Green @ Home: Environmentally Friendly DIY Projects

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Name: Sally
Location: San Francisco

Living in the Bay Area means that I have very few excuses to not utilize locally sold environmentally friendly materials. There are more resources here for sustainable materials and products than anywhere else in the country. With that said, it's very easy for me to go and buy used or FSC-certified lumber (like for my bed) or a no or low-VOC paint. These are simple things I do to help reduce my carbon footprint. I also try to snatch up as much furniture from Craigslist or flea markets as I can, and then give them a make-over with said products.

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1. My bed: I know the aesthetic of my bed won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it works really well for me. I wanted something really low, storage underneath, and a built-in night stand. I looked all over the place for a new bed that would meet my needs, but the ones I found were too expensive. So, when a contractor friend of mine gave me a call to tell me he had an excess of plywood from a finished job and offered it to me, I saw it as a sign and decided to "build" my bed myself.

The first thing I did was go to a locally-owned green store (Ecohome Improvement in Berkeley) and picked out a no-VOC paint to cover the plywood with. I went with a yellowish green (Leaf0.7 from YOLO Colorhouse) color. I'm not a builder, far from, so I opted to just cut the ply in half and lay them horizontally on a couple of stacked 4x4's, with about 16" extra on the left side (night stand! Very long night stand!). I then drilled the plywood down for extra strength. Sometimes people remark about the corners, but I have never run into them. I guess if it became a problem I'd just round the edges with sandpaper.

I had plenty of paint left over after I was finished painting the plywood. This is a common problem. What to do with the paint? Thankfully, I thought ahead about this and went with a color that I knew I'd want to use on multiple pieces of furniture in my home. So, I tucked it away for a few weeks and waited. A little while later I found that Michael Thonet rocking chair at an antique shop in downtown Oakland. It needed A LOT of work. The varnish was rubbed off and the caning had been painted. I used sandpaper to even the wood out and then painted the entire thing with the remainder of the Yolo paint. I love it! Throw on some fun pillows from a few local designers (the pillows can be found at Branch and Design Public, both of which are based right here in San Francisco) and bam, it fits right in with my apartment.

What are your favorite green stores here in the Bay Area? Ecohome Improvement is my favorite, but I love the Green Home Center too.

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INFO:

Please send us photos and info on how you live green@home. This is not a contest, just a way to build up an AT inspirational database of sorts on how real folks are living greener at home.

Simple, straightforward ideas are welcome, like how you deal with your recycling bin in a small kitchen, and so are ambitious projects - like your amazing green roof. We hope to have a big archive of ideas to inspire us all by the end of the month.

PRIZES:

6-26-ecover1.jpg6-26-ecover3.gifIn exchange for sharing your green@home ideas, Ecover will reward the first 100 ApartmentTherapy readers, who submit photo/essays demonstrating ways in which their lives are green, with their choice of Ecover Liquid Laundry detergent, Ecover Dishwashing Liquid, or Ecover Glass & Surface spray cleaner. Each of the first 100 will also receive Ecover Heavy Duty hand cleanser.

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Raksha Bella will reward one lucky sweepstakes winner with a complete bedding set made from all certiefied Indian organic cottons. The set includes a queen-sized duvet cover, quilt, two pillow cases and two European shams in the winner's choice of three designs. The Classic Collection from Raksha Bella features sumptous textiles in traditional Indian prints, handblocked with lowimpact and vegetable dyes. Choose from the Raj Paisley (available in Indigo or Rum Raisin), Tree of Life (in Canton & Mimosa) or Indian Rose (in Dusty Cedar, Cress Green or Indigo). A retail value of $1,165.00.

HOW TO ENTER:

To enter the Green @ Home Giveaway, please submit below. Submissions will be posted from July 7th to August 1 and winners will be notified by August 8th.

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RULES:

Please, only one submission per person. Duplicate submissions will be discarded.

This is not a contest.

The first 100 posted submissions will receive a gift from Ecover.

The winner of the Raksha Bella Sweepstakes will be randomly drawn from all complete entries (even those that aren't posted).

Winners must claim their prize within three business days after the date of notification of such prize. A Sweepstakes winner's failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified three business days will be considered such Sweepstakes winner's forfeiture of the prize and an alternate winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries.

To enter, you must be a U.S. resident, age 18 or older to enter. Employees, partners and vendors of Apartment Therapy and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter. We will disqualify any entries that we believe are generated by scripts and other automated technology. When applicable, the winner may be required to execute and return within five business days an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability and Publicity Release to be eligible for the prize or an alternate winner will be selected.

All prizes will be awarded. No substitutions including for cash are permitted, except that Apartment Therapy reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater monetary value for any prize. Winners shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of their prize. To receive a complete list of winners or a copy of the Official Sweepstakes Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Apartment Therapy, 22 Howard Street #4i, New York, NY 10013.

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