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Home & Garden

Adrian offers blankets, bedding of organic cotton

| Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009

Robbie Adrian luxury organic blankets are made of cotton grown without pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers.

Grown in the United States, the cotton and natural silk used in the blankets is 100 percent certified organic.

Moms and dads have an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional blankets to wrap their babies with. Matching toddler bedding is available, as is an adult fleece throw, recently added to the line.

The cotton velour and fleece baby blankets are available in ruffled- or straight-trim styles. The fleece comes in piped-trim style, which is the only option for the adult throw. Check the site for mixing and matching the colors and trim. Blankets are machine-washable and dryable.

But wait: The eco-friendliness doesn't stop there. The blankets arrive wrapped in sustainable tissue, shipping box and silk ribbon.

Cost ranges from $44 to $270. Details: RobbieAdrian.com .

Book helps with choosing calming, dramatic colors

Alice Buckley proves neutral doesn't have to be beige or boring.

Buckley's book "Neutral Color Schemes" explores ways to add calming colors and touches of drama to a home, sometimes using colors you might never have thought of as neutral -- colors such as black cherry, olive and spicy amber.

The bulk of the book is a collection of color combinations, with recommendations on which surfaces to use them on. Buckley also includes a primer about color theory, information about the effects of color on mood and guidance for finding inspiration and developing a color scheme for your home.

"Neutral Color Schemes" is published by Firefly Books Ltd. and sells for $29.95 in wire-bound hardcover.

Inflatable pillow controls fireplace air flow

A fireplace chimney channels much of the conditioned air out of a home, even with the damper and fireplace doors closed. The Chimney Balloon helps block air flow, keeping your heated or cooled air inside.

The Chimney Balloon is an inflatable plastic pillow that fits inside a chimney opening and provides a tight air seal. An attached tube lets you inflate it by mouth or pump.

The balloon needs to be removed before you start a fire, but it's reusable. It comes with a red reminder card to place inside the firebox, near your gas valve or in some other spot where you'll see it before you start a fire. If you forget, the balloon will shrink to let smoke and fumes pass, but you'll need to replace it.

The Chimney Balloon is available at www.chimneyballoon.us or by calling 608-467-0229. Prices start at $42.99, depending on size. Instructions for measuring your chimney to choose the proper size are on the Web site.

Learn about living green lifestyle

With all this talk about saving energy, you need all the information you can get.

"The Homeowner's Handbook to Energy Efficiency: A Guide to Big and Small Improvements" by John Krigger and Chris Dorsi (Saturn Resource Management; $24.95; paperback) has a wealth of information for living a green lifestyle.

Beginning with a chapter on developing a plan for your home, the book explains the difference between energy consumption and carbon emissions and helps you analyze your utility bills.

Subsequent chapters focus on different aspects of energy consumption, such as lighting and appliances, water heating, and cooling and heating systems.

Other areas covered include insulation, windows and doors, and moisture management and ventilation. A chapter on building a new home informs readers of the necessary components of energy-efficient construction.

A final section on resources includes online and telephone contacts of organizations that deal with energy issues.

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