The photograph above may not be what you would expect. The outdoor bench in this detail is not made from an unsustainably harvested tropical hardwood. The wood itself is actually maple, a widely available species that can be farmed and harvested without ripping up acres of rainforest. But maple and many other similar woods are too susceptible to decay and rot when used unprotected outdoors. The usual alternative has been treatment with chemical pressure treatment. Now, through a method called kebonization, a Norwegian company, Kebony ASA, treats soft woods in a non-toxic process that allows readily available woods to be used for outdoor uses.
When it comes picking a green surface material, there's a lot out there to choose from. And we're going to give you another option, Elements by Durcon. Elements is made with 10% post-consumer recycled glass, an epoxy resin, and fine quartz. Available in five main colors, Elements is non-porous and has inherent anti-fungal and anti-microbial characteristics. The surface does not require sealing, and according to Durcon, it will not off-gas.
Alright, so it's not exactly brand new — Kirei introduced Chocolate Bamboo back in September 2008 — but it has this deep, sophisticated look and we just haven't had the chance to mention it yet (well, Re-nest jogged our memory). The dark color is obtained through a secret, dark carbonizing process. The bamboo is made from sustainably harvested Moso bamboo grass and a low- or no-added urea formaldehyde adhesive to create the panels. If you're looking for something like this, look up a dealer.
If you're in the market for green, modern, designer-built furniture, make sure to check out Studio Nola. You can see a few examples below. These pieces are built with FSC certified woods, 90% recycled steel, zero-VOC powder coated paints, low-VOC sealers, and locally sourced materials. Plus, if you need one or a few shipped, Studio Nola will send them out on a carrier using the EPA's SmartWay transport system.
I’ve had the opportunity to keep in regular contact with Rob Pyatt (e.g., 1940s Boxhouse and Pinon House), principal of Pyatt Studio, and his work with Urban Hens is really taking off right now. The Urban Hens Project is meant to develop a sustainable, closed-loop model for establishing chickens in urban settings. Hens provide eggs, they eat kitchen and garden scraps, and if you’re really hard core, they’ll become a fine little dinner. Check out these modern, Quonset hut-inspired chicken coops:
IdeaPaint says it has the most environmentally friendly dry-erase product on the market. As you can see from these images, the product is applied to your choice of walls, and about seven days later, it’s ready to be used. It’s just perfect for the brilliant, A Beautiful Mind types reading this. If you work well with dry erase boards, give IdeaPaint a look. The company claims green attributes in three main areas.