As we begin to see the wreckage of our New Years Resolutions in our rearview mirrors, it's time again for just one more year-launching-list.
2013 was a giant leap forward for energy efficient and eco-friendly choices for the consumer. Here's my list of my favorite green home products for the coming year.
1. Urban Ashes Picture Frames.
Gorgeous without the guilt. Furniture designer Paul Hickman's company is creating heirloom picture frames using extraordinary wood from trees that grew on our streets, in our yards, in our parks and in our urban areas. Recently, he started a new line called "Detroit Denailed" using wood reclaimed from abandoned and deconstructed homes in Detroit, Michigan.
Paul says he's "creating picture frames your grandchildren will fight over."
2. Philips Slim Style LED Light Bulb
Philips continues to up its game. The created the first affordable, high quality LED. Then it created the Hue sold exclusively through the Apple Store. Now it is flattening the competition. Well, actually its flattening its own bulb as well as its price. The 800 lumens, 60watt equivalent LED is priced at Home Depot at only $10 per bulb. It uses a meager 10.5 watts and will last for over 23 years!
3. Cree LED Light Bulbs.
Every year LED bulbs are getting better and cheaper. Cree continues to prove that LEDs are here to stay. Cree LEDs are available in any color you'd like from a warm glow (2700 kelvin) that looks like an incandescent to a lovely daylight (5000 kelvin) color bulb great for work spaces and offices. All the bulbs are affordable and last for over 20 years. They come with an incredible 10 year warranty. Try to find that deal in an old school incandescent bulb.
4. Rheem Prestige Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater
Rheem Prestige Series Hybrid Heat Pump is an advanced, energy-efficient electric water heater. When I say energy efficient, I mean it's the most energy efficient type of water heater on the market. This unit combines the technology of modern air source heat pumps in a well-insulated tank. It works by removing heat and humidity from the air and dumping it into your water tank. For every $1 you pay for electricity you get another $1.45 worth of free energy from the air. In cold climates, the unit can shift to all-electric mode to avoid sucking hot air out of your house during the heating seasons. In the summer, it helps to keep your home cooler while having the added benefit of dehumidifying the air. It offers all the hot water you'll ever need and can cut your hot water energy use in half.
5. Whirlpool Double Oven Induction Range.
Whirlpool has kicked it up a notch for induction cooking in the U.S. Induction cooking is already popular in Europe and is catching on in the upscale U.S. market. But Whirlpool is bringing the luxury, high-performance cooking to the masses. Once you use an an induction cooker, you will never go back to gas again. It cooks more evenly, is twice as fast, is far safer and is twice as energy efficient as gas.
Whirlpool has combined this awesome cooktop with its double oven convection range. You get two ovens and the world's greatest cooktop for one-third the cost of a high-end range.
6. Aquatron Toilets.
You may not be ready yet, but someday you will. Aquatron is a toilet system that uses little to no water. The system has been used for decades in Sweden and around the world and is just making its way to the U.S. through a handful of innovative buildings registered for the Living Buildings Challenge. The system works by separating solid and liquid waste into composting tanks hidden in the basement or out-building. If you live in one of the many drought inflicted areas of the U.S., keep your eye out for this elegant system.
7. Antiques – Anything.
Antiques should also be on any green products list. The only thing greener than buying something that already exists and uses no new resources . . . is to buy nothing at all.
8. Legrand Adorne Wireless Switches
Adorne wireless switches help you control all those lousy lamps and electronics that are plugged into your outlets. Rather than running around turning off every floor and table lamp, you can install a wireless outlet that can be turned off with a single switch.