Archive for the 'Green Remodeling' Category

The Green Debate: Why should I conserve water at home?

I know this is heretical, but here’s the truth: I have no desire to conserve water in my home. Why? Because when I sacrifice and struggle and change my habits and compromise my life to save water, what will happen? The developers and politicians will immediately approve more housing tracts as far as the eye [...]

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Got demolition debris? Let a waste hauler recycle it for you

So your remodeling plans are made, and demolition is about to begin. As a green-leaning person, you know in your heart that the lumber and drywall and concrete and wires that are destined for the landfill really should be recycled. But it’s so complicated. Where do you take the concrete? And the old framing lumber? [...]

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The Green Debate: Is 24-inch framing better than 16-inch framing?

You may have heard of “advanced” framing in which 2-by-6 studs are placed 24 inches apart when building a house, as opposed conventional framing, which is 2-by-4 studs 16 inches apart. In green building circles, 24-inch framing is widely seen as being a good choice for many reasons. But the consensus is not unanimous (as [...]

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Loving my new solar-powered fountain

I’m loving my new solar-powered fountain, which gives me the soothing sounds of water outside my office window without running up my electric bill. And I feel connected to nature, as the fountain begins running in the morning only after the sun comes up. Because it has a 6-volt battery that gets charged up during [...]

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Guest Blogger: preventing stormwater pollution during a remodel

Today’s Guest Blogger is Veronica Britton on behalf of the city of Los Angeles Stormwater Program: Did you know this: In Los Angeles County, about 100 million gallons of water and debris flow through the storm drain system each dry day. One hundred million gallons would fill the Rose Bowl 1.2 times! On rainy days, [...]

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SoCal Calendar: Free talks/demos on natural finishes

If you’re interested in giving your walls and other surfaces a natural finish, you might find these free events useful: Tuesday, Jan. 22: Interior finishes panel: wall coating, flooring, and cabinetry. Featuring Orit Yanai of Orit Yanai Studios, Shawn Kalio of EcoTimber and Patti Wells of Royal Plywood. The panelists will identify ways for specifying, [...]

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Q&A: What is the deadline for DWP’s $250 washing-machine rebate?

<p><a onclick=”window.open(this.href, ‘_blank’, ‘width=250,height=250,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false” href=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/12/17/kenmorewasher.jpg”><img title=”Kenmorewasher” height=”200″ alt=”Kenmorewasher” src=”http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/pardonourdust/images/2007/12/17/kenmorewasher.jpg” width=”200″ border=”0″ style=”FLOAT: left; MARGIN: 5px” /></a><strong>Question</strong>: We want to buy an efficient washing machine to get that nice $250 rebate the DWP offers, but we also want to wait until the post-holiday sales to get a lower price on this major appliance. The [...]

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Q&A: What is the deadline for DWP’s $250 washing-machine rebate?

Question: We want to buy an efficient washing machine to get that nice $250 rebate the DWP offers, but we also want to wait until the post-holiday sales to get a lower price on this major appliance. The local salesmen tell us that the rebate will end "soon," when the DWP’s fund for rebates is [...]

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Opinion: Green remodeling is despair defeated

Here’s my take on this greenhouse gas/global warming deal: It’s hard for some of us to know what to think. The vast majority of scientists say greenhouse gases from human activity are causing, and will continue to cause, catastrophic climate change, with the world’s poor suffering the most. On the other hand, radio hosts tell [...]

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Shower vs. bath to save water? no, No, NO!

A CNN story today on Al Gore’s new green remodel in Nashville gives some tips on going green. No. 1 tip: Give up baths in favor of showers. The story intones: "Take a shower instead of a bath. Showers use considerably less water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a five-minute shower requires 10 to [...]

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Remodeling and indoor air pollution

We hope our remodels will beautify our homes, not pollute them. But that’s exactly what happens when the various glues, paints, fabric finishes, formaldehyde and other marvels of manufacturing start outgassing from the new remodel and into our lungs, skin, eyes and mouths. With its new focus on leaded toys from China, I’m pretty sure [...]

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Video: Green Claremont fire rebuild

We first met this wonderful couple — Vern and Deb Jahnke — earlier this year when they gave me a tour of their Claremont home for a Pardon Our Dust feature. You can see photos of their very green home and read their inspiring story. Now you can also see the gorgeous home, which rose [...]

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Why so few green building materials at Home Depot?

Here’s what would make my life easier: if I could purchase all my green building materials at Home Depot. I’m talking about: • Tile for my counters made of post-consumer recycled glass• A vanity for my bathroom made with FSC-certified wood• Bamboo for my floors from an FSC-certified company• Plywood and dimensional wood from FSC-certified [...]

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Affordable green prefabs

When it comes to green building, some professions and industries get it, and some don’t (yet). Those who get it are architects and manufacturers. Those who are playing catch-up are suppliers and retailers, and most contractors and subcontractors. So if you can get those who get it — architects and manufacturers — into one room, [...]

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DoItYourself.com goes green

The Los Angeles-based website DoItYourself.com has gone green by offering a series of articles on green DIY projects. They include: Installing bamboo floorsHow to install a radiant floor heating systemInstalling cork flooringGoing green with exterior paint Read more interior and exterior green DIY advice. Photos of cork flooring from Jelinek Cork Group Read more about [...]

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Solar Christmas lights

***UPDATE*** I got a response from Gaiam and these lights are, indeed, LED lights, which means they will last for many years. And now the original posting: Here’s what I’ve been looking for: Solar-powered holiday lights. There are certain luxuries that, to me, don’t justify burning fossil fuels: landscape lighting, garden fountains and Christmas lights. [...]

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Maybe what happens in Vegas should NOT stay in Vegas

So I’m walking along Las Vegas Boulevard, past the construction site for a new casino that looks to be about the size of Whittier, and I’ve got that smug, incredulous attitude one can have about Las Vegas, about the excess, the exorbitance, the waste, the sheer, mind-boggling stupidity of it all and . . . [...]

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Ask a Realtor: Is native landscaping more attractive to buyers?

Question: I’m curious what the effect of a native plant landscape would be versus a conventional turf grass and shrub landscape. Imagine that the native-centric landscape uses low-growing perennials such as sedge and yarrow as well as pavers in place of turf grass and that both yards have similar amounts of functional outdoor space. — [...]

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When the embers die down . . . recovery begins

It might be soon to talk about recovery as the tragedy unfolds, but Southern Californians do rebuild after fires. I’m sure Claremont residents Vern and Deb Jahnke, who lost their house in the 2003 Grand Prix Fire, are thinking about and praying for (he’s a minister, after all) the victims of the current fires. After [...]

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Is that countertop made of money? As a matter of fact, it is

If you want to go really green with your kitchen counters, consider ShetkaStone, a durable and sustainable material that I found mentioned on Susan Serra’s excellent blog, the Kitchen Designer. Made in Minnesota, ShektaStone is made from various types of paper that are shredded, broken down and processed using hydrogen bonding, which does not require [...]

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