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by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries in eco chic (49)


Save It From A Rainy Day

As we get ready to enjoy our outdoor spaces and take care of our plants and blooms, it's important to be conscious about water conservation. To help us in this effort, young Dutch designer Bas van der Veer has created a rainwater collection system that plugs right into your downspouts, providing a watering can that fills up automatically when it rains. The Raindrop Mini, inspired by a drop of water, was designed specifically to be used on balconies and in small gardens. We all know recycling rainwater is a simple way of reducing household water consumption, so this genius system makes it easy for city dwellers to store and reuse rainwater in urban environments.

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Trendy Cardboard

Cardboard furniture and accessories have been in the eco-scene for some time, but it's now that this ecological trend is becoming more and more popular. The Valencia-based multidisciplinary design studio Sanserif Creatius —set up by the designer Ana Yago and journalist Jose Antonio Gimenez— specializes in the development of this kind of environment-friendly furniture and products. Their exclusive collection of 100% biodegradable corrugated cardboard pieces is very unique, drawing some inspiration from typography and Spain’s Moorish past, like their m-shaped “Mustafá” table (below).

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Reclaimed Thrones

Neato! Adam Barron, an Industrial Design student at the University of Cincinnati, created this super chic Reclaimed Seatbelt Chair from a steel rod frame and seatbelts he collected from a local junkyard. What started as a school project, ended wining him first prize at a contest which challenged participants to design a product using reclaimed auto parts. His design incorporates three of five Japanese design principles: humor, craftsmanship, compactness, asymmetry and simplicity. The chair is handmade in New York and, because of its nature, each chair is one-of-a-kind.

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Recyclable Sophistication

Earth-conscious products have come a long way when it comes to design. What used to be very basic and generic-looking items like disposable plates, are now beautiful paper tableware. Thanks to the Wasara Collection, there is no excuse for not having a stylish table when you don't want to deal with dirty dishes. This line of single-use, biodegradable pieces is made with the aesthetics and sensibility of Japanese design. All 14 pieces in the line are sturdy and suitable for cold or hot (though not boiling) foods and beverages, and are oil- and water-resistant. In order to minimize environmental waste, Wasara uses tree-free renewable and fully biodegradable materials such as sugar cane fiber, bamboo, and reed pulp, representing their spirit of living in harmony with nature. There is no doubt that this graceful and irresistible collection of disposable tableware (that you can buy here) will add special sophistication to any casual gathering. Picnics and barbecues will never be the same.

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The New Man Cave

My, my, talk about shoebox living. When I came across this article in The New York Times, I couldn't help but share it with you. I was amazed by these tiny structures built by Derek Diedricksen, a former comic book writer who makes a living doing carpentry in Stoughton, Massachusetts. He builds these micro structures in his backyard using discarded materials like shipping pallets, castoff storm windows and scrapped kitchen cabinets from his neighbor, keeping his budget to under $200. “The $100 Homeless Hut” was the first structure he built to see if he could build a homeless shelter for under $100 (It measures a mere four sq. ft. at its base and is four feet tall). These are very unique alternatives for a man cave. Now, if you want to read the whole story on Derek and his wonderful microhouses, go here. BTW, if you haven't already done so, enter this week's giveaway here. You can win a beautiful eco-friendly Icelandic sheepskin. Happy Friday:)

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A Pod With a View

There's nothing better than travelling and knowing you're also being good to the environment. Swiss-born Sofia de Meyer feels the same way. That's why she had the brillliant idea of creating Whitepod, a unique hotel concept than links man and nature in a very eco-friendly way —of course, without sacrificing comfort and design. Set amid the majestic Swiss Alps with stunning views of Lake Geneva, the 15 dome-like pods are designed to blend in with their surroundings, not only visually but also by having a low impact on the environment (I think it's so cool that in the Winter the domes are covered with white canvas and changed to green in the Summer).

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Eco-friendly Since Birth

I'm so psyched to see how green design is inspiring furniture companies to get behind the great concept of sustainability. The very innovative French company Castor & Chouca has come out with a high-end green collection of furniture from infants to juniors. They've worked together with pediatricians, nurses and mothers to create a line inspired by innovations in the medical field and futuristic design. The company uses sustainable raw materials such as bamboo, linen, organic cotton and recyclable components. I really like the versatility of the pieces and the multiple uses they have. They're really worth the investment as their idea is for the furniture to last and not to be thrown away —so your bambinos can grow up with them. They believe in a universe where ecology, health, security and well-being are inseparable. How cool is that?

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My Top 10: Eco Totes

Image via Deborah MacLeanc

On my first visit to Paris, the City of Lights had me at “hello”. I remember everything being monumentally beautiful, the people dashing and the food to die for. But as the trip progressed, one thing struck a chord: every Parisian would waltz out of the supermarché carrying these fabulous and trendy shopping totes that were not your typical plastic sacs we were used to in the States. After a couple of days, I knew I had to get my hands on at least one. The curiosity was killing me. But my friend, whom I was staying with, filled me in on the scoop. Apparently, this phenomenon of eco-friendly, reusable shopping totes we are now seeing in the U.S. had been the norm in the Old Continent for a while. Go figure

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