Eco Method Interiors marries environmental science and design

July 2, 2021 by  
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Traditional construction, home improvement and interior design are fraught with  waste , chemicals and carbon release. But they don’t have to be. Erica Reiner, an eco-friendly interior designer in Los Angeles and founder of Eco Method Interiors, has built her business around creating beautiful, welcoming spaces that are healthy for people and the planet. Reiner brings an interesting background to the profession, with educational and practical experience in interior decorating as well as a degree in environmental science and a Master’s of Marine Science and Management. At first, Reiner says she kept the two practices separate until she found a focus on the  environment  and the indoors could go hand in hand. Related: WELL-designed home eliminates toxins from interior textiles Reiner told Inhabitat, “I studied, worked, and lectured all in the environmental field prior to this business. I did a decorating certificate for fun between environmental degrees before realizing I could start a business. At first, I offered sustainability consulting and design separately while building my portfolio, before realizing how dirty the industry was, and realizing that I could marry the two pieces of my identity and passions together in one business.” Now well established in L.A. and across the country, Reiner provides virtual consulting, event decorating and full-service  interior design  with a specialty in removing toxic cleaning supplies and finding sustainable, eco-friendly furniture and textile options. She also hosts a popular podcast called “Green By Design,” which focuses on ways clients and design professionals can create sustainable design.  Although Reiner has worked in the business for several years, she shared her excitement over the increasing awareness of and interest in environmentally-friendly products. “In [the past] 5-7 years there’s been a huge increase in overall awareness, self-education and concern. For reference, in 2006 when I finished my prerequisites and chose my major in environmental studies for undergrad, most of the population I came across didn’t even understand what that meant,” she said. For Reiner, projects naturally come together after seeing the space and talking with the clients. She vets vendors for greenwashing saying, “We do everything from reading their website, emailing them for clarity, asking for their certification documentation or anything I feel we need for clarity. I don’t have a simple process for detecting greenwashing. It’s often just a little alarm that goes off in the way the product or material is described. Often legit companies who are proud of their efforts go into detail and have clear information accessible. Some companies, even if they don’t promote their practices, once asked can provide clear information. Companies that greenwash often use language to try to sound good, but with my background in ES academia I know it doesn’t make sense.” Reiner’s current project is a complete 9,000-square-foot house in Brentwood for a Hollywood family concerned about toxicities in the home. With this in mind, Reiner and the owners have relied on green manufacturing to custom-build sofas, beds, rugs and even wallpaper.  Her portfolio is varied, with large and small projects, residential and commercial spaces, and geographically dispersed locations. A few are highlighted below. Office and clubhouse in San Antonio, TX This project incorporated  recycled  paper countertops, furniture and art pieces made from reclaimed wood, non-toxic wallpaper, recycled PET area rugs and pre-loved books and accessories. Master bedroom and entryway in West Los Angeles, CA  To make the space cozy and environmentally friendly, Reiner included striking tables made from recycled  wood  beams. She also created a statement wall with FSC wallpaper free of toxins and made using low-impact dye. The rooms are accented with artwork, rugs, bedding and baskets made from natural fibers and organic materials. It also features vegetable-tanned leather chairs, recycled glass vases and  energy-efficient  lighting. Nursery in Manhattan Beach, CA This small, 168-square-foot nursery creates a big visual impact but a small environmental footprint with the use of organic bedding and a GOTS-certified area rug. The client chose to forgo the chemical-laden fire retardant in the nursing chairs and had a crib custom built to ensure it was made with FSC wood and low-toxin adhesives and finishes. Playroom, Los Angeles, CA Kids need space to play. While these clients wanted to look out for the health of children in the space, they also wanted to pay attention to the health of the planet by avoiding waste and upcycling where possible. To this end, they selected non-toxic throw pillow inserts, an upcycled cotton scrap area rug and a pre-owned, vintage coffee table. The space is also adorned with VOC-free paint and 100% linen curtains. Apartment, Austin, TX Recycled materials, especially those from the local area, give this apartment high ratings for low impact. To accomplish this, Reiner included pre-loved furniture and pieces with GreenGuard Certification. The space also features pillows and a rug made from recycled plastic and a wall specifically for locally sourced art. While Eco Method Interiors can help you sustainably makeover your space, Reiner mentions that there are fewer barriers than ever in creating a space you love without hurting the environment. She recommends researching online, reading books on sustainable interior design , of course listening to her podcast, and perhaps setting up an online e-design session to see how she can help. + Eco Method Interiors Images via Eco Method Interiors

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Eco Method Interiors marries environmental science and design

Verdi creates home dcor from natural fibers and metal

July 1, 2021 by  
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Interior design is a culmination of many things, not the least of which is culture. Mix in the desire for sustainable, fair-trade textiles and other decorations that are made from non-toxic materials and you’ll find a Colombian company called Verdi, rich in history yet innovative in design. Verdi began in 1995 when Carlos Vera Dieppa began exploring techniques to make unique rugs and later developed his own looms. Following his death, his son and daughter took the torch and launched Verdi in his name (VERa DIeppa). The company now specializes in fique and metal rugs, organic silk cushions, plantain-fiber and copper-thread curtains, textiles, tableware and silver-plated handbags among other handwoven items. Related: Cariloha luxury textiles use organic, sustainable bamboo The newest release is called AES, which is Latin for rough bronze, and once again highlights the company’s passion for interweaving natural fibers with lineal metal. This rug collection is made up of ethically sourced alpaca fleece, plantain fibers and solid bronze plates. The resulting designs are not only original and handmade but also represent sustainable manufacturing. To avoid toxic dyes that pose a danger to workers and the environment, Verdi developed its own eco-friendly options. The company is dedicated to harvesting fibers in a sustainable way by only removing external leaves of the plants during the collection of fique fiber. Fiber and textile waste are looped back into the system as part of new pieces, as samples or as decorations in the office. Verdi also eliminates pattern waste by reusing acrylic patterns. The company is built on three pillars of home, fashion and art, yet all products are made with the environment in mind. Verdi relies on natural materials at the core of each design and acts sustainably in its fair-trade manufacturing with 30 skilled artisans that represent generations of inherited craftsmanship. In addition, the company sources its main fibers close to home, supporting at least 19 farming families in the process. Verdi is involved in at least a half-dozen social and environmental initiatives. + Verdi Images via Verdi

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Verdi creates home dcor from natural fibers and metal

Episode 99: Organic Valley’s clean power peak; Boston’s wicked CIO

November 3, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode, what we learned from 2017’s stormy seas, thinking out of the box with edible packaging and Boston stirs the pot with innovation.

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Episode 99: Organic Valley’s clean power peak; Boston’s wicked CIO

Using finance to shatter the fossil fuel economy

November 3, 2017 by  
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Nick Silver, economist and onetime finance professional, says that avoid damage to society and the environment, we need to re-engineer the system.

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Using finance to shatter the fossil fuel economy

It isn’t strange that cities are leading on climate action

November 3, 2017 by  
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A new partnership from C40 Cities and Climate-KIC will prioritize building retrofits, mobility and closed-loop systems.

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It isn’t strange that cities are leading on climate action

Episode 87: Apple branches out; it’s time to reimagine carbon

August 4, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode, JP Morgan commits billions to “clean” financing, how to heal our overdrawn ecological budget — and corals get health insurance.

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Episode 87: Apple branches out; it’s time to reimagine carbon

Episode 84: China’s clean tech assent and that Salesforce tower

July 14, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode: Michelin, GM halt deforestation; a G20-approved guide to disclosure; and the troubling new math on carbon reduction.

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Episode 84: China’s clean tech assent and that Salesforce tower

Here’s what a sustainable highway looks like

July 14, 2017 by  
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On an 18-mile stretch of highway in the heart of Georgia, the late Ray Anderson’s daughter has created a testbed for sustainable transportation nicknamed “the Ray.”

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Here’s what a sustainable highway looks like

Episode 78: The Paris pullout, investor power and the era of remanufacturing

June 2, 2017 by  
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This week: Investors mobilize for climate action … why companies are turning a new leaf on deforestation …and why the hottest business trends are circular.

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Episode 78: The Paris pullout, investor power and the era of remanufacturing

Episode 73: Toyota drives employee engagement; women combat climate change

April 28, 2017 by  
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On this week’s podcast: A prelude to the people’s march on climate; Silicon Valley finds a fit in sustainable fashion.

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Episode 73: Toyota drives employee engagement; women combat climate change

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