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Ecotec is a Soy Oil Based Solid Surface

Recently I noticed a new solid-surface called Ecotec on a list of the Best New Home Products 2012 from This Old House.  It’s priced from $15 per square foot, and the manufacturer says Ecotec is “the next generation in solid surface material.”  The product is made with powdered glass content and a urethane derived from soy oil.  Ecotec contributes toward LEED credits and contains 40% recycled and renewable content.

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How to Read a Home Window Label

This is the beginning of our series called Energy-Efficient Windows 101 made possible by Marvin Windows and Doors.  For this first article, I want to talk about the various acronyms you might see on a home window label, or in window specification materials, so you’ll know more about what you’re reading.  When evaluating energy-efficient window options, Marvin suggests that you understand the basics of the following words and acronyms:

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Energy Efficient Windows with Marvin

Over the years I’ve tried to fill in our coverage with more substantive, or how-to, information on topics relating to sustainable homes.  One topic that I’ve been itching to cover is energy-efficient windows, and I’m happy to announce that Minnesota-based Marvin Windows and Doors has agreed to share their expertise with Jetson Green for a series of articles loosely titled “Energy-Efficient Windows 101.”

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Fireclay Intros Runway Collection Eco-Tile

California-based Fireclay Tile today announced a new collaboration with designer Kelly LaPlante to create a line of eco-friendly tile.  The Runway Collection has four custom patterns inspired by fashion: Cravat, an interpretation of houndstooth, Chaine Femme, a nod to interlocking chains in jewelry and belts, Chaine Homme, a masculine version of Chaine Femme, and Corset, which is inspired by corsets and lace-ups on footwear.

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Toto Launches Ultra High Efficiency Toilet

Last April, I mentioned the introduction of 1G by Toto USA and now have more detail.  Toto just launched Drake II 1G throughout North America at the MSRP of $580.  To be clear, this isn’t like the dual-flush Maris or others you may have seen elsewhere.  The two-piece, ADA-compliant, WaterSense-compliant toilet uses a mere 1.0 gallons with each flush using two jets and a Double Cyclone system to clear waste.  There is no pressure assist in the Drake II 1G; it’s a gravity-fed flushing system with a “quiet flush every time.

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Toto Intros Modern Dual-Flush Maris Toilets

Toto USA has released two new models of dual-flush, high-efficiency toilets in the Maris suite. They have wall-hung (starting at $450, not including the in-wall tank) and two-piece (starting at $850) models featuring a current style that pays tribute to mid-century modern design. Push for a light flush of 0.9 GPF or pull for a full flush of 1.28 GPF on these ADA-compliant, WaterSense-compliant commodes. Toto says homeowners won’t have to worry about cleaning every solid stop either — a common complaint with some dual-flush toilets — because the SanaGloss-coated, cyclone-inspired flush system “spins away debris, matter, and bacteria, which reduces the time needed to clean the unit.

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