About Me

Green Home Improvements .info is written by Charles Faust. Charles has been in the home improvement industry since the early 1990's and has owned his own company for a little over 10 years. This blog was created to show Charles' efforts in making his lifestyle more "Green" and how his product selections for his clients are becoming "Greener".

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Recycle Your Sofa With The Help of Slipcovers

Written by green1 on Mar 3rd, 2009 | Filed under: green projects

Recycle Your Sofa

It always amazes me when I see an unwanted couch left in the street with the garbage, destined for landfill.  Unfortunately, in today’s disposable society, it’s all too common for people to throw out perfectly usable sofas and chairs just because the pattern is no longer fashionable or the color doesn’t match their newly decorated walls.

This is where slipcovers come in.  Slipcovers are a green option because they can extend the life of old furniture, saving it from landfill.  I don’t know exactly how much energy is used to manufacture and deliver a new sofa, but I imagine a sofa’s carbon footprint to be quite high.  By using a slipcover on your old furniture, you can give your room a smart new look and do your bit for the planet at the same time.

surefit-riverstone-organic-cotton-slipcover Recycle Your Sofa With The Help of Slipcovers

Having a “make do and mend” philosophy is a big part of an eco-friendly lifestyle, but having said that, we all like our homes to be inviting and to look nice.  We don’t really want tatty-looking furniture on show.  Slipcovers are a good compromise as they can “mend” the problem of faded, stained or worn upholstery, saving you the unnecessary cost of buying new furniture.

Of course, new slipcovers aren’t made from recycled materials and have their own carbon footprint. However, given the alternative of disposing of a sofa or armchair, using slipcovers is the greener option for the house-proud environmentalist.  It’s encouraging to see that one of the leading slipcover companies, SureFit, has introduced a range of organic slipcovers- which makes them an even greener choice.  I know how hard it can be to furnish your home using fabrics made from purely natural or organic materials, so this is a welcome step in the right direction.

surefit-aspen-organic-cotton-slipcover Recycle Your Sofa With The Help of Slipcovers

These slipcovers are made from washable, 100% organic cotton and are easy to fit over your existing upholstery.  They have a straight skirt style, with decorative ties at the front of each arm.  The Aspen is in a solid color, either linen or sage, while the Riverstone has a striped pattern in a choice of blue or brown.  Currently they are only available in sofa and loveseat sizes, but I hope SureFit extends the range in the near future to include sizes to fit other furniture, such as armchairs and recliners.

Another plus point is that these SureFit slipcovers are priced fairly, so they are no more expensive than their non-organic counterparts.  So, if you want an affordable and environmentally kind way to give your room a makeover, why not consider using slipcovers to give your seats a green new look?

Note- This article was submitted by:  Caroline Smith


Greenbuild Boston Expo 2008

Written by green1 on Nov 21st, 2008 | Filed under: Green Shows Green events

Green Build Boston Show Review

This week we attended the Build Boston show in Boston MA and got free passes to the Greenbuild Expo which was also held in Boston.  The Green Build Expo had the largest WOW factor of any show that I have ever attended!  From the vendor selection to the layout to even the free beverage stands, the show was a model of what a Green Show should look like.

The Green Build expo’s security did a good job keeping out the random people off the street who just attend events for something to do.  This allowed the vendors to handout all sorts of goodies to people that might actually use their goods and or services.  While the show floor had thousands of people at all times, the venue was so large that we never once felt crowded.  Most of the booths that we visited were staffed by knowledgeable people who could answer all of the questions that we asked of them.  This green show was not staffed by sexy college girls working for $15 an hour without an interest in promoting a product line.

We walked the show floor of the Green Build Expo from about 3pm until it closed at 6pm on both Wednesday and Thursday.  The 6 hours that we spent on the show floor was about really not enough time to meet with all of the vendors that we had an interest in talking to.  If you are planning to attend the show next year, I would suggest being there from when the doors open until they close each day.

Greenbuild Boston Expo Highlights

RECYCLING BINS

If you have ever spent any time on my blog you would know that I have a thing for recycling and recycling bins.  In fact, I love to take pictures of recycling bins and see if people actually used them based on their design, placement and ease of use.  I feel that one of the highlights of this Green Show is the amount of vendors who were selling recycling bins, recycling garbage stations, solar powered recycling stations and recycling products in general.  Another thing of interest was that they actually had staffing at some of the shows recycling stations to educate people on what garbage goes in what bin.  I found out that my coffee cup belonged in the composting bin, I did not even know that coffee cups could be composted!

DRAINING EXTERIOR SURFACES

Gone are the days of rain water run off issues since almost every exterior surface that you could dream of is now being made to drain water.  Several vendors had running water displays to show how their asphalt, stone and other exterior surfaces could drain water.  Some of these displays were several inches thick and they drained water from a garden hose as quick as the water could be applied!

REPLACEMENT WINDOWS

Since I own a replacement window company in Boston I love to learn about all of the new glass technology as it is invented and rolled out into the market place.  When you have several different glass and window companies showing off their new inventions it keeps the whole industry on their toes with new inventions.  The triple pane replacement windows that are in the market place today perform several times better than windows from even 5 years ago!  One of the vendors had windows with built in solar panels, another had a skylight with a built in water heater!

EXPANDING LIVING SPACE WITHOUT ADDITIONS

I’m a big fan of expanding your living space without expanding the foot print of your home (building an addition).  We talked to a vendor of the only green certified basement system on the market.  I never knew that basement systems were in the market place that actually looked attractive unlike ones that look like they belong in mobile homes!  The vendor’s R-17 wall system that has zero potential for mold/mildew issues was so impressive that my company might add it to our product line!

Another impressive system was a system that is used on flat roofs to suspend a decking system above the roof that will not harm the roof.  The system looks like a great way for commercial buildings to add outdoor space without ripping up lawns or disturbing the environment.

In conclusion, I would suggest this show to and Green Building Professional and anyone who has any interest in green products, green vendors or ideas on how to “green up” their home or business.  Over the next few weeks I will update this post or create new posts in order to highlight some of the green products that we found interesting.