Lifestyle

Look for third-party certification and optimization programs to avoid blue light at the wrong time of day A walk down the light bulb aisle at your local big box store will raise more questions than it answers. The point-of-purchase advertisements make a number of claims: “Natural Daylight,” “Sleep,” “White Light,” and more. But like a lot of advertising, it won’t raise the issue that lighting experts increasingly are trying to solve: Exposure to artificial light at nighttime has been shown to disrupt circadian rhythm, and has been associated with sleep disruption, cancer and other medical problems.

A mainstay for natural household cleaning, lemons now are being promoted to combat high cholesterol, and possibly, cancer DSC_0003There’s a recommendation circulating the Internet to keep organic lemons in the freezer and grate them onto your foods. This recipe follows an array of published claims that lemons are antiviral, antibacterial and an emerging anti-cancer weapon. Though some of the latest claims are not valid, an investigation by www.snopes.com has clarified that some preliminary studies do point to health benefits. “Recent studies have further shown that limonoids inhibit the development of cancer in laboratory animals and in human breast cancer cells as well as reducing cholesterol," the investigation found.

Long-term recycling solution for polyester carpet becomes pressing with increased sales, but national director says: “The glass is half-full” Mohawk Plastic BottlesIt has been observed throughout history: Cleaning up one mess often creates another mess. To clean up a mess, carpet manufacturers have been recycling billions of discarded plastic bottles into polyester (PET) carpet every year. But discarded PET carpet is not recyclable. And it now accounts for 30 percent -- up from 4 percent in 2007 -- of the used carpet headed for landfills. Because 35 percent of the residential carpet market is now PET, which is cheaper but not as durable as recyclable nylon carpet, carpet manufacturer Mohawk has announced Continuum – it new, proprietary PET carpet. The proprietary process results in a more durable, cleaner PET carpet, the company says.

Carpet recycling industry sees dramatic rise in this non-recyclable carpet fiber SAMSUNGWe like to tout our diligence in carpet recycling, particularly when Natural Interiors® affiliates divert 2 million pounds of carpet from landfills annually in Greater Cincinnati alone. But it’s possible that we are painting a somewhat rosier picture than reality allows. Yes, post- consumer carpet recycling has grown into a successful industry over the past decade.  But this national business success is focused largely around nylon, and to a lesser extent, polypropylene. Unfortunately, 30 percent  of carpet sent to recyclers this year will be made of polyester (PET). That’s up from 4 percent in 2007. PET is not recyclable because, unlike nylon, there are not products of value that PET can be turned into.

Latest  designs encourage movement and discourage assigned work stations and offices Steelcase 2There is a counter-height desk on wheels for the worker who is more productive walking through the office while working on his computer. There are areas for groups of employees to collaborate. And private spaces for when workers need to take important or private calls. Work areas, equipped with traditional seating as well as counters for people who prefer to stand, are arranged for use by all. The corner offices for high-ranking  executives are gone. So are traditional work stations assigned to a specific worker. A work café – for group and individual work – also is a must. What is this place? It is the workplace that promotes health, wellness and the most efficient use of space at a time when businesses do not want to spend for new buildings, says John Shideler, workplace consultant for Steelcase.

Flooring retailers and distributors see roadblock in FSC certification requirement Flooring retailers and distributors -- who have learned they must have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification in order to sell FSC-certified products that count as certified wood under the U.S. Green Building Council’s rules -- are questioning whether FSC rules have gone too far. FSC certification is the hallmark of sustainably harvested wood. While it is the only certification accepted for certified wood by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in awarding credit under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, the USGBC acknowledges that it has not strictly enforced certification requirements on retailers. Flooring manufacturers who produce certified products have FSC certification and must package and clearly label FSC-certified products. Some retailers who then sell those products argue that they are not repackaging or altering the materials, and should not have to pay to get certified. Depending on sales volume, a wholesale flooring distributor or retailer can expect to pay $2,000 and up annually for achieving and maintaining certification. “Does it pencil out to become certified?,” asks Mark Thompson, sales manager for Major Brands Floor Supply /Abbey Carpet & Floor of Seattle. “Is it something that will drive business toward me? If the certification is so watered-down that every other store down the street is certified, then what goal was achieved? Some Eco-capitalist got more chumps to buy into his ‘label.’”

Plastic shopping bags and many other items do not belong in your recycling bin Recycling household waste is second nature to me.  But, I still find myself questioning what I can and cannot put into the recycle bin. Here’s the skinny on the products that I find confusing.  You should always consult with your local curbside recycling service provider.  A good resource for all your recycling questions is www.Earth911.org. Plastics The numbered triangle on the plastic container indicates the type of plastic that was used to make that container.  Some types of plastics are easier to recycle than others.  Which types of plastics get recycled often depend on if there is a market for that product after it is recycled.