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

September 2007

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Bristling at Waste

Think about your paintbrushes. The handles never need replacement - just the bristles, right? So why do you have to buy a whole new brush? The theory behind the Envirobrush is a solution to this problem. The bristles can be easily removed and replaced by flipping a small clamp on the brush handle. The bristles, held together by a solid block of plastic at one end, are sold separately at a fraction of the cost of a full brush, the manufacturer says. The Envirobrush comes in three widths up to 2.5 inches. www.envirobrush.com

You're Fired

Most of us never think about our fire extinguisher. We assume that when we need it, it will work. But fire extinguishers lose pressure over time. That's not something you want to learn while there's a fire burning in your home. Mija has developed a home fire extinguisher that has an active electronic monitor. Called En-Gauge, it signals an alert (both visible and audible) when the extinguisher is removed from its location, when it loses pressure or when the battery is low.

Biodiesel Hits Home

What do Jim Ashton of Vassalboro, Maine, William Grace of Seattle and Maine's Governor John Baldacci have in common? All of them have heated their homes with biodiesel, a blended fuel that includes new or recycled vegetable oil.

The Vocal Smoke Detector

Smoke Detectors are an important part of any home's safety plan. We count on them to alert every member of the family when there's smoke in the house. What may surprise you is that new studies have shown that many children sleep through traditional smoke detector alarms. To try to solve that problem, KidSmart Corp. has created the KidSmart Vocal Smoke Detector. It is the only product on the market that allows a family member to record a personalized emergency message in his or her own voice.

Smart Ideas for the Home

Track Attack What if you could put up track lights using only scissors? Sounds like a cutting-edge idea, huh? Well, ease of installation is the driving concept behind Valo Instant Track Light Kits from LitesNow. Installation, which takes about 15 minutes, involves applying a peel-and-stick track to the ceiling or wall and then clipping lamps to the track. Simply plug the low-voltage system into an existing wall outlet, and voila! instant track lighting.

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