Archive for October, 2009
Getting eco-friendly furniture is now easier than ever. Many more people are joining the green bandwagon and manufacturers are more than happy to tap into this market, while doing their bit for the environment. More and more people are opting for furniture made from reclaimed or recycled materials over wood and companies are happily going first to landfills and then to the banks.
After bamboo, recycled rubber, tin cans and cane, it is now time for Urban Wood. This is a relatively new entrant is the eco-friendly market but is catching quite fast. Urban wood furniture is made from wood that is salvaged around cities from tree falls, demolitions, and generally from the road side. Most of this furniture maintains its rough and ‘woody’ look and people seem to fall for it.
Another very unique and beautiful furniture or rather material option is found with Kirei USA. Kirei manufactures tiles and furniture material made from coconut, wheat, bamboo and kirei. Their tiles made for coconut bark and fiber area thing of beauty and their Wheatboards bamboo are excellent fire-resistant substitutes for wood. Their flagship Kirei board is lighter than wood but as durable and strong. Each of these materials also possess a texture and colour unique to the raw material that adds to its aesthetic appeal.
We’ve talked about a lot of eco-friendly stuff on our website but there’s one thing that we’ve been ignoring since a long time now: Wood. If you looked around your house you would actually be surprised at how much wood there is around your house. Over 80% of your furniture is wood. Your floor, doors, door frames and window frames are also mostly wood. And if you’re one of those people who likes to have little collectibles around the house then they are also wood. And not to mention all the paper you use in some way or the other. That’s a lot of trees being sacrificed, for no good reason. Simply because there are many substitutes that are as durable, strong and good-looking around.
1. Bamboo: About the strongest naturally available material out there. Bamboo furniture lasts many lifetimes, is resistant to moisture, insects and termites, and great to fashion with and also less expensive than wood.
2. Cane: If you’ve been thinking that cane furniture is meant only for the patio – how wrong are you. Many living rooms don cane furniture extremely well and should be the first choice for those looking at creating a cosy look and feel. The best part about cane furniture is that you can get it in almost any kind of design you would like. Like bamboo, cane can last fairly long and therefore you could even buy used cane furniture without worrying.
3. Recycled Wood: A lot of wood ends up in our landfills even though it doesn’t deserve to be there. Many furniture manufacturers source their raw material from these places and create furniture that is just as good as new. Visit this page to find a state-wise list of recycled wood furniture manufacturers: http://www.ecobusinesslinks.com/recycled_green_furniture_manufacturers.htm.
While working with American Clay, we also discovered quite a few other products that are as eco-friendly and work as well in place of the polluting material we used to use. The first thing we found was a new type of spray-on plaster that could be used to create any of texturing – the kind you see in artistic and decorative homes. Enjarre can be used in place of paint or as a plaster itself and is available in standard and custom colors. If you’re looking at making minor changes to your old plaster – American clay has a Primer for your needs – fully eco-friendly and suitable to enhance the finish and protect any type of plaster.
Also a product that we think is very handy is their sealer. The Penetrating Sealer is perfect for giving the earth plastered walls sheen and making surfaces smooth to make cleaning easy. However its primary purpose is making your wall water resistant – especially in places where you have water seepage issues. The Gloss Sealer is used over the penetrating sealer to create a high-gloss look where desired.
Their best buy however the Mud-Glue – which is a binder for their plasters and at the same time a primer for your walls. Thus, not only is it environmentally friendly, but it also saves time because you don’t have to prime the walls separately. As a binder mud glue works to create more resistance within the earth plasters against water.
First of all – there are plenty. Let’s start:
1. Esthetic: American Clay Plaster gives absolutely wonderful look to the walls, as evident by the pictures on their website. For anyone looking at warm, rustic, earthy tone and feel to their home or business space, American Clay is the best thing to go with.
2. Maintenance: The particular raw materials of American Clay Plaster make them resistant to UV rays – they don’t fade. Since it is natural clay – it releases negative ions in the surrounding air. Negative ions are naturally present in nature and natural materials. They are the reason we feel so fresh when we visit the park or a beach. They other great part about negative ions is that they don’t attract dust and pollen. Possibly, its negative ion count is also the reason that American Clay Plaster is mold resistant and controls moisture while allowing your walls to breathe.
3. No waste: As we mentioned, this plaster takes longer time to set – giving you more time to work with it and correct your mistakes. Even if it does set, you can simply re-hydrate it and its good to go.
4. Variety: American Clay Plasters come with 42 different shades, 12 textures and 3 different types. Other than this, they will create custom colors for you if provide them with a sample of what you want. Moreover, a professional who has experience with their plasters will be able to create shades of different tints and hues with their pigments. All ordering information is available on their website.
5. High on Information: Their website provides all the information you need on choosing, finding an experienced professional, application and use, and how to care for earth plasters. Here in Olympia we have it installed by Brent Hudson of Vessenza by Hudson. A link to his site is provided on our links page.
Whenever we hear people talk about green building or designing and constructing eco-friendly homes, it’s mostly reservations and apprehensions. One of the major reservations is people thinking that they will have to give up convenient things and ‘settle’ for inconvenient, unreliable stuff – particularly when it comes to building material. Boy, are they wrong! Our aim to create green homes constantly brings us across wonderful eco-friendly products that are surprisingly better than what we’ve been using so far. And one such material is: American Clay Earth Plaster.
American Clay is a natural and environment-friendly substitute for regular plaster and performs all the functions of a regular plaster, only better. Regular plaster is made out of gypsum, cement, acrylic or lime, whereas American Clay is mud/earth/clay based. This makes a huge difference to the texture, stability, application, versatility, esthetics and health of the walls. American Clay Plaster allows walls and surfaces to breath, doesn’t attract dust and mostly importantly – takes much longer to ‘set’ than normal plasters – so you have more time to work, without waste.
American Clay Plasters are made of recycled aggregates, natural clay and uses natural pigments to achieve its 42 colors. American Clay makes three different types of plasters to achieve three different finishes and for three different types of plastering requirements. Coloring pigments are separately available so that users can create their own tints and hues based on a shading card. Their website, www.americanclay.com also has a ‘how-to’ section.