Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hakwood USA- Hardwood Flooring!

Here at Live Green Malibu, we are proud to be a member of the U.S.G.B.C.! The U.S. Green Building Council is a non-profit community of leaders working to make green building materials available to everyone within our generation. The U.S.G.B.C. oversees a rigorous green building certification system known as LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) that rewards the use of sound environmental practices and materials in construction.

Today we want to introduce to you Hakwood USA, a fellow member of the U.S.G.B.C., and an incredible new way to look at hardwood flooring. All Hakwood engineered flooring also qualifies for at least one LEED credit!

Hakwood specializes in the manufacture of wide-width, long-length flooring. Utilizing sustainable resources in Europe, the US and from around the world, Hakwood produces state of the art solid & engineered flooring.

Hakwood wide-width engineered flooring is a stable, beautiful, versatile, and environmentally responsible choice for your hardwood floors.

Founded in 1979, Hakwood became a major industrial producer of wood products. Their product range has expanded to a large program of both solid and engineered flooring products for the professional market. Over the last decade, Hakwood has developed a great experience in the production of engineered flooring products.

Hakwood engineered flooring is the solution for wide stable wood flooring. In the past the fear of swelling, twisting, warping and shrinking have prevented distributors from supplying wide boards with confidence. However these concerns can be put aside as Hakwood engineered flooring provides the solution.

The reason for the stability and durability of Hakwood Engineered Flooring is its unique structure. A 14 mm water resistant plywood back layer together with a 6 mm solid Hardwood top layer ensures a stable durable product. Hakwood flooring gives the appearance and properties of a solid board, together with all the advantages of engineered flooring.

Hakwood pays great attention to the selection of wood and wood suppliers. The purchase department travels all over the world to ensure that top quality products are delivered by reliable suppliers.

At different stages of production Hakwood’s wood flooring is sorted and inspected to insure that each grade meets its requirements. Before finished products are dispatched, each production is thoroughly inspected in the laboratory. These engineered flooring products are produced by a “State of Art” process, ensuring excellent quality control. Hakwood always concentrates on industrial research and development in order to continuously improve its state of the art production process and maintain its leading position.

Please check out the Hakwood USA website for much more information about their products and a beautiful photo gallery! Also be sure to contact us at or come down to our eco-friendly showroom to view our Hakwood Samples and see how we can help you get the eco-friendly, hardwood floors of your dreams!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kick the Water Habit! 12 Easy Steps to Help Conserve our Water

It's an odd sort of addiction. We don't ordinarily think that "using" it hurts anyone. But water is growing scarcer and we have to conserve, especially in our yards- which can account for 70% of home water usage in the West's driest regions. Here are 12 simple steps to help show you how to lessen your water footprint, save cash, and have a beautiful yard!

1. Admit the West has a problem. Arm yourself with helpful statistics:
-California is in its third year of drought.
-The Colorado River has run low 9 out of the last 10 years.
-By 2050, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is projected to be depleted by at least 25% because of climate change.
-Urban growth has reduced the groundwater feeding Arizona's San Pedro River by 30%. The river already runs dry in places.

2. Look for inspiration.
(Dry Las Vegas got support from its innovative water district.)

3. In times of weakness, remember what an addiction can do.
(Lake Mead, the largest reservoir on the Colorado River - and in the U.S.- is now only 46% full, down about 110 feet since 2000.)

4. Cut back on your personal use.
(This is, on average, how much water you're using daily and how much rainfall your city receives annually.)
5. Readjust your habits so that they're healthy and safe.
(Think about "catching" and recycling water rather than just turning on the hose.)

6. Make every drop count.
(Overwatering and other careless habits waste 50% of landscape water.)

"Almost all the things we do with water require less water than we use to do them. I think improving efficiency is the most important tool in our arsenal. Let's do more with less water- grow more food, flush more toilets, wash more clothes- do more of everything with less" - Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, which works toward environmental protection, economic development, and social equity

7. Imagine a less-dependent future.
(There are models of 21st century backyards, that use the latest water-wise elements.)

8. Lay down roots that'll support your future.
(These superstar natives are tough and versatile, with low water needs and showy flowers.)

9. Use natural assets to your advantage.
(When designing your backyard, think of water as sacred. You follow its path, it shouldn't follow you.)

10. Take baby steps to reach your goal.
(You're on your way to kicking the water habit- these 5 tips will make your backyard use less water.)
-Put the right plant in the right place. (Add low-water-use plants. Group plants with similar plants with similar water needs, so nothing gets over or under watered.)
-Water efficiently. (Irrgate deeply and infrequently, then allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings. Water early in the morning, when the air is calm and temperatures are cool.)
-Shrink the lawn. (Across the West, lawns are the number-one consumer of residential water outdoors. Reducing their size, restricting them to spaces where you actually need them (like kids' play areas), or eliminating them altogether are the most effective ways to reduce your own outdoor water use.)
-Mulch, Mulch, Mulch. (Organic mulches (ground bark, wood chips, compost) save water by cooling the soil, reducing evaporation and encouraging healthy roots. They also help eliminate water-hungry weeds.)
-Check your sprinklers. (You can often tell if your system is not working efficiently by watching it run. Or look for signs: Brown spots mean your lawn isn't getting enough water; wet spots and runoff signal too much water.)

11. Sometimes, it's okay to take the easy way out. (These high-tech gadgets will give you an edge in saving water.)
-Smart Controllers, Drip Systems, High-Tech sprinklers, Rain Shutoffs

12. Help is a click away. Here are some helpful websites you can visit for more ideas.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Lavish Get-Away Just Outside Your Door

With the first day of summer looming larger and larger on the horizon, many Southern Californians are already taking advantage of the gorgeous weather ahead. A recent article in Sunset Magazine entitled "Bargain Bali" outlines some quick and easy tips to make your front porch into a tropical sanctuary. Malibu locals can easily follow these tips with many of their local businesses.

Tip #1: Fresh Paint
Our showroom carries Yolo Paint, a 0 voc paint that carries no odor and spreads flawlessly (see the blog below for further information). A gallon or two of their rich hues can make any plain wooden arbor seem exotic. For more information, visit:

Tip #2: Bargain Plants
One of the greatest outdoor design centers in Malibu is Malibu Market and Design. Located on Pacific Coast Highway, just a tad North of Pepperdine University, Malibu Market and Design is basically an outdoor showroom. The "display" is arrainged on 3 tiers of land on a hillside, connected by charming wooden steps. The three tiers have an eclectic array of products ranging from outdoor furniture to tropical plants.

Tip #3: Recycled Furniture
ArtifacTree, a popular second-hand store located in the famous Cross Creek complex, has a ton of recycled furniture at affordable price. Here is their website:

Tip #4: Colored Concrete
A nice stain adds character dusty, bland concrete. Although our company can provide these services for you, if you would rather the DIY route, SoyCrete would be the product of choice. SoyCrete is a non-toxic, acid-free, concrete stain that can be used indoors or out. It can be used on a variety of materials such as: masonry, brick, stucco, and cement. SoyCrete comes in six vibrant colors. For more information, visit this link:

Tip #5: Mood Lighting
The abovementioned, Malibu Market and Design, carries a variety of eclectic hanging ornaments and lighting instruments. From tiki torches, to gigantic spheres of impersonated cow-hide, you'll find the best lanterns, candles, etc. for your evening ambiance. Although not particularly close to Malibu, Lamps Plus in Chatsworth released a new line of eco-friendly outdoor lamps. These lamps cast light downward, and prevent excess amounts of spill light. Experts and nature advocates have said that these lamps will help reduce light pollution and save energy. To visit their website, follow this link:

Tip #6: Accessories
The accessories are truly up to the individual. Only yourself and your patio can dictate what you will supply for it. Any of the above stores would be helpful in your request for accessories. Outdoor cushions, wicker baskets, and mini-sculptues can add a lot of character, with a little effort.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Painting (without the high)

Painting in your home is often a hassle. Harmful VOCs make it impossible to paint indoors without a mask, hiring a professional or leaving every possible window open for ventilation. But with Yolo Paint, all of the aforementioned requirements are unnecessary. Yolo Colorhouse makes a variety of Green-Seal Certified paint for any and all of your coloring needs. Besides exterior and interior paint, they also provide a line entitled "Little Yolo" as an interior paint for younger children. Yolo paint comes in 3 different sheens: Eggshell, Flat, and Semi-Gloss. There are no VOCs in Yolo Colorhouse products. While sampling this product in a friend's living room, it was very easy to immediately use the benefits of such paint. The paint we used barely had an odor, did not cause any unnecessary side effects like lightheadedness, and once it came time to clean up, the paint came swiftly and easily off your skin with just a touch of hot water and soap. The paint was easy to apply, went on evenly, and didn't need a 2nd coat because of the richness of it's color. Yolo Paint is 100% acrylic. For more information, visit:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Squawk Mountain

Finding alternatives to stone and tile is a difficult process. But Squawk Mountain Stone has made it much easier, at least for the consumer. Squawk Mountain stone is fashioned from recycled paper, recycled glass, coal fly-ash and cement. Their material is produced in slabs so as to reduce wear on natural or quarried stone. Their tiles can be used almost anywhere, from bathrooms to kitchens. Their company follows a "binder-less" policy, so as to reduce the amount of paper they consume for product literature. Their stone line comes in 5 colors: Thunder, Latte, Quinault, Otter, and Natural. For more information, visit:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Green Suede

Despite the ever-popular presence of suede in the fashion and design world, the production of suede causes many strains on our environment. The demand for leather is so great, that it depletes many animal populations. Why harm other inhabitants of this planet when there are other conscientious approaches? For example, Innovations Textiles, has created a line of wall coverings that are environmentally sustainable entitled "Innovations". Their eco-suede comes in a variety of colors and is a member of the US Green Building Council. Their eco-suede is considered Class A and is made of recycled cardboard. For further information visit their website at:

Healthy Insulation/Made With Your Old Jeans

With consumer awareness on the rise, it is difficult to find building materials that will complement the eco-friendly surfaces you would like to include in your home. Eco-friendly carpets do little for indoor pollution if there are pollutants involved in the installation process. Bonded Logic, Inc. has created a solution to at least one of the building materials involved in the installation of carpet. Bonded Logic has been producing acoustic and thermal insulation, in a variety of options, for over 30 years. All of their products are eco-friendly and do not contain harmful VOCs or chemicals. Their padding products are made from 85% recycled denim and cotton. What a great way to use your old jeans right? They also carry Natural Cotton Radiant Barriers, as well as, a Cellulose product. All of their building materials are anti-fungi and LEED certified.