Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hybrid, Electric or a Mixture of both!! Barack Obama?

How many times have we heard about Hybrid Cars and the importance they have on our environment, does anyone truly know what Hybrid even means though? Definitions of Hybrid car on the Hybrid Car Information and Resources site: "A hybrid car, also known as an HEV or hybrid electric vehicle, is an automobile that is powered by two sources; an internal combustion engine, and an electric motor. Hybrid cars have no use for plugs, as they are amply charged by the movement of the wheels, and storing the kinetic energy that is generated through a process called regenerative braking. Hybrid cars have many environmental benefits (see Emissions and Pollution,) and economical benefits (see Facts, Why Buy a Hybrid, and Tax Breaks and Rebates.)" Ev World has a ton of information on both electric and hybrid electric vehicles. It is rated as one of the best places to obtain and read up on electric vehicle news. http://www.evworld.com/index.cfm

Has anyone seen the documentary "who killed the electric car" fascinating film and it truly demonstrates how the government killed this design due to them not being able to make money off the concept. Years later the same way of green travel was recreated however in a fashion so that the Government and large Corporations could make some money. Recreating this resource has made everyone happy even the Government and if they are happy everyone is happy! This is a very powerful technology that is going to change our planet immensely! Look Obama is already jumping on the band wagon! "March 19, 2009 When President Barack Obama walked into Southern California Edison’s electric-vehicle test facility here today, he visited what may be the highest concentration of electric vehicles in North America. The president’s goal, says White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, was to highlight the role of plug-in cars in creating “clean energy jobs” that will spur economic growth." This electric car movement has been an ongoing battle for years however their persistence and drive to make our environment cleaner is paying off. “These cars of tomorrow require the batteries of tomorrow, I am announcing that the Department of Energy is launching a $2 billion competitive grant program under the Recovery Act that will spark the manufacturing of the batteries and parts that run these cars, build or upgrade the factories that will produce them, and in the process, create thousands of jobs right here in America. Show us that your idea or your company is best-suited to meet America’s challenges, and we will give you a chance to prove it. ”
President Barack Obama Speaking today at the Edison Electric Vehicle Technical Center

This should be an influential story to all of us trying to make a different; persistence and small steps do pay off in the end. So don't give up fighting!!

Hybrid Car Facts
"Hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius produce 90% less pollutants than comparable non-hybrid cars. By putting less harmful chemicals in the environment, the harmful effects of pollution can be halted or even reversed."

We might seem small and our actions might even seem smaller, but that one movement and change in the way you think helped create this electric car phenomena! Without you this green movement would not be possible and the demand for a cleaner greener environment would not be influencing Corporate America and the Government to make a change to the production of what goes on within this planet.

Stay Green!
Until next time,
w&c designer girl!


Monday, March 23, 2009

How to Dress Eco-Friendly!

Okay so we are becoming more eco-friendly in our home decor and functionality of our houses, but have we thought about what we are putting on our bodies everyday? Our skin absorbs everything, from the pollution in the air to the creams we put on our skin, so are we aware of what our bodies are absorbing from the clothes we wear? There are more and more companies transforming their clothes to be more eco-friendly, right down to your footwear. "El Naturalista's Recyclus line uses recycled materials to create beautiful, sustainable footwear. According to Students for Sustainability (a partnership between The David Suzuki Foundation, The Sierra Youth Coalition and the Canadian Federation of Students) the environmental footprint of the shoe industry is sizable: North Americans throws out millions of pairs of shoes every year. Many of the adhesives used in shoe production contain the solvent toluene, highly toxic to the environment and the health of workers. And, the tanning process also uses several concerning chemicals including arsenic, mercury, lead and hexavalent chromium. (Not to mention the greenhouse gas emissions associated with livestock and international shipping) "

Did you know? "On average, North Americans throw away about 30 kilograms of clothing and textiles per year." So if we reduce the waste that we produce, our wardrobes are a great place to start. How do you create a environmentally friendly wardrobe? 1. "Buy local whenever possible Keep your carbon footprint in check by seeking out pieces that are locally designed and produced, that way your clothes don’t have to travel the globe to reach you." 2. "Watch for labels that are marked with a third-party certification to provide you with assurance that the garment was not produced in a sweatshop-free and safe environment, and with sustainable materials."
3. Asking stores to show you their lines of clothing and textiles made with organic cotton, bamboo or other sustainable fabrics." This might seem small but this will help send a message, , consumers are in demand for a more eco product. " Always ask whether the dye used as colouring was vegetable-based and non-toxic."

http://green.sympatico.msn.ca/green-living-online-article.aspx?cp-documentid=812885

Also don't forget about the cleaners you are using to wash your clothes in, make sure you read the labels of your detergents and protect your skin and your new eco-friendly wardrobe! Reading the labels on your clothes is very important and should be become a habit to make sure that we get the message across, we are here to save and protect our bodies and environment!

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Whats new with W&C!!



We are very proud to announce that we have changed and added new fabric's to our furniture collection, which makes the pieces even more GREEN! All fabrics have been certified as eco-friendly, under the logo of Oeko-Tex Standard 100. Which assures that textiles have been tested and awarded a certificate that state they are free of harmful substance. Textiles bearing this label are good for your well-being, using recycled or other environmentally friendly components. Also our new eco-friendly sofa line should be out soon! So there are some exciting times ahead for w&c! We are constantly learning about new eco-friendly materials and processes that we are adding to our pieces to make sure we can deliver a pure GREEN product. We are also excited to come out with our first catalogue which should be out at the end of April, displaying all of our pieces and more. So make sure to check us out and see what is happening in the stylish GREEN furniture industry. "Environmentally friendly furniture designed on the principle of quality" http://www.shop.whitewashco.ca/

Just thought I would give you a quick update on what is happening with w&c.
Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Monday, March 16, 2009

What is BiOH polyols? And why is it important for us to know about it??

Okay I am still "green" excuse my pun, to all the eco-friendly products and materials out there and I am in the industry. There is just so much to learn and it is forever improving!! I had a question the other day, that I thought I would share with all of you. "Is your upholstery made with soy blend foam made with BiOH BRAND soy polyols?"Leslie. I knew the foam I used was made out of a soy blend and that it was an environmentally friendly product. But, I would have to do some research to truly find out the rest of the question, and I am glad I did! because the result was better then I thought it would be. "BiOH polyols are a soy-based ingredient for flexible foam used in upholstered furniture and bedding, carpet backing, and automotive seats . . . Current BiOH technology allows our customers to create foam products with typical levels of renewable content from 5 to 20%. Considering that only 3 years ago all of these products were 100% petroleum-based, we think this is a significant step! However, we’re not satisfied yet; the BiOH team is committed to developing new chemistries that create products with higher levels of renewable content." Very interesting, but how much crude oil (petrolem) does using BiOH polyols really save? "For every 1 million lbs of BiOH polyols that replace traditional petro polyols in foam cushioning, approximately 2200 barrels of crude petroleum is saved for other uses." Wow now if furniture companies and the consumer started requesting this foam and using this product, the impact would be significant to our environment! BiOH polyols did a study to show how they have a smaller carbon foot print then raw material manufactures who use traditional petrochemical polyols. "36% less global warming emissions -61% less non-renewable energy use, 23% less total energy demand." From my last blog on the carbon footprint, we all know now how important it is to lower our carbon foot print and here is another great way to start that movement. So, ask the question when purchasing a furniture piece or mattress, is BiHo polyols used??( http://www.bioh.com/index.html )

Thought you might find this interesting too, it explains how foam is made:

Keep up the good work with making your life more GREEN! A movement might start with just a small step but as you move, the steps get bigger and stronger and before you know it the world is moving with you!

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What is a Carbon Footprint?

The Carbon Footprint is a big issue now a days and it should be. But how many of us truly know what a carbon footprint is? "A carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted over the full life cycle of a product or service." Each of us has a carbon footprint, it is our impression in this world, its our clue of who we are and where we are headed. It measures, in terms of our contribution as an individual, our impact on the global climate. "Measured in carbon emissions, it's become an increasingly useful and popular tool to help contextualize global warming in our daily routines and lives." Once we understand what a carbon footprint is, the next question is, what can I do? It is important to realize your carbon footprint because from there you can start to reduce it; what goes up, must come down! and it is the same with the footprint you have created. You can reduce it in many ways, by simply being aware! It is in the food we eat the products we buy. Where has the food come from? Does it have chemicals in it? What is the furniture piece made of? What materials are used within it? Is is locally made? These are simple questions that we should be able to ask and get an answer for. If for some reason the company/retailer cannot give us an anwser a consumer should be very wary and second guess their purchase. A simple way to start lowering your carbon footprint is by thinking about things in terms of, how much gas was used to get a product to where it is today. If one product was flown in from China and the other product was made within your city, the product that was flown in has a way bigger footprint then the locally made product. Sounds damn simple eh! Well it is and it can be; if we start to think this way it will become easier and easier to lower our carbon footprint! What can be more important then making a difference in our life and in our environment! Remember it is only Kermit the Frog that can say "it isn't easy being green."

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stainless or Plastic, what do you drink out of??

You know the saying at a food store "Paper or Plastic" well the new saying is "Stainless or Plastic"!! What do you drink out of? If it is still plastic this information might change your mind. Do you know that 40 million plastic water bottles per day are dumped into our landfills!! That is crazy. What is even more crazier is they say it takes 30 years for the plastic to break down. That is more then along time, just think what you have done in 30 years! The scary thing is Plastic water bottles was only a clever marketing scam. "40 percent of bottled water starts out as tap water"!! I can't believe this, why didn't I think of this, we could all be rich off of this scam. "Companies, like Coca Cola and Pepsi, take the water for free, running it through some filters, pour it into a bottle with a fancy name and then sell it back to us at a price 240 to 10,000 times higher than tap water." WOW. The marketing companies have tricked us into believing that bottled water is the healthier choice and made us believe it is better for you then regular tap water. They created a image that bottled water means a healthy life/person. But " a four year study by the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) found plenty of bacteria and chemicals in the bottles water. Since there are currently no regulations in place for bottled water it's hard to know exactly what you are buying." Check out this site for great information on this topic http://www.greenlivingonline.com/article/get-rid-plastic-water-bottles
Now some of us are up to date on this plastic matter and have switched to stainless steel water bottles, which really is the healthier choice! Because most stainless steel water bottle companies guarantee that they are BPA FREE and use non-toxic inks, so no off gassing or leachin of chemicals are going into your body. http://www.ewanbottles.com/ I am sure there are probably a hand full of celebrities that have jumped on this bang wagon and issue. And you know if they are supporting this, soon everyone else will! Which is a very good thing because this issue is something that people should know more about and start making the change to the stainless bottles to protect themselves and their loved ones. This is definitely a movement that should not be ignored and something that we should all be doing right away!

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Do you know how many GREEN Celebrities there are??

WOW! I am blown away on the number of celebrities that support the GREEN or alternative energy movement! Usually domestic environmental issues are always getting attention, many environmentalists are focusing on international issues as their main priority now, such as "global warming, populations growth, deforestation, and the continued loss of many species of plants and animals have reached increasing prominence on the environmental agenda." As mentioned in a previous BLOG when a celebrity jumps on the bang wagon so does everyone else, and this theory has been proven with an endless list of celebrities and the movement they are promoting on this site I found. http://www.allamericanspeakers.com/Green_Celebrities_&_Green_Speakers.php
Top 5 on their "Leading Green Celebrity Players" are Dave Matthews Band, Cate Blanchett, Richard Branson, Pierce Brosnan and Warn Burton, plus many many more. It even lists the celebrities with electric or hybrid cars, Solar Neighbours Program and many more categories. I am just so impressed on how many celebrities are making our environment that much better! And we know it will only takes time before everyone else is on the same playing field. So keep up the good GREEN work and remember it is only Kermit the frog that is aloud to use the line "it isn't easy being green" NO one else has an excuse!

More Celebrity Links!
http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/celebrities/7249
http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2007/06/01/celebs/
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/07/seven-celebrities-needing-eco-education.php

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Your Dream Kitchen is Closer then you THINK!

This is the perfect year to tackle that dated kitchen, with the new Home Improvement Bill that was passed, the tax man will help with the renovation cost!! Jan/Feb Better Home and Garden Special - Kitchen and Bath ideas, is just the magazine that you need to start this project. It covers everything, from floor layouts, appliances, new materials and most important how to work out a kitchen budget. It has great tips on where to spend your money and where to save it, along with other helpful idea's. "Simple Kitchen Updates - Refinish or reface cabinets, change hardware, replace appliances, install a tile back splash, upgrade counter tops, improve lighting, put in a new drop-in sink." There are a ton of things that you can do to update your kitchen without spending a lot of money, paint goes along way! So for cost effective purposes, paint out your cupboards to a colour you like until you can afford the real ones. There are a lot of paint techniques that can be applied to give a rich look. Changing your hardware makes a huge impact immediately and it is a task that can be done in an hour or so. When it actually comes to the big things, plan ahead, figure out how you truly need the space to function for you. Also, literally plan ahead, will there be children in the near future, if so there will be different needs. To keep cost down, hiring a designer does save you in the long run. Why hire a designer? 1. Can help you plan ahead and keep the project organized "a designer can ease the burden of remodeling by coordinating all the details." 2. They can offer storage solutions, layout ideas and more, making sure that you achieve the kitchen that will work for you. 3. Knowledge, "Professional designers know where to get high-quality products and have connections with wholesalers, dealers and contractors to give you the best products you can afford." Why hire a designer? It will help you come out ahead! Your new kitchen is a bigger investment than ever, so make sure you find the right designer! I read somewhere, "choose your kitchen designer as you would a doctor. Is this a person you want doing heart surgery on the heart of the home?" Quick tip, Build 10% cushion into your budget for unexpected costs.

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why is it that we need a celebrity to make a movement real?

Celebrities are jumping on the band wagon when it comes to protecting our environment. From Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Ed Norton, Robert Redford, Pearl Jam and more!! Why is it that we need celebrities to make a movement real? Brad Pitt's Green Rebuild in New Orlean's is more then a powerful message, the participation from multiple levels of companies and donations are just the start but when Brad Pitt is there in the trenches of these new homes, people pay attention and get involved. So why is it that we need celebrities to make a movement real? The 11th hour, which is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, "this captivating documentary explores the perilous state of our planet, and the means by which we can change our course." This DVD is popular not just because of the message but because of the name that is standing behind it and delivering the message. For some reason adding a celebrity to a movement makes us feel like we are connected some how. Because our favorite actor or actress is preaching it, it must be a good cause, and because they are involved I must be involved. I don't know why this works or why it hits us more when there is a face to the cause, but it works! And it will keep on working!! Support your favorite movements even if it is just because of the face that is attached to it. Make sure you start making your life a bit more Eco-friendly everyday and don't be afraid of change, embrace it, you are saving yourself with these actions!!

Celebrity Links:
Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ty Pennington missing at his own Home Show???

Ty Pennington is the new face for the National Home & Garden Show, but where is he? His face is plasted on all print material out there regarding the National Home & Garden Show, his BIO and quick write ups are more then visible on all the City Home Show sites and he even does all of the Radio ads. Lets face it, he has a great face for these things and everyone recognizes his name, so why wouldn't they make him a sponsored partner. However, due to this advertising strategy, everyone is given the illusion that if you go the show you are more likely to see Ty Pennington, the face of the National Home Show. However Ty never showed up to the Toronto one and now rumor is he will not be at the Buffalo one, who knows if he was even at any of the other ones so far?? I know he is a busy guy, but this is truly false advertising. Good for him for getting this kind of publicity and it truly is a great avenue for promoting his new tySTYLE line, but he at least should make an appearance to something that he is so highly supporting? "This partnership makes a lot of sense for me. People always ask me where they can buy the cool products they see on our show, and the truth is that the best place to find all the basics, plus all the hot new products – all in one place – is at the type of home shows Marketplace Events produces." This is only my 2cents on the whole take, I truly don't know the contract he has with these shows, but I am more then curious to find out,
HAS ANYONE SEEN HIM??

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

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