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UGH! Am having the worst experience with mattress buying. There’s a great store in Northern California called Earthsake. We got one mattress from them in the past. But when we got a bigger frame, we tried again, and got the Tranquility mattress. As soon as we got it, we realized it had a very rubbery smell and it wasn’t “extra firm” as we had ordered.

We called Earthsake and they called the manufacturer, Vivetique. Their customer service is HORRIBLE. They promised to send us a replacement. 7 weeks and 2 phone calls later, supposedly the bed was “on the truck.”

THEN, yesterday (mind you we got this mattress in February or March), the bed started to have a strange smell. Today I removed the sheet to figure out what it was–guess what it was? MOLD! CRAZY! MOLD!!!!! I’ve never had a mattress mold!!!

Thank goodness, Earthsake is trying to help us. But seriously, folks, stay away from mattresses made by Vivetique!


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1. Appliances: Goodwill accepts working appliances, the Steel Recycling Institute does, too. Many stores will recycle your old appliances when you buy a new one. Plus, post it on Craigslist for free, and you’d be surprised how fast it gets gone!

2. Sneakers: One World Running sends reusable athletic shoes to athletes around the globe. Nike also has a program which turns shoes into flooring! Visit http://www.oneworldrunning.com and http://www.nikereuseashoe.com.

3. Batteries: Check out http://www.batteryrecycling.com.

4. Clothes: Goodwill, Dress for Success, local animal boarding and shelter facilities all need clothes donations.

5. CFL bulbs: Ikea recycles them. Your local hardward store may have a facility, too!

6. Computers and electronics: Visit http://www.ban.org/pledge/Locations.html.

7. Foam peanuts:  Call the Plastic Loose Fill Producers Council to find a site to drop them off: 1-800-828-2214. You can also call your local UPS Store or shipping store and they will probably take them off your hands.

8. Ink and Toner Cartridges: Many packages come with a preprinted envelope for return of the old cartridge. You can also visit http://www.recycleplace.com.

9. Motor Oil: Visit http://www.recycleoil.org.

10. Cell Phones: Visit http://www.donateaphone.com and http://www.collectivegood.com!

Thanks Green American for inspiration for the tips!

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I’ve been in so many multiple offer situations in the past few weeks. Buyers should be prepared to possibly be in competition. Is it the tax credit? Is it the economy turning around? Hard to tell–but I do know that with rates low and prices unchanged or better than 2 years ago, it seems like it’s the perfect storm!

Check out this Washington Post article:


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I just received my Angie’s List brochure, and saw this product which is 100% biodegradable, non-caustic and non-hazardous. It removed paint and urethane. So if you have a project requiring refinishing, this is the non-toxic way to do it! I’m so happy this product exists!

Here’s the link:


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Here’s a new article from GreenLivingOnline.com:


I find that buyers in the Washington DC real estate market don’t prefer carpet, but certainly choosing an eco-friendly carpet for a rec room or lower level makes good sense!


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I just found this:


  • Address: Arlington, VA 22213 (map)
  • Date Posted: 12/28/09
  • Posted by: User active since 01/2008


Tired of attempting by yourself to assemble furniture and ending up missing a step or two and tearing everything down several times before you get all pieces put together correctly? I can drive to your place anywhere around this area and put furniture quickly together and offer professional help with any other renovations/installations you might need. It doesn’t matter what brand your furniture is; I have put together all kinds of pieces and materials: furniture made by IKEA, Bush, Bestar, O’Sullivan, etc; items from Staples, Office Depot, Crate & Barrel, Walmart, Target… I can also help with All other handyman work:

* Kitchen cabinet & other wall Installations,
* Light fixtures/fans etc
* Underground Dog Fence Installation
* Installing TV Monitors /Audiovisual set up,
* Fitness gym assembly and basketball hoops etc
* Helping you move
* Tiling (ceramic etc)
* Installation of Curtain rods and window blinds
* Changing Locks …

The cost is $50/hr and there is a 2 HOUR MINIMUM ($100 minimum for a visit) or contact me with details about furniture make, brand, dimensions, units, etc.
Please call (571) 722-6923 to make a quick
and easy short notice appointment.

Philip’s Remodeling
(571) 722-6923

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Have you checked your home’s indoor air quality lately? Check for pollutants, such as stuffy air, pet odors, lack of air movement, dirty filters on your HVAC, mold or mildew. Test for radon–get a test kit at www.nsc.org or through your hardware store (or ask us for a testing company). Get a carbon monoxide monitor.

A few ways to immediately improve your home’s indoor air quality include:
1. Ventilate! Open windows, make sure you’re using exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom, etc.
2. Use non-toxic cleaning products, or homemade cleaning products, when possible (baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice).
3. Take off your shoes when you enter the house! All kinds of bacteria enter a home on the bottom of your shoes–this is particularly a concern if you have carpet.
4. Change your HVAC filters!
5. Clean and vacuum carpets and rugs frequently.
6. Pay attention to moisture in your bathroom and basements, install exhaust fans or use portable fans where moisture seems to be an issue.

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