DIY Recycled Flooring

Recycled Floor Redo

Redoing flooring can be expensive work and available materials can be costly or not so environmentally friendly. Upscaling a floor with natural or recycled items can give your interior a green facelift. The following do-it-yourself flooring projects provide motivation to spruce up a boring surface. The Phoenix Commotion showcases several creative do it yourself project inspirations and tips, including imaginative recycled floor applications. For example, Papier-Mâché floors can be created in endless designs with a continual supply of paper materials to incorporate. The featured floors used grocery sacks, labels and even sheet music to decorate surfaces. Also, if you happen… read more

Homemade Candles

Homemade Candles

Candlelight emits a relaxing glow, but store bought candles can be expensive. They can also have an overpowering scent or be laden with toxins that can be released into the air when burned. Making your own candles allows control over the ingredients, scent and presentation. There are some general techniques for candle crafting. Container candles basically involve melting the wax and slowly pouring it into a heat safe container. Candles made in molds require a bit more effort, especially when applying advanced techniques, but it is a skill worth learning. Hand dipped candles take some time to complete but can… read more

Biodegradable Houses

Biodegradable Houses

Materials that are made by nature can be consumed by nature. Being as such, bio-degradation has been around since Earth’s beginnings. Yet, innovations continue to create ‘new’ biodegradable items. This is essential for items like packaging where materials are otherwise artificial and non-biodegradable. However, some people are taking it a step further, using the barest of materials to create biodegradable houses. In a way it is actually more like backtracking, only today’s biodegradable houses are built for modern lifestyles. They are often constructed using raw materials like bare tree limbs and even the Earth itself, achieving a minimalistic design. Though there are still those that incorporate a woodland feel, if not appearing altogether as a modern… read more

Green Spring Cleaning

Cleaning with natural products

When sunny days beckon the longing to be outdoors more, the opportunity for getting things organized inside begins to present itself. If your home, like many, has forgotten about projects and covert locations where dust has stockpiled, spring cleaning is a productive housekeeping ritual to adopt. The first step to a cleaner home is to inspect the cleaners already on hand. Toxic chemicals may in fact clean, but they can also offer health hazards that aren’t wanted. It isn’t necessary to have a separate product for every household chore, and most of the time money-saving, natural cleaning solutions can be concocted… read more

Nests from Bricks

Brick Habitat Photo

Urban areas are famously well-known for destroying ecosystems during the process of developing housing centers, apartments, offices. Many natural habitats are killed during construction and hardly any attempts are made at replacing the loss of animal and plant life. Therefore, it is our responsibility as homeowners and curators to make sure the reintroduction of life to our living space is accomplished. Biodiversity is a necessary thing for the continuity of our existence and living in mutual cohesion with the Earth greatly benefits everyone. It’s easy to create a sustainable ecosystem in your own backyard, or even on the walls of… read more

Eco Hints For Home

Eco Hints For Home

There are many ways that we can incorporate eco-friendly activities into our everyday chores around the home. These small changes that we make in our daily lives will make a difference to the future of our planet and we should encourage our friends, family and neighbors to do the same. Wallpaper It is making a comeback and instead of chemically filled paint, try an interesting design to brighten up your home. Curtains 20% of heat escapes through the windows. Get out the sewing machine and turn your favourite fabric into curtains that instantly update your home. Furniture Instead of spending cash… read more

Better Sleep

Better sleep practices

Sleep is a big part of our daily lives. Whether you have a sleep pattern down or constantly crave more, a few changes in your sleeping space can make for a healthier and more relaxing slumber. For one, stop energy zappers in your bedroom. If there are too many electronics and plugged in items dangling around, they are draining energy and your sleep. It is hard to get shut eye with all kinds of incessant or blinking lights in the room. Also, don’t make rest quarters a docking station for things that need to be charged. This will make it less… read more

Community Development

River Garden Apartments, Louisana

There are communities and neighborhoods all across the country attempting to solve energy and environmental dilemmas, and some are managing to be very successful in their efforts. Ranging from “green roofs”, roofs with foliage and gardens on top to diminish energy and heat absorption, or from communal energy pools which people can buy into a reap the benefits, there is an increasing trend in large-scale residential energy projects. As a result of the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, a rundown low-income housing project has been the focus of several government agencies working to revitalize it through sustainable and renewable technologies. Formerly… read more

Making Buildings Greener

Making a building greener

We’ve heard it time and time again in the news – “LEED is fine, but these touted green buildings use more energy than other buildings”. Or “LEED is great, but the buildings use more energy than predicted!”  Hold on – let’s take a look. First, many LEED buildings do use more energy than other buildings.  What is being compared? A science lab from 1940 will have entirely different usage parameters for energy, even if upgraded, than a science lab from 2012. A classroom of today employs better lighting and more controls and hopefully includes exceptional insulation and integration of daylight, but… read more

Natural Paint

Natural Paints (photo by knottyboy on Flickr)

Some of the first recorded paintings were found in Africa and date back around 30,000 years. Early painted works have been found in caves and dwelling areas worldwide, and the art of painting continues as expression and necessity. Modern paints are obviously vastly different than the cave variety. Store bought paints contain chemical additives and harmful substances that are released into the air in varying quantities, called volatile organic compounds. When you choose a natural mixture you have total quality control and there are no lingering toxins. In addition to being better for your space and the environment, it is… read more