Below you will find links to green interior design articles written and published by Claire Labreche and by other contributing authors. Find new topics and headlines about eco-friendly streamlines.

I will also find new materials LEED products and make review of them here.

All of these articles can be reprinted as long as the author's resource box at the end of each article, including links to their blog or website, stays intact. This ensures the author is given credit for their work.

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Reading a decoration magazine last weekend, my designer’s eyes noticed several green ecology color adds offering socially responsible products or services. I understood rapidly that some of those advertisements where in fact, a marketing and communication subterfuge to get my attention.

Greenwashing is a way to dress in green which has nothing to do with the protection of the environment. Futerra agency has identify 10 signs of green’s disinformation in their very informative greenwashing guide. Before buying an eco-friendly building material, I do some research by telephone or in person with a sale representative and those are the questions I ask to help me take a decision:

* This product has been on the market for how long? (reliability) * Where does it come from? (transportation) * Why is it eco-friendly? (contents—transformation—finition) * What are the guaranties offered? (durability—environmental effect) * Eco-friendly product’s proof? (real and certification’s facts) * Cost?

A brief web’s research for the product and users reviews on web's forums will guide me into a better final opinion. So, be careful and ask questions before you buy...and make sure that it is not a ‘’greenwashing’’ product.

Going green is to express respect for the air, the water and the human being within his environment.


Top 10 Green Home Innovations

The last decade has seen a sharp increase in people who are interested in conserving energy and preserving the environment by living “green.” There are many things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and help make the earth a better place for future generations. Here are a few suggestions.

Going Solar Adding solar panels to your home is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. All electricity has to come from somewhere, and burning fossil fuels like coal or oil produces most of it. Converting to solar power may seem expensive, but government incentives have led many installation companies to offer payment plans that are roughly equal to your monthly electric bill. After you’ve paid off your solar panels, you can “harvest” the extra energy you produce and actually watch your electric meter run in reverse.

Heating and Cooling Heating and cooling expenses account for the largest portion of most homeowner’s energy bills. Replacing old or outdated furnaces and air conditioning units can increase energy efficiency and lower costs. Geothermal heating is cutting-edge technology that uses natural currents from within the earth to heat your home. Although expensive, it is undoubtedly the wave of the future.

LED Lighting While replacing standard incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs with LED lamps will initially cost more, these long-lasting lamps will eventually pay for themselves through energy savings. They also produce a cleaner, more natural light than fluorescents.

Water Recycling Water is a hot topic, especially in the Southwest. Whole house water filters are available to clean and reuse water from showers and baths. Gray water systems redirect the used water from washing machines to lawns or gardens.

Green Insulation Replacing wall and attic insulation in older homes is another way to cut energy usage and costs. Choose fiberglass batts or loose fill insulation. Spray foam insulation is another option, and some varieties are now bio-based.

Low VOC Stains and Paints Paints and stains with high levels of volatile organic compounds create pollution when they are manufactured, and they can release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere and the air within your home on hot, humid days. Whenever possible, use low VOC or VOC-free paints and stains inside your home.

Portability Modular and prefabricated homes that are manufactured with green materials are one way to ensure your house is environmentally friendly. In addition, many people are choosing to buy or build smaller homes to reduce their environmental impact. Larger homes are drafty, and they cost more to heat, cool and light.

Alternative Materials Using nontraditional materials like pumice cloth or fiberglass to manufacture homes is becoming increasingly popular. These materials reduce the reliance on natural resources, are energy-efficient, can be built in a fraction of the time it takes to construct a traditional stick-frame house, and are inexpensive.

Rainwater Collection Another way to reduce water use is to utilize a cistern or holding tank to collect rainwater. Once gathered, the water can be purified for home use, or more commonly, used to irrigate gardens, landscaping and lawns.

Air Purification In recent years indoor air pollution has gotten a lot of attention. Building materials and embellishments like paint and carpets can “shed” chemical compounds into the atmosphere, and because a home is an enclosed space, those compounds can sometimes accumulate to dangerous levels. Installing a whole-house air purification system is one way to keep indoor air clean and circulating.

Sustainable Wood When beginning any new construction project it’s important to look for lumber that is sustainable. That is, it is harvested from trees that are grown specifically for timber, and not logged from old-growth forests. For wooden floors or paneling, consider using an inexpensive, fast-growing, beautiful and sustainable wood like bamboo.

Going “green” doesn’t have to be a challenge. A home is a long-term investment. You don’t have to start over from scratch. Make small changes. Choose environmentally friendly paint or LED bulbs. Chances are your home will need improvements eventually. Whenever possible, choose upgrades that will reduce your carbon footprint. It’s good for the planet, and it’s good for you.

Courtesy of Douglas Elliman Realtors, New York City Luxury Real Estate

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