How green is IKEA?  Last time I went to IKEA, I bought a giant bag of swedish meatballs and sauce.  I cooked them at home and they were delicious - for some weird reason I could not stop eating them. Hm, I thought.  I looked at the ingredients on the bag of sauce and it read: monosodium glutamate.  I was surprised that IKEA, a big swedish company would use MSG in their meatballs. Do they have MSG meatballs in all IKEA stores or just U.S? Maybe they think MSG is good for you?
I remembered that when I was buying meatballs in IKEAnext to them I saw big containers full of bright yellow and blue reusable IKEA bags. IKEA stopped using plastic bags but instead you can buy IKEA’s big reusable plastic bag for $59c. Lots of IKEA furniture is made from natural, untreated wood, free of phtahaltes, lead; their kitchen furniture is free of formaldehyde. IKEA supports the use of environmentally friendly, sustainable and recycled materials as well.

November 30, 2008


seattle google maps


Google maps now has a better resolution thanks to Google’s partnership between a commercial satellite imaging provider and the department of defense.
The new hardware of Geoeye satellite is a significant improvement over previous generations in resolution of the images. I suppose now they also have a better photo camera that takes pictures for street view. 



Green Screens is an electronic recycling event all over NYC boroughs.  Green Screens: “As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, more and more consumers are looking to replace their outdated equipment with new, energy-efficient products. However, with technology constituting an estimated 87.5 percent of landfill toxic waste, it is vital for consumers to understand the importance of recycling technology in an environmentally responsible manner”

November 28, 2008



little prince, design squish blog

It is nice to stay inside on a cold winter weekend, wrap yourself in blankets and read some books…on the internet.  Google Books allows online access to public-domain works, books and other out-of-copyright material to be downloaded in PDF format. Google is scanning more than 3,000 books per day. Of the 7 million books scanned, 1 million are “full view”, 1 million are in the public domain / limited preview, and the remaining 5 million are no longer in print or commercially available.


design squish blog, spicy dill pickle vodka

I wanted to check my yahoo e-mail and stumbled upon yahoo top ten green do-it-youself suggestions.  They are really fun. They include:  Gardening gift certificate, paper gifts made from junk mail, homemade infused vodka, homemade IPhone case, tickets to a local event and a subscription to Ready Made Magazine. My favorite is homemade infused vodka.  Here is a recipe from yahoo:  Find organic fruit, herbs, spices, or peppers at the farmers market (or your garden) and soak them a bottle of vodka (organic also, if possible). In two weeks or less, you’ll have a flavored treat for holiday cocktail parties. *
*(My own addition to the recipe:  You can also infuse vodka with pepper, horseradish and even pickle.  There are a lot of different ways to infuse vodka in Russian tradition. I am definitely drinking homemade spicy dill pickle infused vodka for the holiday!)
Recipe for Spicy Dill Pickle Vodka:
1 bottle of vodka
2 cucumbers
1 jalapeno pepper
6 cloves of garlic
sprigs of fresh dill


pillow, vintage fabric, handkerchief pillow, portrait pillow

This pillow is made out of vintage cotton handkerchiefs.  I found it on Etsy and it is by an artist and designer Flyingrhymes. Have you ever wondered why nobody uses colorful handkerchiefs anymore?  When I was growing up in Russia there was no Kleenex.  I don’t know whether it was better or worse. 

November 25, 2008


EV, LEV, ELECTRIC CAR, sustainable car,

This is the most stylish EV I’ve seen! This car is called Myers Motors NmG (NmG stands for “No more Gas,” haha.  It gets 30 miles to the charge and goes over 70 mph. sadly, you will have to charge batteries for 3-5 hours and it costs twenty five thousand dollars.


fabric scraps toys, artsy williamsburg hipster, recycle old t-shirts

Dan of Kreepy Doll Factory have been making dolls out of old t-shirts and fabric scraps.  Every doll is unique.
The one on the left is the Night Man - “Living shadow found roaming in the dark of night” . One on the right is the Flying Red Hot Dog - “Mysterious winged weiner seen in the skies over downtown”. haha.

November 23, 2008


redesign chairs, old furniture,great way to restore old chairs Great way to restore old chairs!
&MADE is one of the UKs freshest consultancies for ethically conscious contemporary design. Located in a former mid 20th Century doss house overlooking a tributary of the River Thames, they have grown from their birth in 2005 into an award winning studio, working in product, furniture and spatial design. With an extensive knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes and a background of new technologies and engineering , &made demonstrate a unique creative process, with a commitment to conscious design. One that has been recognised by the Design Museum, MoMA and Terrence Conran.


algae fuel cells

Algae fuel is a biofuel from algae. Algae can produce more oil in an area the size of a two-car garage than a football field of soybeans.  Algal fuel does not impact fresh water resources, and can use wastewater or even saltwater.  With increasing oil prices, competing demands between foods and other biofuel sources and the food crisis, there is much interest in farming algae.  (Bill Gates already invested, how about you ? ) The United States Department of Energy states that if algae fuel replaced all the petroleum fuel in the United States, it would require 15,000 square miles (40,000 square kilometers), which is a few thousand square miles larger than Maryland, or 1.3 Belgiums. This is less than 1/7th the area of corn harvested in the United States in 2000.

November 21, 2008


american persimmonplant american persimmon

  The Persimmon originated in China and is cultivated in different parts of the world.  It turns out that the American Persimmon variety s native to the eastern United States.  Apparently it grows from New England to Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The tree has been cultivated for its fruit and wood since prehistoric times by Native Americans, although American Persimmon is still fairly common wild in some areas. Although, in many regions the species is becoming scarce these days.  NatureServe lists Diospyros virginiana (American Persimmon) as Critically-Imperiled in Connecticut and Iowa, and Imperiled in New York. Officially the species is listed as Threatened in New Jersey and of Special Concern in Connecticut.
See distribution map.
I suggest planting a persimmon tree. 

November 20, 2008


vertical planter, rain drain system

The “vertical planter” is a re-designed drain system where rainwater gets captured in the upturned branches. All kinds of moss and grass seeds will eventually sprout in the upturned branches - planters and make the city even more green.  In Seattle, where it rains a lot, this idea is very compelling.


charley harper, bird in the snow

Isn’t it amazing how everybody can send greeting cards through internet nowadays?  This artwork is by CHARLEY HARPER.  Happy fall and winter season!

- Ana

November 19, 2008



I love going on flickr and finding photographs of places I want to visit or move to and then marking them favorite. 
To view my favorites go to:

- Ana


refired plates, reglazed ceramics, treehugger

Brooklyn-based designer Sarah Cihat scours garage sales and thrift shops, looking for ceramics that she can give a second life to. She takes the discarded dishware and reglazes it, turning old and frumpy cast-offs into fun, funky, artful dishes. Fond of the silhouette, most of her work features animals, people and things like anchors and skull-n-crossbones in colorful contrast the ceramics’ new glaze; says the designer, “Each piece represents a rejection of more brand new products filling shelves and storage closets. Rehabilitated Dishware is a subtle statement of the importance of recycling and the renewed value of unwanted things.” - from Treehugger

November 18, 2008


hippie manifesto

This magazine was found on garage sale.  This issue is special because it is a manifesto of this magazine.  It tells you issue by issue about how to “Get out of the City and Back to the Land”  .  The topics include: laying out a homestead, building a small barn, fish pond in the backyard, buying a place in the country as well as “Part-time Farm Pays for Itself”, “A Good Garden with Less Work”, “Earning Money in the country” and “Dwarfing Fruit Trees and Berries”.


moss as home plantimage

This is a large terranium that has slow growing moss and tiny ceramic mushrooms in it. The mushrooms are crafted by Mudpuppy. These mushrooms are adorable!
  Terranium requires very little care, just leave it in a room with bright indirect sunlight. Water every 2-3 weeks and whatever you do don’t over water! This little jar will take care of itself. - MadebyMavis  I never thought of growing moss as an inside plant but now that I think of it is a great idea. I love moss.  It is nice to find large flat beds of moss on the forest floor and take a nap on.  I heard you can put moss in the freezer and nothing will happen to it - you can replant it whenever you want.


reuse broken umbrella, umbrella bag, recycle umbrellas

Have you ever felt bad for the numerous broken umbrellas during the storm? You do not have to anymore!
They all can be turned into a bag! Yes Yes.

taken from FIFTYRX3, a blog about style and sustainability by Jill Danyelle.
(“fiftyRX3 was a project in style and sustainability. It consisted of a photo documentary of what Jill Danyelle wore everyday for a year with a goal of averaging fifty percent sustainability based on the environmental mantra ‘reuse, reduce, recycle’. There was also exploration into the relationship we have with our clothing and how others perceive who we are through what we wear.)

November 17, 2008



Cog and Pearl in Park Slope, Brooklyn carries these wallets made from recycled old leather jackets. Each wallet is one of a kind but made from black leather only. In Cog and Pearl you can find plenty of handmade items including jewelry, personal and home accessories, apparel, fine art as well as books, cards and “the occasional uncategorizable but gotta-have-it thing”



Vancouver based designer Ashley Watson handcrafts her one-of-a-kind leather products using exclusively recycled material. She began designing handbags with recycled leather in early 2005, inspired by the original features of jackets purchased from charity thrift stores. She ultimately incorporates these features, such as pockets and seams, into each unique bag or wallet design.

With an extensive background in studio art, Ashley brings an innovative and environmentally sound approach to fashion design, creating products that are practical, sophisticated, and, above all, distinctive.

A native of British Columbia, Ashley holds a degree in Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. After studying fashion design in Vancouver, Ashley interned at Libertine in New York City. Upon her return to Vancouver, she worked as a jewelry designer before founding Ashley Watson Recycled Leather in 2006.

Ashley Watson Recycled Leather bags and wallets are now sold online and in stores across North America, and will soon be available in select stores in Europe. 



I love the Rebecca and Drew new website and sustainability mission.
You can reuse this bag as many times you want as well as draw your own design on it and fill in the words in the statement!


imageParking Daysustainable flatbush

How hard is it to organize a community garden, promote energy efficiency and make a city to place benches alongside your main neighborhood street?  Really hard.  SUSTAINABLE FLATBUSH is an organization based in Flatbush area of Brooklyn that emerged from neighbors desiring changes.  It has been responsible for such projects as a Parking Day, Flatbush Community Garden and Flatbush Electronics Recycling. 

November 10, 2008


contemporary bird feeder, designer birdfeederplanter, hanging planter basket

Me and Paul have been fond of PERCH bird feeder and planter that are made of white earthenware. 
P.S (Their website is so cute!!)