For the style and ecologically conscious, Noon Solar has created a fabulous tote to keep you charged and on the go. Constructed of 100-percent hand-dyed hemp and chrome-free leather, the Oakland tote features a solar panel on one side that allows you to charge a cell phone, iPod, or PDA just by setting the bag in a window of a car, office, airplane or home. Noon Solar, 773/225-6141, or go to www.noonsolar.com.
Off Your Chest
The three-drawer “Clio” chest incorporates splashes of color, bold designs and delicate details to enliven a room. It’s made from a species of non-endangered wood by the indigenous people of the Palcazu Valley in the Peruvian Amazon. Through the “Conservation Makes Scents” project, these craftsmen earn their living by producing furniture from sustainably harvested resources. South Cone Trading Company, 310/538-5797, or go to www.southcone.com.
Magic is the ability to produce 300 pieces of furniture from a single tree—making Moura Starr one of the most environmentally conscious furniture manufacturers in the industry. The modernist design of the Kalup coffee table dazzles, defies and invites the senses to fully appreciate the intrinsic beauty of exotic and sustainable Brazilian woods topped with a sensuous leather hide. Moura Starr, 212/219-1110, or go to www.mourastarr.com.
Coming Up Roses
With such a soft flowery scent, it’s hard to believe that this household cleaner is tough on grease, grime and dirt. The advanced formula of Earthsavers’ Organic Rose All Purpose Cleaner lifts and traps dirt molecules leaving behind a clean that you can see. Rose oil offers soothing aromatic benefits as well as antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Earthsavers, 5501 Magazine St., 899-8555; 3301 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, 835-0225; 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985/674-1133, or go to www.earthsaversonline.com.
Thanks to an artful eye, David Porretto sees treasure where others see trash. The master wood-worker transforms discarded cabinet fronts, moldings and doors into wine racks and coat racks, as well as framed mirrors and chalkboards. For local flair, he creates a negative imprint of the famous watermeter cover into the wood using a unique branding technique. dcpDesigns, 225/485-0677, or go to www.myspace.com/dcpdesigns.
By offering luxurious linens made from all natural elements, SDH has given the term “eco-friendly” a more elegant connotation. The richly toned classic stripes of the Brighton table linens are achieved through the use of colored fibers processed using low-impact, fiber reactive dyes. The Linen Registry, 204 Metairie Rd., 831-8228, or go to www.sdhonline.com.
Built for a King
Who else but Philippe Starck could find inspiration in the furniture of Versailles when creating a chair for a Chinese restaurant in Paris? Although delicate in shape, Starck’s “Kong” armchair is stronger than steel and can withstand nearly 2,000 pounds. It’s durable, sustainable and made entirely of recycled aluminum and other materials. Design Within Reach, 3138 Magazine St., 891-6520, or go to www.dwr.com.
Hip, Not Hippie
Peligrosa focuses on timeless silhouettes in organic fibers with a modern twist. The 100-percent boiled wool peacoat, shown in maritime blue, is dyed by hand with natural organic dyestuff derived from roots, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Lined in an organic cotton stripe, it’s then topped with extra large coconut buttons to complete the double-breasted look. Even the hangtags are printed on recycled cardboard and printed with soy based inks, not to mention it’s shipped in biodegradable packing made from corn. Peligrosa, 213/291-1536, or go to www.greenloop.com.
For local artists Mark Kirk and Heather MacFarlane, the concept of a recycled light bulb was crystal clear. Created from a city street light, the Idea Light Bulb is rewired with UL issue electrical components and made into a new hanging pendant light for a look that’s so simple, it’s brilliant. UP/ Unique Products, 2038 Magazine St., 529-2441, or go to www.letsgetup.com.
The Write Direction
Mother Earth should thank Karen Kempf. The native New Orleanian, who has a background in design and a master’s degree in environmental studies, handcrafts cards, papers and journals from reused, recycled and sustainable materials. These customized thank-you notes made from onion skins and grocery bags are just one sample from the spunky collection of eco-friendly items that can really send a message. kk-nola, 905-5672, or go to www.kk-nola.com.
The Cutting Edge
Countertop panels made of bamboo—which is 16-percent harder than maple—offer a solid alternative to those made from precious and scarce hardwood trees. Totally Bamboo, creator of the original bamboo cutting board, has perfected the manufacture of the thick, stable plants that look gorgeous in a variety of grain and color combinations with matching inlay backsplash and edge trims. Totally Bamboo, 760/471-6600, or go to www.totallybamboo.com.
Experimental Eco-Design: Product, Architecture, Fashion (Roto Vision, $45)
In her book Experimental Eco-Design, Cara Brower proves that “eco-design” doesn’t have to be dull by featuring a collection of innovative product, graphic and fashion designs from some of the world’s leading designers. Ezio Manzini (Italy), Ed Van Hinte (the Netherlands), Tom Dixon (UK) and Jan Dranger (Sweden) are among those who share remarkable information about the materials, methods and processes behind their projects, while providing visual inspiration for innovative design. The book also serves as an extensive directory of sources of materials, manufacturers, design studios, and organizations that encourage green design.