The Green Scene
October, 2008 - Issue #48
Environmental savvy used to seem like a trendy lifestyle choice. Now, it's a necessary characteristic that, thankfully, is becoming more accessible to the rest of us.

In our new Inside SCV Magazine feature, "The Green Scene," we'll introduce you to products and services that will help make a real difference - locally and globally - to the health and survival of humanity.

Recycled Synthetic Grass Means more Green in your Wallet, and your Lawn
Whoever said that synthetic grass wasn't really "green" never experienced So-Real Green. Made in part from post-consumer recycled content (think soft drink and water bottles), the backing of the "lawn" is most ingenious. By replacing over 90 percent of traditionally-used petroleum-based polymers with bio-based polymers derived from domestically-grown and renewable soybeans, the company also helps improve air quality (soy bean plants gobble CO2 out of the atmosphere). The result is a gorgeous, natural-looking lawn that's always green, never requires watering (a huge environmental boost in itself) and pays for itself in reduced resources and maintenance in about 3.3 years on average. Available through, a division of
SoCal Sports 805-497-7302.

Glass Jars, now on your Countertop, may Reincarnate to be your Countertop
When we heard that a local company was pitching Urbanslabs- countertops made from 60 percent recycled glass and concrete- we were intrigued, but wanted to know more. Specifically, how would this new product stand up to Santa Clarita's favorite keep-up-with-the-Jones status symbol: granite? We shouldn't have been concerned. Urbanslabs are fabricated like granite, boast the same or better on luster and durability, but are so unique that they just might be the new pinnacle of kitchen and bath improvements. What makes them particularly grand for cookie-cutter homes that want to feel custom is the product's versatility. Available in every color of the rainbow, it's also easy to add decorative accents, patterns and emblems. Available at Advantage Tile Stone Design Warehouse 295-9819.

Travel Down the "Yellow-labeled" Road when Seeking Energy-efficient Appliances
When looking for new appliances, searching for the most energy-efficient models is a must. Most new appliances come with a yellow EnergyGuide label, which shows consumption in terms of kWh per year. Of course, you should also look for Energy Star-qualified products. But if you are really in the market for appliances that combine superior performance with endangered-species-loving environmental responsibility, check out the lines from Sub-Zero and Wolf. All Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances are manufactured in the U.S., eliminating the significant environmental impact of internationally shipping materials and parts; and all scrap metal used in manufacturing is reused. One product in particular that stands out is the Sub-Zero Built-In 601RG; it features solid core doors that seal the appliance as much as possible, conserving energy and improving efficiency. The triple-pane UV-resistant low-energy glass door improves insulation, helping the 601RG use less energy than a 100-watt light bulb. Over 50 percent of the plastic used in the construction of the Built-In 601RG is recycled content. Available at Appliances Unlimited 255-0260.

That Old "Tear Down" makes for a Great Coffee Table
In the olden days (say, 2003), the scrap materials that remained from torn-down buildings usually ended up in a landfill. Today, that wood is often given a second chance at life in the version of a dining room table, entertainment center, curio cabinet or outdoor lounge chair. Reclaimed wood is quickly becoming a tres chic alternative to lumber made from newly-harvested trees. Part of the draw should be the environmental factor; who wouldn't want a piece of furniture with a remarkably small carbon footprint? But for most homedwellers, the real selling point is that the pieces look and feel "vintage" without the price tag. Local retailer Bella Venezia sells custom-made pieces that are manufactured locally, and there are plenty of samples on the floor so that you can get a real "feel" for the shapes, styles and finishes you'd like replicated in the reclaimed wood you'll soon call your own. Available at
Bella Venezia 254-2246.

Paint me Pure
Besides replacing its fleet with fuel-efficient Scions and establishing an in-house recycling policy, A.Allbright also boasts an extremely health-conscious alternative to VOC-laden paints. (For those of you out of the respiratory-ailment loop, VOC stands for "volatile organic compounds." They're nasty little elements that are super-ungood to inhale, especially for pregnant women, kids and anyone who prefers their air to be not-so-toxic. )The company has access to a locally-produced paint that uses the collagen in chicken eggs to produce the highest-rated, zero-VOC, "safe" paint. Available at A.Allbright Painting, Inc. 294-1159.

Eco-friendly Flooring
When it comes to home improvement products that "heart" the environment (and vice versa), carpet is rarely on the top of the list. Luckily, major industry improvements have made some new carpets a noticeably-greener choice. Take, for example, SmartStrand with DuPont Sorona. The renewably sourced polymer offers a combination of permanent built-in stain protection, superior durability and amazing comfort - and it's partially made with renewable resources. Available at Marty's Floor Covering, Inc. 252-2522.
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