Archive for ‘RED on Green’

August 4, 2011

Ze Germans have done it again

by rebecca elisabeth design

Check out this brilliant, budget seating, the hockenheimer by NJU Studio. What could be more reduce, reuse, recycle? (ok maybe not reduce because you are going to get those magazines anyway).  Hocken translated is to squat and heimer is a slang version of home, so squat home. Check out the little animation they have created to demonstrate how simple this invention is.

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December 15, 2010

Interior Design: Ditch the Mansion?

by rebecca elisabeth design

In this month’s green article, I can hardly believe I’m going to tell you the first rule of being green is living smaller, fewer resources for initial construction, less for maintenance and less for heating and cooling.  In the name of full disclosure, I need to mention that I have worked on some very large homes. One home was 14,000 sq.ft. and I had an incredible time working with the home owner to make it spectacular. If living ‘klein aber fein’ (small but spectacular) is difficult, and bigger is better for you, just go the extra mile and do as much green as you can.  In the large home I mentioned, we used sustainable woods for the over 1,000 linear feet of cabinetry in the home, solar roof, and instant hot water heaters, just to mention a few.

Luckily for the environment, urban living is on an upward trend, which means people are learning to live in smaller spaces. Interestingly though, according to TIME,  the size of new home construction square footage has increased from the 1,000 average sq.ft. in 1950 to 2,500 today, even thought the average household has gone from 3.4 to 2.6.   If you have decided you want to live smaller, don’t think you have to sacrifice on luxury, there are wonderful materials on the market that are green to help make your home special and unique to you.

So why do we need so much more space now? Please use the comment feature to tell us your thoughts on this.

October 12, 2010

How can you save some green while being green?

by rebecca elisabeth design


Kristinsson, Jon, 2007. Experience with the hi...

Image via Wikipedia


How green is your abode? Interested in saving some money and do a little good for the planet while you are at it?  A home energy audit, which most utility providers will do free of charge, will tell you the amount of power your household consumes and what you can do to reduce it. The average family can find ways to shave 1,000 lbs. of CO2 emissions each year. Energy auditors use special equipment like blower doors and infrared cameras to help you pinpoint exactly how your house is losing energy. You can also perform a do-it-yourself audit (see, but this is one time you might actually want to be audited by the experts.

Excerpt from TIME

July 12, 2010

does your TV use too much energy?

by rebecca elisabeth design

Your TV as an appliance?! Today’s consumers are spending a small fortune on their TV sets and therefore display them prominently in their homes. Some large TVs can consume as much energy as a refrigerator.

Generally, LCDs seem to be the best flat screen option using an average of .28 watts per square inch vs. the average .33 watts per square inch Plasmas. I’ll do the math for you, that means the average Plasma use 18% more energy than the average LCD. The energy saving rear projection TVs use only .13 watts per square inch, sacrificing space for efficiency. The range by brand however is great. For example, 52” LCDs range from .19-.28 watts per square inch while 50” Plasmas range from .15-.42 watts per square inch.

But the future of efficient TV is about to change. The EPA has developed a new set of criteria for HDTV that is scheduled to go into effect November 1, 2008 called: Version 3.0 Energy Star TV. New standards will mandate that 50” HDTVs use less than 391 watts. While most 50-52” Plasmas and LCDs already meet this standard, there are a few energy hogs that don’t. The 3 lowest energy consuming units tested by CNET are: the 50″ Plasma Panasonic TH-50PZ850U, the 50” Plasma Panasonic TH-50PZ800U, and the 52” LCD Samsung LN52A650.

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May 11, 2010

Forest Stewardship Council: what is it exactly?

by rebecca elisabeth design

The FSC – Forest Stewardship Council.

History – The council was formed in 1993 after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where many questions were left unresolved. It was formed in response to the failure of intergovernmental agencies to agree on a global forest compact. Now the FSC has national offices in more than 40 countries.

The goal – was to define the practice of forest management and create guidelines for logging that wouldn’t perpetuate habitat destruction, water pollution, displacement of indigenous peoples, and violence against people who work in the forest and the wildlife that dwells there. There is a certification process for forest land owners and a CoC (Chain of Custody) which traces the wood from the forest through all stages of processing and distribution.

How to buy – woods certified by the FSC bear the FSC logo. Large retailers like Home Depot and Lowes stock FSC products. For furnishings ask if FSC woods are being used. Watch out for green washing which is where products claim to be green but don’t have what it takes to back it up.

For more info visit –

April 30, 2010

Green Washing in San Diego and the World

by rebecca elisabeth design

Companies or products that aggrandize their environmental practices or a product’s attributes are common place in this new eco-driven era. So, how do you look for green washing?

The entire product must be considered to be truly green and not just greenwashed. Consider the following:

  • Where is it made and therefore how far must it be shipped?
  • Does it use one or all renewable components and where are they from?
  • How is the product packaged – is that environmentally friendly?
  • Is there some sort of certification associated with the product such as: FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), LCA (life-cycle assessment). EPD (environmental product declaration), etc?
  • What is the lifespan of the product?
  • Is there a recycling or disposal program for the product?
  • What kind of maintenance is needed to keep this product performing as intended?
  • Do the parts, that may need replacing, have a detrimental environmental impact?

This may sound like a daunting task with everything else we need to take care of in our lives. While many products may not meet all of the above expectations, of course the more items you can check off the better. But know, more and more products are meeting these standards due to improved regulations and demand, but they will need our support to succeed.

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