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

January 2003

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Now You Can Paint With Plastic

Now You Can Paint Your Plastic If you've ever tried to touch-up your faded plastic resin lawn furniture or wanted to change the color of a planter or mailbox, you were almost certainly disappointed. Those items had to be sanded and primed first, and even then the finish coat often peeled off in sheets.

Power to the People

A transfer-switch system is the safest and most effective way to connect a portable generator to your home. Installed next to the home's main panel, it allows users to choose which circuits to run in an outage. A house without electricity is like a car without gas, but it doesn't have to be that way.

A Baker's Dozen of Water-Conservation Tips

Park & Co., a Phoenix-based marketing firm, created the Water - Use it Wisely campaign on behalf of several Arizona cities, to develop and reinforce a universal water-conservation ethic. The following water-conserving landscape tips are courtesy of the website at www.wateruseitwisely.com. Collect the water you use for rinsing produce or from cleaning your fish tank and reuse it to water houseplants. Use compost when planting to add water-holding organic matter to the soil. Layer organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year.

Japanese Toilets Flush With Features

The Japanese high-tech market does not just focus on autos, robotics and electronics; they make some pretty darn fancy toilets, too. Many Pacific Rim toilets have more buttons and control panels than TV sets, and heated seats have become the norm.

Engineered Wood

  An I-joist is a wood version of a steel beam. Their structural performance is much better than old-fashioned dimensional lumber.

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