How was your Easter? Ours was a really nice little celebration with family at my aunt’s house in Santa Cruz. Pictures soon to be edited… hope to share a few this week.
I’ve actually been gone for over ten days and now I’m back home and sooo happy to be back in my zone. Part of my 9-5 job includes traveling up to my company’s main office in the bay area (of Cali) for a week every 6 weeks, so part of me is very used to time on the road and the other part is always so happy to be home again. Luckily I get to take the little one with me and her grandparents watch her while I’m away during the day. It’s a pretty ideal traveling situation.
Back at the home office, I received a really cute, thoughtful gift from Maryam (she’s a style board contributor over here) and her business partner, Jennifer:
Maryam and Jennifer co-founded Green Your Air, a site that provides air purifying plants for the home in cleverly designed biodegradable pots. I love the new chevron print and I’m so thrilled they brought this guy over! I hope that eventually they’ll see this post and the big thank you/virtual hug I’m sending their direction!
You might have spotted the addition during the tufted headboard reveal last week:
I have so much respect for these two ladies and their growing venture. They are stylish, green mommas (and entrepreneurs!) that are trying to change the quality of air indoors one home at a time. Here’s the reasoning they share over on their site: certain varieties of indoor plants absorb and filter the air of harmful chemicals and airborne toxins (did you know that the indoors can be as much as 10 times more polluted than the outdoors?). A chart sharing the chemical emissions found in the average home or office and which products they are generally emitted from can be found here. Surprising, right?
I’m a big fan of something living and green in each room (brings a little life to the party) and also a huge fan of hardly having to remember to water. This guy needs maybe an ice cube every 2-3 weeks to keep him going.
We currently have the Viridis in Liv’s room, too:
And he’s still alive! And going strong. Here’s another glance at those air-purifying leaves of the Fortis:
Maryam and Jennifer have extended a 20% discount to all readers through the end of May – these guys make lovely gifts for new mommies! or are great to add to your own space. Instead of sending flowers, this would be a great gift to have shipped to someone who has just bought a new home, too. Use code PEPPER20 during checkout.
Here’s a little inspiration that they feature on the site. Love that headboard!!
Thank you again Maryam and Jennifer for the sweet new addition to the office.
PS, follow our family’s efforts to Go Green by checking out this series.
Tags: Decorating, Home
Posted in Going Green, Guest Post, Our Guestroom/Office, Renovating Adventures | 2 Comments »
It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to add a post to my Going Green series, so I thought I’d take a moment to mention a little research I did just about this time last year. We’re doing our best to live as sustainably and low-impact as possible (more on that here) and purchasing green furniture when affordable is something we considered for Liv’s nursery.
To me there are several ways to purchase ‘green’ furniture: upcycling (bringing new life to thrift and old finds), recycling (reusing what you have) and purchasing new with eco-friendly in mind. Admittedly, we do lots of the first two and very little of the last, mostly because it’s just too pricey.
A few examples of Craigslist, thrift store or upcycled finds that have found a new home with us:
But when it came to Liv’s crib I decided to buy new, namely because I was a brand new mommy and I wanted something that I knew had passed all recent safety tests and also because I knew it wasn’t uncommon for little ones to gnaw on the wood in their cribs (and if I found a cool hand-me-down I couldn’t be certain the paint was non-toxic).
Side note: did you know that babies spend somewhere around 4,200 hours (or 175 days) in their crib during their first year?
Here are a few guidelines that I tried to follow closely when searching for the right crib (though I suppose you could go by this list when searching out any green furniture):
*Sustainably harvested wood (even better if it’s a fast growing, fire and decay resistant hardwood such as Paulownia wood)
*or formaldehyde-free MDF (bonus if it’s recycled)
*Water based paint (no lead, oil, phthlates or VOCs)
*Glue-free (aka formaldehyde-free)
*JPMA certified (for cribs)
*Tip proof (also for cribs)
But price! Oh my goodness, the price of eco-friendly cribs is in the $600-2500 range (yes really, $2500! Check out this cool but crazy expensive one) and we definitely couldn’t do that.
After much research I came across the Babyletto Modo 3-in-1 crib (listed here at babycribstation.com) and after further research discovered it was built from solid New Zealand Pine from sustainable forests, had a non-toxic finish (no glue, no paint emissions) and is JPMA certified. Plus being a 3-in-1, if we choose to have Liv use it as a toddler and big kid bed it will last even longer (though we’ll hopefully have baby #2 by the time she’s ready for a big kid bed AND I’d love to design a cute, mini upholstered bed for her). I love the modern, clean lines of the crib and while I’m not necessarily a matchy-matchy person when it comes to furniture, it fits in pretty well with our existing dresser and bookshelf.
It’s a bed that I anticipate using for 10+ years and that will see (hopefully) many babies (both ours and whoever we pass it down to – granted it still passes all safety guidelines), so at $379 I thought it was a steal!
As far as the rest of the furniture in our house? We rarely buy new. Our bed, dresser, the armchair in our room, Liv’s dresser, Liv’s changing table, our living room bookshelves, big leather chair, office desk, office credenza, guest bedroom headboard, dining room bookshelves and dining room buffet table were all Craigslist and thrift store finds or passed down from a family member. But we occasionally buy new when we find a steal or save up for something we love, like our couch (which was the very first piece of furniture we saved up for together), dining table (that expands to seat 12 and collapses to seat 6 – a feature I was really looking for), Liv’s Ikea bookshelf, office West Elm bedframe (to match my DIY headboard), office World Market bookshelves and WM side table.
We try to eat healthy (we participate in CSA, make our own baby food, have a mini garden and even have two city chickens), avoid creating too much trash (by recycling, composting and even cloth diapering) and when remodeling, reuse and repurpose materials (like for our kitchen). We’re not super strict about it but I figure every little bit counts, and if we all make small steps today we can make big impacts for future generations!
Tags: Accessories, Decorating, Home
Posted in Going Green, Renovating Adventures | 10 Comments »
We try and keep things as sustainable as possible around here, so a while back we began to look at composting options.
Bonus of composting? Great garden soil and the perfect way to ‘recycle’ our kitchen scraps (to keep them out of plastic bags in landfills). Cons of composting? The smell. Phew. The bacteria and other microorganisms that team up with oxygen to create that ‘black gold’ soil can be nauseating, and since our yard is small we don’t really have the space for a big compost pile in the back.
The solution? A worm bin! Worms break down a majority of kitchen waste (things like coffee grounds, old bread and pastas, grains, fruit – not citrus, egg shells & veggie scraps) and create a soil that is just delicious to plants. Creating our worm bin out of a big plastic tub was easy, read all about how to do it here. We even bought our worms locally from a Craigslist worm farm (yep, those exist too).
Kind of a gross image, I know. We regularly load this guy up with anything that we can’t toss to our city chickens (who LOVE kitchen scraps and even gift us with eggs once a day for it). We keep the bin (which really isn’t too big) in an outdoor shed along the side of our house. The ideal temp is between 50-75 degrees F, so those that live where it’s cold or super hot might try the garage.
This is the indoor compost bin we keep right under our kitchen sink. It’s the perfect size (about a gallon) and the filter built into the lid ensures that zero smells escape. Twice a week or so it’s emptied into the worm bin.
And then after about two months of worm composting, you get ‘worm tea’. This black liquid can be drained out and poured around the base of garden plants (or mixed into the soil of potted plants) and will nourish, nourish, nourish. Very soon our garden started offering up gifts of its own.
It’s neat to see our food run full circle! Before you know it, we’ll be tossing the left over garden basil and tomato scraps from our next meal back into the worm bin. And there you have it, an easy solution to city composting.
More Going Green ideas can be found right here.
Posted in Going Green | 2 Comments »