Graham and Brown

So… did you resolve to change any of your ways for this Earth Day?  If you are a skeptic of global warming, just do it for you and your family.  It’s the little things like swapping out harsh cleaners for non-toxics that provide for a safer environment.  Some things my family is doing to reduce, reuse and recycle: composting, freecycling, and reusing our beer bottles for the hubby’s home brew (ok ok, totally saves trips to the dump and $).  I also pledge to shop at Todd Farm a LOT this summer, ha!  A resolution for me, and the earth.

Anyways, onto some more product talk.  I’m loving the comeback of wallpaper but I also think we should consider the environmental impacts when making selections. Common sense tells you that the process of turning wood into a perfect and decorative piece of paper is not energy or chemical free.  The basic ingredients are wood, water, and energy – that is why recycling your paper is good!!!  Even though recycling uses water, energy, and chemicals (consider bleach required to get you your white paper), it uses a great deal less.  You really do save a tree.  and water pollution.  and energy.  and air pollution.  and landfill space….

paper mill

Look for wallpapers printed with water-based inks on recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper, natural wall coverings made of rapidly renewable materials such as grasscloth and bamboo, and vintage papers produced before the advent of vinyl.   Stay clear of PVC-coated products, which are chemical cocktails for your home.

I love Graham and Brown wallpapers – they are fun, fresh and creative with bright patterns like this one by Amy Butler..

lacework was selected as an Honoree for Interior Design's Best of Year Award

or their paintables, which give texture and creativity to any space.

paintables

for subtle drama, paint paintables white to allow the pattern to take center stage

Even better, Graham & Brown has embraced the environment through their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives which originated long ago.

Graham & Brown’s manufacturing process incorporates efficiency by:

*printing on paper from responsibly managed resources – meaning for every 1 tree that is chopped down, 3 are planted

*using vegetable oil in the hydraulics of their tractors so they do not contaminate forest floors

*burning off pollutants in an incinerator so that emissions leaving the factory are clean; this energy is recycled to heat ovens in the production process

*separating production waste so cardboard and paper could be re-pulped and white spirits (chemicals) are recovered from liquid waste

*their distribution center incorporates manages drainage to prevent flash flooding of the nearby river (water use), and natural light is used throughout the warehouse facility with a series of occupancy sensors to manage and reduce the energy used

The Eco Collection follows a four-month collaboration with Central St. Martins, one of the country’s leading design colleges.  The designs featured in the collection are inspired by environmental issues to playfully inspire a lower carbon footprint amongst consumers.  These papers are decorated with water based inks – meaning totally VOC and solvent free, and the packaging is made from corn so it is completely compostable – no tape or plastics.  Here are some of my favorites.

traditional birdcage mixed with modern idiosyncrasies of human urban architectural influences

bittern feather illustrates the Bittern, a bird that lives in reed beds - with rising sea levels due to global warming they are under serious threat

peony illustrates vibrancy that can be found in nature

summer shows that its uncomplicated charm is on a par with that of a summers day, when life need only be simple and laid back

Graham & Brown was founded in the UK, but has since open locations globally including the US, Canada, Russia, Holland, France, Poland and China.   Having these central locations allows the company to truly understand the local design markets.

Check out Centsational Girl’s blog post on wallpaper for info on more sources, here.  Also look for homemade wallpaper paste recipes found all over the internet.  Have you ever made one?  Share with us!

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