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

June 2008

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Storm Proofing

Here’s an eye-opening statistic: 43 percent of U.S. homeowners live in hurricane-prone coastal areas. In Florida alone, 800,000 homes are potentially at risk from hurricane damage. One more interesting statistic: 50 percent of damage claims filed after a hurricane result from catastrophic roof failure caused by heavy winds.

Smart Summer Furniture

Relax in style this summer, and help the environment while you’re doing it, with these colorful Adirondack chairs made from recycled plastic milk jugs and water bottles. Shoreline Adirondack chairs, from Lancaster County, Pa.-based Millcraft Poly Furniture, are made from 100-percent recycled Poly Lumber, a high-density polyethylene plastic that is safe and maintenance-free.

Home weather stations

Here’s the hypothetical situation: You’re planning a two-week vacation and need to make sure the lawn and garden are properly watered in your absence. The irrigation system can be programmed but you’re not sure where to set the watering level. How much rain did the area get this time last year? What if the forecasted storm doesn’t materialize, or what if it lingers longer than expected?

Growing a Green Home

Linda Lessner describes herself, her husband Michael and their four children as “central Austin folk.” And being that green building has been central to Austin for more than 20 years, it’s little surprise that the Lessner’s home is in all probability the greenest one on their block.

Drink to Your Health

Water quality has become an important issue for many homeowners, given recent reports about the quality of tap and bottled water. According to the National Tap Water Quality Database (, 260 contaminants have been found across the nation in residential tap water, and for more than half (141) of these contaminants, there are no enforceable safety standards. Nearly 200 million people are drinking these contaminants in their water.

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