Articles by Linda

Student Career Talk 2007

How we relate to the natural world as a culture or a society, is how we relate to the natural world as individuals. From work to recreation to buying habits, everything we do is noted by Madison Ave. and Wall Street. We may not think of ourselves as powerful, we may, in fact, see ourselves as invisible, as in what can I, one person, do about just about anything? We worry about job security, as in, what job security? High prices at the gas stations and SUV’s, am I driving one and what the heck else am I going to drive that fits family, friends, and products? Auto Industry, Hop To it! Come up with something! We’re so pressed for time; we eat Take Out, serving food which is usually filled with more fat then nourishment. We have really become a Fast Food Nation, creating a multi billion dollar industry around just that.... our sped up lives. And on top of it, Global Warming is upon us and now what? Yes, yes, quite complex.

We relate to everything in the natural world first, as individuals. Individuals form, with other individuals, society, which the dictionary defines as a highly structured system of human organization for large-scale community living that normally furnishes protection, continuity, security, and a national identity for its members: This is the foundation of American society. And culture? In terms of Anthropology, it is the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.

So today, on March 3, Full Moon, 2007, members of our mixed generations we Global Citizens, are talking today, you and me, about the very web of our life here and now, and how we, you and me, are a few of the billions of us humans, endeavoring to come up with solutions to protect, nurture, and regenerate our home, our planet Earth and all life upon it. Because we humans, you and I, are a strand in the web of life. One thread is pulled out of the web, and the whole web begins to unravel.

David Bohm says: “At present, people create barriers between each other by their fragmentary thought. Each one operates separately. When these barriers have dissolved, then there arises one mind, where they are all one unit, but each person also retains his or her own individual awareness. That one mind will still exist even when they separate, and when they come together, it will be as if they hadn't separated. It's actually a single intelligence that works with people who are moving in relationship with one another. . . . If you had a number of people who really pulled together and worked together in this way, it would be remarkable. They would stand out so much that everyone would know they were different."
~ David Bohm (physicist, philosopher, & mystic)

And, oh, how that applies to you. They would stand out so much that everyone would know they were different.” Music to an artist’s ears, no? Oh, who love beauty and order, or minimally, controlled chaos, have chosen the fields of architecture and design, and their associated disciplines, to support and express yourselves. You signed up for this talk, to stay ahead of the wave by hearing about Products that are healthy for our planet and for your home. This we will cover.

Following Your Dollar is included in this presentation I’d like to talk about now...

You have more purchasing power than you realize. You just have to know what questions to ask.

Let’s start with “big picture” thinking and question some of our core assumptions, like – “green living costs more”, which we’ll discover, it’s just the opposite.

According to Daniel Pink: “Green design is emerging as a source of competitive advantage, both residentially and commercially. He’s right, because Companies which put sustainability at the heart of what they do and why they do it, are growing stronger each year. They have transparency. An example of this is the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).
Wood Products with a 100% FSC label come from forests certified as being in compliance with the environmental and social standards of the Forest Stewardship Council. This label assures the purchaser that the laborers who produced these products, here, or in far away places, were paid a fair
wage... and there is social justice... meaning the local social structure isn’t being brutalized. Sealers used to preserve these materials (such as aluminum oxide) don’t contribute or detract from our healthy indoor air quality. They don’t off gas. Researchers have documented that indoor air pollutants can cause significant health problems, and are associated with high medical, productivity and other economic costs. We’re also told where in the world, the wood, for cabinetry and flooring comes from, assuring us that the wood products we’re specifying aren’t coming out of clear cut or badly managed forests. Now THIS sort of labeling gains consumer confidence!

Then how about that “away”, as in throwing stuff “away”. Where is that away? That was my burning question a few years ago, when the re-modeling projects I was working on were underway, and I saw what was being taken to the dump; cabinets and countertops, plumbing, flooring, wiring, roofing, being dismantled and thrown away. I began to question where, when something is being thrown away, where “away” was.
I always got a queasy feeling when I wondered where this “away” was. Where does our garbage go? And how far was I willing to go to answer that question, and lastly, what was I, (unwittingly) contributing to? And, what, exactly was I paying for? I learned that the average American throws away a staggering 4.5 pounds of rubbish daily – that’s 1,600 pounds per year, and there’s six times more plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean than plankton.
Plastics recycling only minimally reduces the amount of virgin resources (Petroleum) used to make plastics.
Recycled plastic is a small percentage of what is manufactured and the amount is actually decreasing!
Even those active in administering recycling programs have come to recognize that plastics consumption is actually encouraged by recycling!
Plastic is swallowing landfill space, increasing air pollution, and destroying the ozone layer.
It was when I asked that question, “What was I paying for?” that I made my decision. I wanted to trace my dollar. With that, I had to start with myself. What could I live with? What was I bringing to the table in partnership with others of my species? And finally, What causes change? What can I do to help bring about change, to find workable solutions to every day problems? What a difference a change of belief can make.
I started believing that I could be part of the change. I went to work at Green Fusion Design Center, a huge resource retail showroom for eco friendly products and services. Now I could really have conversation with like minded beings

Following your dollar is not a privilege; by the way, it’s a right. This is purchasing power at its best. You have more purchasing power than you realize. You just have to know what questions to ask.
You need to know, before hand, whether the products you are purchasing are going to end up eventually in a toxic waste dump or land fill, or can be re-constructed and put to other uses within the community, such as retrofitting buildings or creating interiors. How about re-building storm demolished areas of this country? As I said, you have the right to know that NOT loving green costs more than we ever imagined. Knowledge is power.

Before we look at the Power Point presentation, I’m going to give you the dictionary meaning of the word Sustainability, the hot new buzzword.
Sustainability means to keep in existence, maintain, and provide for.

There’s another word moving into the center of the ring.

It’s called Re-generation, which means:
To re-create, reconstitute, or make over, esp. in a better form or condition and to renew or restore a lost, removed, or injured part.

Regenerative design integrates living systems and built environments to create adaptive, self-renewing systems. The college of Marin’s Center for Regenerative Design is a collaborative team, envisioning and implementing a green campus and curriculum. Their Regeneration Plan includes the 10 systems that form a sustainable campus. These 10 systems are applicable to commercial buildings and residential homes.

Energy, Water, Built Environment...., Material Resources and Waste Re-use.... Food, Land Regeneration, Transportation, Health and Well-Being, Academics and Culture, and Community. In the non-profit and commercial sectors CRD develops sustainability education opportunities through internships and education programs. CRD acts as the education bridge with the County of Marin in its efforts to educate the community as it implements the sustainability themes of its countywide plan.

Many people, some who have produced the materials I am going to show you, have formed companies, or re-built companies, formulas and business practices in order to contribute to the welfare of the planet and all its inhabitants.

Almost all carpet is made from petroleum byproducts and synthetics such as polypropylene, nylon and acrylic. In addition, it’s usually treated with stain or soil repellents. The backing could be made from vinyl or synthetic latex. Padding can also contain PVC, urethane, and other suspect materials. Added to that are the anti static sprays, artificial dyes, and anti microbial treatments. Enter Ray Anderson, the president of Interface Floors, who turned his company, Interface Carpet into a role model of the carpet world. Interface has developed a line of stylish and modular carpet tiles called Flor. They are also known for their outstanding social and environmentally-responsible efforts. In honor of their contribution, they are the recipient of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) "Energy Partner of the Year" award for their work to convert methane from a local landfill into renewable energy. David Hobbs, president of Interface Flooring Systems, is proud of their efforts: “By capturing the methane component of the landfill gas (LFG), using it to displace our use of natural gas and converting the excess to carbon dioxide via a flare, the global warming effects of this landfill are greatly reduced. Local businesses, including Interface, have access to a renewable fuel source and the City of LaGrange has realized a new revenue stream through the sale of the LFG.

Nature’s Carpet 100% wool carpet with jute backing stocked in Vancouver, Canada. Nature's Carpet is a line of beautiful high-quality Berber and cut-pile wool carpets made without synthetic styrene butadiene latex rubber glue, heavy metal dyes or moth-proofing pesticides. These carpets are ideal for those with allergies, with chemical sensitivities, with younger children or for those with a strong interest in environmentally sound carpet.

Earthweave 100% wool carpet with hemp/cotton and jute backing and natural latex as an adhesive, made in Georgia, USA. These carpets are ideal for those with allergies, with chemical sensitivities, with younger children or for those with a strong interest in environmentally sound carpet and supporting American manufacturing

Linoleum is made with natural raw materials, linseed oil, jute, limestone powder, pine rosins, and natural pigments.
It has no adverse health issues whatsoever, either during production, it’s useful life, or disposal and is made with natural materials and installed with solvent free adhesives, there are no harmful VOC’s being emitted. It comes in sheets over 6’ wide and tiles minimally from 12”x12” to 20”X20”.

The Cork flooring is actually a recycled by-product of cork bottle stopper manufacture and there is no shortage of supply. This ground up by product is densified three times with steam and pressure to make flooring tiles (12”x12”) and plank (12”x36”) wear layers and then 3-5 coats of long lasting acrylic (planks) or plant based curable oil (tiles) is applied. The resulting flooring surface is tough and more easily repaired than vinyl or wood. It is also naturally water-repellent (remember cork floats!)

When it comes to the environment, cork and bamboo are a perfect combination. Both are renewable, are harvested with no harm to their natural habitat, and produce materials that promote a healthy human environment. Bamboo is a reliable flooring product, but only if it is made well by an experienced manufacturer using quality stalks, adhesives, and milling equipment. The Bamboo flooring market has been flooded in recent years with poorly manufactured material.
Many Bamboo flooring mills purchase immature Bamboo stalks, and do not take the time and care required to dry the raw Bamboo properly. The best mills use only top-quality mature stalks, and then painstakingly process the Bamboo with methods proven through years of research and experience. Careful oversight throughout the process ensures optimum performance. Look for bamboo flooring made from bamboo plantations -- not from wild habitats. Addressing the embodied energy issue, the method of transport—typically 3000 40-foot containers carried from China to both the east and west U.S. coasts on a single cargo ship—is the most efficient means of transport available. Moving product from domestic farms to factories and end users by more energy intensive trucks and rail wouldn’t be all that much different.

Fireclay Tile is currently manufacturing a terra cotta tile containing 50% post-consumer and post-industrial recycled materials. During the last ten years we have worked to incorporate many different post-industrial recycled products into our clay body in order to reduce landfill. We have used granite dust from sandblasted electronic parts, recycled glass, and for a short while, yeast cakes from a large brewer.
The terra cotta body has a warm red-brown hue and a slightly gritty texture when left unglazed.. The glazed tiles are available in 44 standard colors in 2x2, 3x6, 4x4, and 6x6, with surface bullnose, quarter rounds, cove base and sink caps also available. The terra cotta body is made up of 50% recycled materials which include granite dust, recycled brown and green glass bottles, and windowpanes.
Over 200 colors and many molding and decorative tiles are available on a special order basis.
IceStone® surfaces are not "solid surfaces" which are typically petrochemical or polyester-resin based; IceStone LLC does not use petroleum-based materials in the manufacture of IceStone surfaces.

Recycled Content
IceStone durable surfaces are made with 100% recycled glass. The Mother of Pearl chips used in IceStone surfaces are sustainably harvested and also post-industrial recycled product.
Indoor Air Quality and VOC's
IceStone surfaces are VOC-free and therefore do not off-gas any VOC's. In addition, in our Installation and Maintenance Guidelines, we recommend low-VOC sealants and adhesives.
Manufactured Locally
All IceStone surfaces are manufactured in our day-lit facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Third Party Certifications
Cradle to Cradle™ SILVER Certification was recently awarded to IceStone durable surfaces. IceStone surfaces are also NSF certified. The Mother of Pearl used in IceStone surfaces is certified sustainably harvested by the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association.
End of Life
IceStone surfaces are very durable and have an extremely long life cycle. They can be cut into tiles, exterior garden stones, smaller countertops or vanities.
Design without Compromise
At IceStone, we are committed to creating surfaces that are both beautiful and sustainable. IceStone surfaces offer cutting-edge design and environmental results. At IceStone, we manufacture our products with recycled glass, diverting hundreds of tons of glass from landfills each year. We operate out of a renovated, day-lit factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, creating U.S. jobs for workers in an eco-friendly, safe and respectful environment.
Eco-Cem™ is an eco-friendly material made of cement strengthened with cellulose Fibers. An attractive feature, Eco-Cem™ showcases a contemporary look, yet maintains the warm feeling of wood. This material is extremely versatile and may be installed as flooring, cladding, furniture or countertops. Sustainable slabs and tiles made of compound silicon-calcium cement (80%) strengthened with cellulose fibers (20% wood pulp) 15% post consumer (newspaper) and 5% post industrial (fly ash) recycled content.
Soapstone tiles are a natural choice for covering not only floors and walls, but also for stairs, porches and saunas. The stones don’t echo sound, stand up well to temperature changes, and they don’t absorb water in moist areas. The stone’s surface is not slippery, even when wet, and its soft touch feels good beneath bare feet. Thanks to its heat retaining properties, soapstone is the unrivalled choice for rooms with underfloor heating.
Curbside glass collection in Berkeley was how this company began under the name Counterproduction. They have undergone a change of ownership and location (they are now located in Richmond, CA), and they have totally upgraded their machinery. There is more than 85% recycled content in their recycled glass slabs.

Richlite Company is a premiere manufacturer of paper-based fiber composites used for a variety of architectural, food service, recreational and industrial applications. All Richlite® materials are manufactured out of environmentally sustainable resources harvested from certified managed forests in North America. It’s made from environmentally sustainable resources and is an attractive, durable, long-lasting material that complements a variety of design tastes. Richlite is tough enough for skateparks, airplanes, boats and your home.
Soapstone tiles are a natural choice for covering not only floors and walls, but also for stairs, porches and saunas. The stones don’t echo sound, stand up well to temperature changes, and they don’t absorb water in moist areas. The stone’s surface is not slippery, even when wet, and its soft touch feels good beneath bare feet. Thanks to its heat retaining properties, soapstone is the unrivalled choice for rooms with underfloor heating.
Bedding, mattresses, pajamas, made of materials which don’t breathe, end up costing us dearly. Our bodies rejuvenate and heal at night while we sleep. This natural process is imperative to our health. We stifle this process and sweat in our beds, tossing and turning, breathing toxic fumes, for 1/3 of our lives. We develop respiratory problems and allergies and we don’t know why. Indoor air quality in the bedroom is key to a good night sleep.Your bed is the one place oin which you place your entire body, from head to toe. You are literally breathing in your bed. No other piece of furniture is this intimate. You need to rest and breathe.
What is a natural bedding product?
Sheets –
Organically grown cotton is untreated 100% natural cotton fibers which breathe. Most 100% cotton sheets are treated with formaldehyde which blocks your skin from breathing as you sleep.. Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides. Cotton is one of the biggest perpetrators of ground water poisoning because of the quantity of pesticides used to grow it. Up to 7 pounds of toxic chemicals are used to produce 1 pound of conventional cotton. Natural cotton is not a legal description and uses pesticides and toxic chemical processing.
Choose organic cotton sheets which are dyed with natural dyes containing no herbicides, pesticides, carcinogens, volatiles or semi-volatiles.. This is also true for silk.
Natural Wool Comforters
The Natural wool program begins by following organic agricultural practices: No pesticides on the pasture, no chemicals in the animal feed. Natural wool is sheared from healthy living sheep, and is free of toxic chemicals and bleaching agents which can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Natural wool is instead taken to a scouring mill where it is soaked in hot water, then washed with a safe, biodegradable detergent, and rinsed in hot water, baled, then shipped to a carding mill where the wool fibers are mechanically combed into smooth batts.
A natural wool comforter helps to regulate body temperature. Wool’s unique fiber structure wicks away moisture (The average sleeper gives off a pint of water vapor during an eight-hour sleep) reduces the heart rate, insulates against heat and cold, resists flame, is mildew and mite resistant, and maintains resilience. Bedouin desert tribes wrap themselves in wool to shield themselves from high temperatures.
Wool batting does not shift, maintaining an even layer of wool-fill with no cold spots. Wool comforter weights range from Tropical to Winter.
A natural mattress breathes. It does not contain polyurethane, a petroleum based product. Traditional bedding contains synthetic materials such as formaldehyde and arsenic. The off gassing from these beds lasts for years, and has been known to create health problems such as asthma, sore backs, and chemical sensitivity, which reduce the quality of a good night’s sleep. Rather than soak a mattress in fire retardant, a layer of natural wool is placed between the core of the mattress and the mattress cover. This use of wool passes California fire law TB603. Since you spend 100 days a year in your bed, this is a piece of furniture to be chosen with great consideration.

Non Inner Spring
Natural rubber or latex is durable, elastic, flexible, stable, absorbent, and resistant to mold mildew and dust mites. Natural Rubber Mattresses provide excellent support in any sleeping position. Natural Rubber Mattresses also absorb approximately 85% of normal sleeping movements to guarantee an undisturbed nights sleep
Bonnell innersprings start with tempered steel for longevity. A variety of support and firmness is available. Individually wrapped coils reduce transference of movement to a second sleeping person.
Pillows are designed for side sleeping (extra fill) back sleeping (medium fill) stomach sleeping (light fill). Material choices are latex, cotton, wool, buckwheat hulls, all in organic cotton casing.
Bed Frames
Woods which have been sustainably forested and finished with linseed oil or tung oil, or completely natural, are available in many styles at very reasonable prices.

Paints & Finishes
American Formulating and Manufacturing (AFM) has received The Indoor
Advantage™ Gold certification for its Safecoat primers and paints, Safecoat
Polyureseal BP, Acrylacq, Acriglaze, Mexeseal and Durostain.
Indoor Advantage™ certification is administered by SCS (Scientific Certification
Systems) of Emeryville. CA. The certification relies on data collected through
small chamber testing, which allows manufacturers to examine a product’s individual
components. Indoor Advantage™ Gold meets USGBC LEED criteria for
EQ4.5, EQ4.1, and EQ4.2, as well as standards for California 01350 and the
Collaborative for High Performance Schools.
The Indoor Advantage™ Gold program has the added benefit of being healthdriven;

SCS Indoor Advantage Gold Safecoat products can help achieve the most
stringent indoor air quality objectives in North America.
Other companies have introduced “no odor” or 0 VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, but none have been formulated with a view toward human health and the elimination of toxicity. These “environmental” paints can have toxic ingredients exempt from government regulations. The fact that something has no VOC does not mean that it does not contain ingredients which are toxic (for example formaldehyde, ammonia, acetone or odor masking agents) or that it is free from offgassing. If it contains masking agents, then that’s just another unnecessary chemical that is hiding whatever affects may be occurring from whatever’s coming off the paint. We frequently receive letters and calls from customers who have used some other company’s O VOC paint and still can’t tolerate being in the room, because there is something coming off it to which they are sensitive. On the other hand, 99.9% of those using Safecoat tolerate it without any adverse effects when properly applied and cured.

Does tinting Safecoat paint make it less safe?
Adding small amounts of colorant to Safecoat paint does not compromise its safety. In addition, we supply many of our dealers with zero voc colorants. Please consult your dealer for details.
Is there formaldehyde in your products?
No. But formaldehyde is in many products because it is very inexpensive and it works extremely well as a preservative. In addition, many products contain ingredients which create formaldehyde as they are being used. We go to great lengths to make sure that neither formaldehyde nor such formaldehyde precursors are used in our manufacturing processes.
This is just a basic standard we set for health and safety
Poster-size color swatch: If you have a pretty good idea about what color you want, and want to see what that color is really going to look like in your space, the poster-size swatch with real paint is ideal. It's repositionable tape lets you move the large swatch around the room or house so you can see what the color is like in different light, or in different spaces
YOLO Colorhouse® 0 VOC paints and primer are certified by Green Seal®, an independent non-profit setting standards for environmentally responsible products. Green Seal® certification is based on VOC content, the absence of chemicals, (see durability, performance and manufacturing practices. Green Seal® certification automatically qualifies YOLO Colorhouse® for LEED certified projects

Green planet paint

Green Planet Paints® is dedicated to bringing you the best quality natural paint available. We do this simply with fewer than a dozen ingredients including water, marble, porcelain clay, clay and mineral pigments, and a soy-based resin. Our paints are zero VOC, making them a positive choice for all of us, and in particular pregnant women, parents of small children, and people with allergies or asthma. Our paint is produced responsibly to minimize harm to our environment during manufacture, use, and disposal

Colors that vibrate with life, bringing the beauty of the landscape indoors.
Clay-based pigments developed by the Mayan Indians over 1,000 years ago are the secret to our rich palette.
Made by hand, these paints reflect a commitment to high-quality, low-impact, small-scale production. Our paints are zero-VOC, smelling of soy resin.
The old bottom line was about money.
The new bottom line is about doing the right thing.
There is no reason why we can’t make money while doing the right thing.


© Copyright 2007-2017 Linda Delair