Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

December 2007

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Open Fire

Call it a hot conversation piece. The EcoSmart Fire, from Sydney, Australia-based The Fire Company, is an open fireplace that does not require a flue, utility connection or fuel supply line, so it can be installed in just about any area of a home, apartment or office.

Tubs of Copper

Give your bathroom a decidedly country cottage look, and help the environment as well, with a copper tub from Native Trails, a California-based producer of handmade copper sinks and tubs. The company recently introduced the Aspen, a double-walled oval tub made from 100 percent recycled copper, which joins the Aurora tub, a “double slipper” design introduced by Native Trails in 2005.

The Mainstream GreenHome

The Mainstream GreenHome should be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the residence with the most environmentally friendly features and products. Located on a one-third-acre lot in a conventional, established neighborhood in Raleigh, N.C., the home has the appearance of a traditional residence but uses less energy and water than a typical home, while also providing a healthier living environment.

Germany Shines at Solar Decathlon

A team from Germany’s Technische Universität Darmstadt (University of Technology in Darmstadt) took top honors for the 2007 edition of the Solar Decathlon, held in October on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Decathlon, which takes place every other year, is a competition in which 20 teams of college and university students from domestic and foreign institutions design, build and operate energy-efficient, cutting-edge houses that must operate solely on solar power.

Smart Resolutions for 2008

Now that our whole world seems to be turning green, you may be asking yourself what you can do in 2008 to become more responsible, lower your energy and water bills, and help make your home a healthier place for your family to live. There’s a plethora of information out there, so sorting through it all and choosing the correct and most cost effective course of action might seem like an overwhelming task.

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