Posts Tagged ‘eco friendly’
Saturday, August 10th, 2013
Human beings don’t typically live in the branches of trees along with birds and squirrels, but there are still ways to make your home earth- friendly. Organizing, decorating and cleaning a house while regarding the natural environment will keep the process more focused, will teach your family how to treat the earth well, and will improve the health of everyone who lives in your home.
Of course, if you are just now building a home or moving into one, it will be easier to incorporate some green ideas into the household. But, if you’ve lived in one place for years, don’t fret – it’s still simple to begin some green habits. Approach your decor with love for the planet in mind and everyone wins.
With furnishings for your home, you can either do one of two things: furnish with second-hand pieces or earth-friendly options.
- If you’re interested in second-hand furniture, hit up the local thrift stores or consignment shops and find whatever vintage pieces strike your fancy.
- New furniture is typically made out of what is called sustainable material. This means that the materials will not deplete any natural resources. These days, you can buy practically any piece of furniture in sustainable materials – sofas, tables, even mattresses for the bed. Large retailers such as Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel have sustainable options.
Don’t buy a sustainable sofa unless you’re going to dress it with green pillows. Pillows stuffed with natural fibers, such as cotton and goose down, are preferable for the environment and ensure better air quality.
A great place to obtain earth-friendly decor is at flea markets, farmer’s markets and other places where local artisans display their craftsmanship. Try an original painting, or something made by a member of the community from wood or other natural materials. These are great opportunities to keep synthetic items out of the home environment.
Don’t forget the appliances when you go green. Low-flush toilets, kitchen appliances that consume less energy and CFL or LED lights are all good options. In general, appliances that have the Energy Star approval are efficient choices.
Stay tuned for part two of Garret’s post, when he tackles green cleaning and organization.
Garret Stembridge is a member of the Internet marketing team at Extra Space Storage, a leading provider of self storage facilities. Garret often writes about sustainable practices for the home and for businesses. The Self Storage Facility in Philadelphia has been retrofitted to reduce energy consumption.
Friday, February 22nd, 2013
We are starting to drop pictures and information about our awesome new organizational cube, the Box. It is our traditional storage cube on steroids! Especially good for someone who wants something a little bit special and different!
Each Box comes with a matching door that you can use to hide your goodies and you can purchase wheels to make the Box more portable (if you wish!) Just like our cubes, you can combine them to create a larger piece, but the Box has been especially designed to connect and align for a sturdier fit!
That isn’t really what we are here to talk about today. Not necessarily the mechanics of the Box, but the awesome ways you can decorate it to make it your own!
Have you heard of IKEA hacks? Lots of people take their IKEA furniture and “hack” it (modify it) to make it perfect for their home. We think our products are just as good (and more eco friendly) than IKEA so we have written a Way Basics hack for your new Box!
1) Love the color, but want to make one wall different, or the inside different than the outside? Look at craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby for awesome contact paper!
2) Flip through the contact paper to your heart’s content and find something that suits (ex. one customer mentioned they would like a camo Box, so you could buy contact paper here)
3) Make sure you have enough contact paper to cover as many walls as you wish!
4) Measure the walls, cut, and stick!
5) Stand back and admire your handiwork!
What patterns would you like to add to your Box?
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Our home is our sanctuary. It is where we return to again and again for comfort, solace, rest, nourishment, etc. Whether you have children or not, your home should be a healthy place. You may not spend the majority of your woken hours there, but toxins, even while you sleep, contribute to both physical and mental health problems.
If you are building a new home, it is pretty simple to go green. Many alternatives now exist. From safer paints to wool carpeting, you don’t have to rely on synthetic, toxic materials. Although it may cost more to go the eco-friendly route, it is worth it in the long run for both your health and the planet’s
Remodeling an existing home can be a bit trickier than new construction, as extra precaution should be used when removing toxic building materials like asbestos tiles and fiberglass insulation. Most of us are not going to go to this extent and you don’t have to tear apart your home or install an alternative energy system to build a safer home for your family. Start with small, simple steps. Eventually you will get to the bigger stuff.
My own home is a mixture of eco-friendly and more traditional elements. We did build our home from salvage timber. We did use only eco-friendly paints on the interior walls. Some of our insulation is made from recycled cotton. We do live off-the-grid
. What I think matters more than these green architectural features is how you fill your home.
One of the most basic places to start building a safer home for your family are your cleaning supplies. When my house is clean, I feel good. Unfortunately, most products used to clean our homes are highly toxic, perhaps the most dangerous chemicals in your house. That pine fresh scent isn’t a good thing!
It’s pretty simple to make your own cleaning supplies. Healthy Child Healthy World
has great recipes making your own cleaners. All you really need is vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice, although I find plain water works great too. If you feel you need some soap, Dr. Bronner’s is a safe, good multi-purpose cleaner. If you feel you need specific products, like for cleaning toilets or windows, there are a lot of eco-friendly products available now at health food stores and many mainstream grocery stores from brands such as Seventh Generation. Of course, don’t forget the laundry. Choosing an eco-friendly, natural laundry detergent is also essential in keeping your home safe.
Beyond the products you use to clean your home, the interior of your home is another place to consider. Only use paint that is non-toxic and low in VOCs
Typical household paint may contain upwards of 300 known toxic chemicals.
Consider purchasing eco-friendly furniture, especially mattresses. Think of how much time you spend in your bed, then consider that each mattress has at least five pounds of chemicals! The Wool Bed Company
These nasty chemicals you’ll find in your traditional, mass produced mattress include Boric Acid (also known as roach killer), Antimony (similar to arsenic), and Decabromodiphenyl Oxide, or DBDPO. These chemicals have been known to cause reproductive and developmental issues, heart, lung, and kidney damage, and even cancer. Inhaling these chemicals on a regular basis is extremely toxic to our bodies and will cause health issues until we resolve the problem.
In my home, all of our mattresses are eco-friendly, but our couches are not. I don’t advise families throw out all of their furniture. That would not be very eco-friendly. I do advise that when you are purchasing new furniture, you use chemical-free as a criteria. New carpeting and couches are notorious for making people ill. Anything with a “new” smell should be avoided.
Finally, you cannot build a safer, eco-friendly home for your family without considering the kitchen. Non-stick cookware
should be tossed out immediately. A majority of the food in your cupboards and refrigerator should be organically grown. Less chemicals means a greener home and a healthier family.
It can feel overwhelming at times when you start to look around your home at all of the toxins. There are simple steps you can take immediately, such as using houseplants to improve indoor air quality and switching to green cleaning products
. You don’t need to take out a second mortgage and completely gut your home to create a safer environment, just seek out greener products when replacing your old ones. Step by step this will lead you to a healthier home.
This guest post was written by the founder & editor of ecochildsplay, Jennifer Lance. Thanks for your amazing advice Jennifer!
Monday, January 28th, 2013
Questions? Comments? Want more information about when a topic is airing?
Let us know in the comments below! Let’s get this discussion going!
Monday, December 17th, 2012
This year we celebrate 5 years! This is all because of your belief in us and in what we are doing to help the world and keep each other organized!
Thanks for all your amazing support. We look forward to a new year of innovation and building possibilities and communities with Way Basics!
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
We are proud to announce our partnership with the amazing Vine.com. Vine is an online destination for natural, organic and sustainably-made products. Of course we were overjoyed to help them stock their online shelves with our zBoard products.
Described directly from their PR team, “Featuring everything from paraben-free skincare and gluten-free snacks to reclaimed wood furnishings and solar-powered electronics, Vine.com makes life easier for consumers who want to access to green products and shop for them in one place. Customers receive free 1-2 day delivery on orders of $49 or more.” Best of all, all items are backed by Vine.com’s 365-day guarantee return policy.
We are so excited to partner with them and join the ranks of other amazing brands such as Seventh Generation, Inhabit, Method, Happy Baby and more! Be sure to check them out and let us know what amazing new eco-friendly products you find (comment below!).
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
We love partnering with organizations that have goals and values that align with others. Like Way Basics, Project Green Dorm, is all about taking simple steps in our every day life to help take care of the planet for generations to come. Project Green Dorm (PGD) is a back-to-school resource to help students move from “conventional to conscious living” in their every day choices. At Way Basics, we are proud to announce that we have helped college student, Amanda, reach her goal of greening her dorm room.
Way Basics donated some of our green storage cubes to the cause and are overjoyed to help Amanda, and Project Green Dorm, spread their message of sustainability for the future. Check out the awesome video of this project Going Green in College Dorms and keep spreading the word about the importance of safety and sustainability in our homes and planet!
Thursday, September 6th, 2012
“Over the years, I’ve been steadily running out of room. I’ve reorganized, hemmed, hawed, and even moved hundreds of books into boxes for storage, a travesty to my viewing and collecting pleasure. This past summer, I replaced nearly all my bookshelves with a solution that’s given me more room in the same footprint. Its allowed me to put nearly all my books back on display, whilst still giving me room to grow.
The “Before”: Never enough room The “After”: Floor to ceiling!
Cube storage is a go!
These are Way Basics cube storage: six individual Storage Cubes and one Storage Cube Plus create a column that rises to about an inch and a half from my ceiling. Though they don’t lock together for stacking, wedging something into the remaining space provides enough stability that I’ve no fears about jumping four- or six-year-olds. (I’m not kidding, either – that was actually part of my stress-testing.)
The cubes are made out of recycled cardboard, which makes them quite light at 4.4 pounds each. You build a cube by sticking the pieces together with double-sided adhesive tape from 3M. You might be saying “cardboard?! adhesive?!”, and you wouldn’t be alone. But, besides the weight, they seem indistinguishable from the standard MDF or particleboard shelves you can buy cheaply nowadays. The colored laminate hides any indication they’re made of cardboard and, when they’re properly built and have rested for 24 hours, they’re quite sturdy. I’ve moved around cubes full of heavy books without mishap (and by supporting the required backboard, of course).
More inches with the same foot
If you look at my “before” pictures, you’ll see the standard department store shelves I’ve had for years, with lots of wasted vertical space above the book tops. This is both because you only get a certain number of shelves (one of which is hardwired near the middle for stability) and because there tends to be only one optimal way to place them. A single shelf gives you 26.75 inches (″) of horizontal space. For a three shelf unit, that’s a total of 80.25″, or 133.75″ for a five shelf unit.
With the Way Basics cubes, I can get four shelves in the same space as a three shelf unit. A single cube offers 11.75″ of space. For the bedroom’s side wall, which had two three shelf units, I had 160.5″ of horizontal space. Replacing those shelves with cubes gave me 188″. Since the cubes fit into tinier nooks than the full-blown shelves, I was also able to fit a fifth column on the side, bringing my total up to 235″, nearly 5½ feet of extra horizontal space in the same footprint.
For floor to ceiling columns, something I could never do with department store bookshelves, the extra space gained is even larger. With six regular cubes and one plus-sized cube per column, I maximize the height for most of the books I own, while still allowing room for the various oversized items I have. You can see the Plus-sized cubes in the first or second rows of the floor to ceiling photos.
Other conclusions and a happy-faced Morbus
The fact that there are more “walls” to cube storage is actually a benefit in disguise: with most cheap bookshelves, your shelves will start to sag over time. It was a habit of mine to flip my shelves, like a mattress, every six months or so. With cubes, every horizontal shelf is reinforced either by the floor or the top of the cube beneath it. I haven’t had them long enough to notice any sagging, but my guess is that it won’t be a problem. No more mattress flipping!
Way Basics storage cubes come in a variety of colors, and I spent many an hour drafting up cute little patterns and schemes in a drawing program. After building a 5 x 7 pattern (for the bedroom’s main wall), I found that you don’t really notice the pattern unless you actively look for it. I switched over to single colors per column (for the office walls), and they become a bit more noticeable. If color isn’t your thing, they also offer black, white, and a few wood grains.
I’ve looked into storage cubes before, but always found them to be too expensive (locking wooden crates that cost a ton to ship), too bookshelve-y (a single unit with nine cubicles defeats a lot of the advantages of cube storage), or too flimsy (full plastic walls that weren’t sturdy enough, milk crates that didn’t have enough flat surfaces, etc.). The Way Basics cubes have none of these problems, and after two months of testing and three months of completion, I’m quite thrilled with the result!”
- written and reprinted with the permission of Morbus Iff (click here to see original post)
What’s YOUR story? Email us to share! (email@example.com)
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
We asked, “The room in my house that needs organization most is __________?” and Maureen Liz answered, “My 8 year old daughters room – can we say TOY STORE LOL.” We loved her comment so much we decided to grant her wish and compile some tips about organizing a kid’s room. Enjoy and thanks Maureen for a great answer!
1) Organize, sort and store – Kid’s rooms are often lacking in space so make sure that their room isn’t crammed (not that we want their stuff overflowing into other rooms). A great example is winter/ summer clothing. Make sure to sort and separate the clothes and store the opposite season way up high in a shelving unit or in another room (garage/ basement?).
2) Get them involved!- Kid’s are definitely more likely to try and keep the room tidy when they are the ones that have to help with the organization. As soon as they are old enough, make sure they are apart of the organizing action (even with little ones, get them to sort through their favorite books or dolls).
3) Get down to their level- Obvious one but make sure they can reach their most used items and need help with the less used items. You could even put the toys with lots of pieces on a higher shelf so they have to ask permission to play with it (and you can remind them that they must put it away when they are finished!). Use clear plastic boxes where possible to organize clothes, socks, etc so they can see what they are grabbing for!
4) Keep your Children SAFE- One of the key things with kids’ rooms is that furniture made out of particle board is full of formaldehyde! This is very dangerous for kids (and anyone) to breathe in. Make sure to use our products for organization solutions whenever possible as they are non-toxic and lighter than particle board. No squished fingers here!
Hope these ideas were a bit of help! What other tips do you have?
Monday, August 20th, 2012
Making the most of your living space in the home or office is something we all have in common. Big or small, finding the most efficient way to organize your belongings can be tricky. In today’s market, there is a wide variety of storage organizers, most of which are made to be disposable and not last beyond a few years. With this new age of build it yourself, disposable furniture it is more important than ever to seek out green solutions.
We at Lydony pride ourselves on seeking out the greenist products we can find and incorporate into our lifestyle. Based in New York and Los Angeles, we know first hand from our years of city living how important it is to optimize our space. In each city, along with many others like it, space is a commodity.
In New York, creative floor plans and the city’s ever growing population continue to push people to use innovative ways to make the most of their space. Living in New York is an experience and for many, moving into a NYC apartment for the first time can be shocking. In some situations a closet, or lack there of can make all the difference to potential renters. However this is a situation that can lead to very creative organizational ideas.
From this, New Yorkers make tough decisions every day over which possessions to keep and which to rid of. With just under 25,000 restaurants in NYC to pick from, many keep their kitchens to the bare essentials, even using silverware drawers as menu drawers. No washer/dryer in your building? Drop off service can be found at the nearest corner. Everything you could possibly need is a 2-3 minute walk away and if not multiple forms of public transportation or taxis are just a hand in the air away.
Over the years, we have picked up a few storage tricks. With only one closet for two in an apartment, wardrobes, dressers and a handful of shelves are a must. For those of you like us who love to cook, you know very well that sometimes kitchen must haves take on an entirely different meaning and require counter space – also a rarity in a New Yorker’s world. Rather than use our dishwasher for washing dishes, we opt to hand wash and use our dishwasher for storage of pots, pans, glasses, and cooking equipment. A controversial idea to many of our friends who would love to have a dishwasher and frown upon our use of it as storage, but this clever idea more than meets our need and helps us make the most of our space.
Since the majority of apartments are small, if you have a messy area it is extremely noticeable. Organization is key to keeping the apartment looking clean and also for sanity. One space repeatedly misused and overlooked is the entertainment area. The place where many people spend the most time is often the most cluttered, but doesn’t have to be. With remotes, accessories, decorations, and tangled cords, storage cubes are a phenomenal way to make the most of the space surrounding your entertainment set up and store all that come with it. Purchasing a large, bulky, multi-level organizer not only takes up more precious space than needed, but also increases the amount of needless items you keep. One or even two Quad Cubes can keep your TV and entertainment center clean, sleek, and double your space by providing cubby squares below and a TV stand above.
Living in a major city is very fun and exciting with all that is going on, however it can prove to be a challenge in our tight quarters. Being smart about organizing your belongings is the key to making sure your time at home is just as great as your time out in the city.
Written by Lydia of Lydony