The Bungaloft, a project that features owner-built cabinets, fixtures and other details, made in part with recycled and reclaimed materials. Also featured is the Water House – the first Watersense-certified home in Oregon; and the Planet Repair Institute using cob, earthen plaster, and reclaimed materials. To see a preview of all the homes on the tour click here.

This year, the BIG! Tour will be kicking off with a fun, resource-rich, Information Fair in the Green Depot parking lot! Enjoy live music by the Wicky Pickers, and refreshments while checking out green building product demos and visit our varied exhibitors like: cabinet and furniture makers, solar firms, designers, realtors and more!
You will also be able to ENTER TO WIN a free Caroma Profile dual-flush-toilet (it has a built-in sink!) 

This year’s events are happening on Saturday, September 24th.
FREE BIG! Fair: 10am – 2pm
BIG! Tour: 11am-5pm
Tickets for the tour are available at Green Depot Portland (cash or check only only) or online.
– $15 Adults
– $10 car free/students/honored citizens
– Free for children 13 and under

For information on having an exhibitor booth at the fair please contact sschultz[at]greendepot.com. Availability is limited.

Deforestation is a major environmental issue – but not only in the tropical rainforests of the world.  Throughout North America, many forests have been degraded and permanently damaged from clear-cut harvesting techniques.  Clear-cutting has a variety of significant negative impacts on local ecosystems wherever it occurs: it leads to the loss of habitat for wildlife species; a loss of jobs and other economic activity once the forest is cleared; a greater possibility of invasive species and other unwanted flora establishing itself on the clearcut site; a decrease in property values; and a decrease in available outdoor recreation opportunities.

Clearcutting can also result in massive soil erosion.  A study conducted at the University of Oregon found that clear cut areas often suffer three times as much erosion due to slides than areas that were never clear cut; and when logging roads are included in these calculations, slide activity is five times greater relative to nearby forested areas. [Click here for the report].  Moreover, a study from Southern University Carbondale in Illinois found that even after 30 years of recovery of a clear cut oak forest, natural occurrence of native oak trees was dramatically reduced and the presence of other species was greatly increased.  Clear cutting didn’t only result in the loss of forest habitat and ecosystem in 1973, when that forest was first harvested – the clear cutting resulted in a permanent (and, arguably, unnatural) alteration to the area’s forest ecosystem. [Click here for the report].

Enter the Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities (HFHC) partnership located in Portland, Oregon.  HFHC is an innovative and collaborative project founded by Sustainable Northwest, an NGO dedicated to building partnerships that promote environmentally-sound economic development in Northwest American communities.

The HFHC Partnership is a network of people, organizations, and small businesses working together to accomplish a common vision: to build awareness of, and demand for, regionally and responsibly-produced wood products that are created in rural communities.  According to their website, the network not only raises that awareness, but “enhances rural capacity to produce and market goods that benefit both entrepreneurs and forest ecosystems.”  The idea is that through creating a sustainable wood economy, we can build a rural Northwestern economy that doesn’t rely on the destruction of forest ecosystems to give people a stable livelihood.

Sustainable Northwest not only supports the enlargement of this network, but also runs a for-profit subsidiary which promotes and distributes HFHC member products into the marketplace. Sustainable Northwest Wood connects small wood mills to green building markets to help promote not only sustainable forestry, but to promote green building and construction as well.  In this manner, HFHC also functions as a marketing service which helps promote healthy forests, and sustainable local economies.

And to back up their claims of sustainability, HFHC relies on the international standard of sustainable forest management: Forest Stewardship Council certification.  HFHC maintains a group certificate for FSC Chain of Custody, tracking wood products from the forest to the consumer.  According to the HFHC, 25 businesses participate in the group chain of custody.

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

Members of the Health Forests, Healthy Communities partnership have all of their wood products certified under FSC guidelines, and all of the lumber products that we carry at Green Depot are likewise FSC-approved.  Lumber products with a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) seal are sourced from forests that are managed responsibly and sustainably.  The FSC vets forest managers and lumber production companies to ensure that their methods are sustainable before going to market.  Certification criteria require that logging methods preserve biodiversity, reduce environmental impacts, maintain the rights of indigenous communities and forestry workers, include a long-term forest management plan, comply with laws and international treaties, and that logging practices do not destroy forests, protect the habitats of endangered wildlife, and that profits from commercial forest endeavors are shared equitably with forest communities.  The FSC is non-governmental, non-for-profit, and all lumber producers participate in the program voluntarily.

Green Depot carries FSC-Certified wood, and can provide Chain of Custody (CoC) documentation, ensuring total tracking of the supply chain from forest to mill to processor, distributor, or treater; and finally, to delivery at our warehouses or jobsite.

In particular, check out one of the HFHC products we carry: Butcher Block Countertops, or Madrona flooring!

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