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Hand-Crafted Recreational Vehicles

by Justin Thomas •

Tonke Campers are hand-built RVs that are now being sold in the Netherlands. The Campers are a distinct contrast to the mass-produced plastic RVs that are so common in this country (although the market for these RVs is actually plummeting). Tonke Campers are inspired by gypsy caravans, and the classic yachts created by Dutch boatbuilders in the 1920s.

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Optimal: European Toys

by Justin Thomas •

This post has been updated and expanded here: Classic European Toys. Toys that are well-designed and made with renewable materials are optimal. European toys often fit this description. This durable block set, for example, is made in Germany by Haba using solid, natural, untreated beech wood that is harvested from sustainable forests. Toys like this are known for their longevity …

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76-Acre CityCenter Project in Vegas Aims To Be Green

by Justin Thomas •

The MGM CityCenter is a $7 billion project under development on the Las Vegas Strip. The 76-acre complex is the largest green building project in the U.S. The designers actually hope to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for this project. But when the first hotel guests stream through the lobby of the 4,000-room resort at …

Bamboo Flatware Tray by Bambu

by Justin Thomas •

This attractive tray is made from 100% organically-grown bamboo, held together with non-toxic adhesive, and finished with natural, food-safe wood oil. It’s by Bambu, a company that is committed to environmental protection and fair labor practices in China. They also ensure worker health and safety measures, and fund third-party auditing. Available from Branch for $32. Found via productdose.

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Gorilla Glue: A Solvent-Free Glue

by Justin Thomas •

Gorilla Glue is a non-toxic, solvent-free polyurethane glue. Natural glues like white glues (e.g. Elmer’s glue) or mastic are optimal, but this glue is much less toxic than most. It works well on wood, but it’s not as specific as most wood adhesives. It bonds pretty well on metals, stone, ceramics, and many plastics. It is waterproof, meaning it doesn’t …

A Paint Stripper Made From Corn

by Justin Thomas •

Conventional paint strippers are usually very toxic substances that you’d be better off not bringing into your home. But one company, Green Products, has created a bio-based paint stripper and solvent called aMAIZEing.

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A Towel Made Out Beech Wood: The Millennium Towel

by Justin Thomas •

Bonjour of Switzerland has released a towel collection made from Micro Modal, a fiber made with 100% beech wood cellulose. Modal is softer than terry toweling and 50 percent more absorbent than cotton. It dries quicker too. Bonjour of Switzerland uses only environmentally friendly dyes in production. The towels range in price from $12 for a wash cloth to $65 …

Better Basics For The Home: Less Toxic Living

by Justin Thomas •

You can make household and personal care products at home. The mixtures you create will be healthier and of a higher quality than those found in stores. Once you have the right ingredients, mixing them up is quite straightforward. The book, Better Basics for the Home, offers more than 800 simple alternatives to toxic household products, covering everything from skin …

Efficient “Scando” Family Table

by Justin Thomas •

The design of this Scando Family Table was inspired by the combination of Japanese living and watching how children relate to the floor in their daily activities. Designer Eric Pfeiffer created a table that is well crafted and multi-functional. The design makes use of wood efficiently using a single sheet of molded plywood. It’s priced at $315. Available from ModernSeed.