SPRING-SUMMER HOME IMPROVEMENT 2008
Trends and tips for creating a safe, stylish environment
Copley News Service
If you haven't heard about how wonderful compact fluorescent light bulbs are for the environment and your pocketbook, get with the program.
One of the most impressive statistics about CFLs: If every home in America changed even one regular incandescent bulb to a CFL, it would cut greenhouse-gas emissions by the equivalent of 800,000 fewer cars on the road a year. And a 15-watt CFL can save about $5 per bulb per year over a regular bulb.
A downside to CFLs is that they contain a small amount of mercury (100 times less than an old mercury thermometer). While an intact bulb doesn't pose any danger to individuals or the environment, they should be disposed of properly to keep the mercury out of landfills and subsequently our ground water and soil.
To find out where you can recycle your CFLs, visit www.earth911.org or www.epa.gov/bulbrecycling for a complete list of places.
Here are some tips on what to do if a CFL bulb shatters:
-- Leave the area for about 15 minutes after opening a window. Avoid breathing any escaping vapors.
-- Put on disposable gloves and clean up the liquid and broken glass with a wet paper towel. Do not vacuum or sweep up the shards.
-- To pick up any leftover shards, use duct tape.
-- Double-bag the broken glass in two sealed plastic bags and recycle.
-- Wash your hands thoroughly.
For more information, log on to www.epa.gov/mercury/spills/index.htm. (CNS)
BETTER LIVING THROUGH PAINT
For those of us who believe that home is more than just four walls and a roof, there's a new brand of wall paint that promises to "heal the mind, body and spirit" with its colors.
The Ayurveda Essence Colors palette achieves that end by using the ancient Indian art of Ayurvedic therapy, which balances or energizes depending on a person's "dosha," or energy type.
The 108 colors are divided into three sets of 36 for the three doshas:
-- Vata. Vatas are usually lean and thin and prone to worry and need muted and subdued earthy tones that create hydration and reduce stress through grounding.
-- Pitta. These people are athletic and muscular but prone to "inflammation." Colors that have a soothing effect and lower irritability are best.
-- Kapha. Kaphas are thicker and rounder and need energizing colors to counteract inertia and promote stimulation.
Log on to ayurvedaessence.com to see which specific colors from the Ayurveda palette are best for your type.
And in keeping with the healthy body-healthy house theme, Ayurveda paints are nonpolluting. (CNS)
HEY, SPORTS FANS
There's no such thing as going overboard when you're a sports fan. Just check out the crowd at any game, and you'll see painted, masked and flag-waving die-hards cheering their team on to victory.
If you're not lucky enough to have a ticket to the big game, or if you prefer the convenience of instant replays on a big-screen TV, now you can bring the flavor of the stadium to your home.
Team Tiles display the colors and logo of your favorite team on easy-to-install carpet squares from TrafficMaster Modular Flooring. Tiles for all National Football League teams are available (and some college teams).
If you're more of a baseball fan, carpet tiles are also available for Major League Baseball teams.
The 18-by-18-inch carpet squares are installed with adhesive strips, making them perfect for dorm rooms where permanent decor is a no-no. But they're also a hit in home theaters, boys' (and girls') bedrooms, bar areas, and spare rooms. They can be installed as area rugs, runners, or wall-to-wall carpeting.
Team Carpet Tiles are $4 per square foot or $180 for enough to cover 45 square feet. They're available at Home Depot. (CNS)
It used to be that adults drove the pop culture retail caravan -- what they wanted ended up in stores across the country. Then, the age demographic skewed younger (advertising talk for teenagers with dough).
Now, watch out -- it's the tweens who are the queens (and kings) of how much money is spent where and for what.
Disney is capitalizing on the trend with Disney Channel TV series "Hannah Montana," and movie "High School Musical."
Hannah Montana is the pseudonym for eighth-grader Miley Stewart (played by Miley Cyrus) who has a secret life as a teen pop idol. Her fans love this fantasy and show it by buying products emblazoned with their idol's name. Same with "High School Musical," a tune-filled movie about teenage life and love.
Delta Children's Products is offering a line of bedroom items featuring logos from "Hannah" and "Musical." Both collections include a director's chair, $30; headboard, $60; two-tiered end table, $40; bentwood chair, $40; and "decor in a box" with two fabric bins, a door plaque, primping station and three shelves.
The "Hannah Montana" and the "High School Musical" lines are available at Toys "R" Us stores and online at walmart.com and amazon.com. (CNS)
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