While working as an interior designer, Alicia Peche developed allergies to nasty building materials. She then began seeking out healthy, non-toxic alternatives. At that time there were few resources and little information -- which led to the concept for Eco Design Resources.
The four-year old green home improvement showroom allows homeowners, architects, contractors, and designers to actually see and touch environmentally friendly products. It's a huge improvement over researching and purchasing the design and construction items online, sight unseen.
Eco Design Resources is arranged like a small house, with an office, kitchen, living space, and upstairs bedroom. The layout works to better display energy-efficient appliances, countertops (made from recycled glass, tiles, concrete, lava, managed forests), bedding and other linens (latex mattresses, towels), flooring (bamboo, cork tiles, carpets made of wool, PET, and other natural fibers, marmoleum), and window shades.
Also available are non-toxic cleaning products, and zero-VOC and low-VOC paints and stains that can be mixed to match colors from most manufacturers.
Eco Design Resources holds events such as workshops and presentations about green building. (You can see the updated list on their website.)
If you live further south, or are just planning to take a trip to the beach/boardwalk, check out their sister showroom in downtown Santa Cruz.
(Edited from a post originally published on 04.12.06)
(08.08.07: Edited due to change in address -- they're now part of Green Building Exchange. Photos and description are of previous San Carlos location)