Green @ Home: Maxwell's First Four Moves

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Me on our street, in front of one of my most favorite strong coffee sources in town.
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Name: Maxwell G-R
Location: West Village, NYC
Profession: Interior Designer, Blogger

It's funny, I feel a strong loyalty to the green movement, but - most of the time - don't feel like I LIVE in a particularly green way. I am certainly not No Impact Man. But as I have started to look around our home for this project, I have found that I/we do many small things that represent real life choices and which add up to a different way of living than the way I was brought up. This month we're asking you to share yours (see below), but we're kicking off the sharing with our own...

Green Move #1: Better Paint

Painting our walls with non-toxic and Low VOC paint. We used Benjamin Moore's AURA paint on all of our walls and ceilings, while behind the sink and on our stool we used Marston & Langinger's totally non-toxic paint, which had no off-gassing at all, dried quickly and cleaned up nicely.

Green Move #2: Watering Down Dish Soap

While natural paints are new in our house, watering down our dish soap, using much less and making it go much further have long been household habits. Sara Kate found this nice metal dispenser, though in the past we've used plastic squeeze bottles. I swear by Caldrea's Lavender Dish Soap.

Green Move #3: Organics & Recycled Paper Notepad

This is just a little random coupling, but we have switched to buying as much organic food as possible and Sara vigilantly makes note pads out of recycled paper and a metal clip....


Biggest Challenge/Frustration:

Not really knowing how much energy we DO use in our rental apartment. I would like to have a local, easy to read meter or a digital hookup to my computer that would allow me to monitor the energy usage of our home quickly and easily. This way, we could feel good about improvements we make and be aware of great silent energy losses that we don't yet know about.

Inspiration:

Bill McDonough, hands down. Ever since hearing him speak over ten years ago, I have been convinced that the environmental crisis is solvable AND a very exciting design problem. We just need to change our thinking and open our eyes to new designs. If anyone is interested in finding out more about McDonough's architecture, writing or speaking, his book is here and he can be found here: www.mcdonough.com.

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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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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.