Go Green in Style

A guide to eco-furnishings and appliances for the forward-thinking homeowner

Issue: Mar 2012

Generally, there is a growing class of Singaporeans who are proud green homeowners
Generally, there is a growing class of Singaporeans who are proud green homeowners

TThe homeowners of today are increasingly becoming aware that having an eco-friendly home is more than just an investment into the future of the earth. Instead, eco-homes and eco-lifestyles have real cost-savings for the here and now. As a result, more and more homeowners in Singapore are seeking ways to make their homes Green.

Of course, not everyone has gone as far as Christophe Inglin. When he reconstructed an original 1960s semi-detached house in Singapore for his family four years ago, he did something that was, at that time, still quite unheard of. He fitted his roof with solar photovoltaic (PV) modules or solar panels that cover three quarters of the area. The modules generate enough electricity to power the entire house, with enough to spare.

“Ours is actually a plus-energy home because in a typical month, the PV system generates more electricity than we can consume. We feed our excess electricity back to Singapore Power Services and get reimbursed for it,” said Inglin.

Christophe Inglin, with the solar panels on the roof of his semi-detached home (above), has fitted with all sorts of eco features and appliances to save energy, electricity and water
Christophe Inglin, next to the solar panels on the roof of his semi-detached home (above), has fitted his house with all sorts of eco-features and appliances to save energy, electricity and water

Besides the solar panels, Inglin’s house is also environmentally friendly in other ways. He made sure that it was designed with natural ventilation. As a result, the family has no air conditioner in the first floor of the house and hardly use the ones they have installed on the second floor. A very generous roof overhang also ensures that the rooms are not exposed to direct sunlight, keeping them cooler. Rainwater is collected and drained through a pebble filter into an underground collection tank, where the water is used to irrigate the garden and for washing the car. So the Inglins use only 30 to 50 per cent as much Public Utilities Board (PUB) water as similar households.

Choosing green home appliances and products can save the Earth while providing savings in utilities bill
Choosing green home appliances and products can save the Earth while providing savings in utilities bill

Investing in Eco-friendly Home Appliances

The Inglin household consumes approximately 350 to 400 kWh less electricity every month than the average semi-detached homes in Singapore because of their decision to use energy-efficient appliances whenever possible such as their refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machines. All the lights in the house are CFL or LED ones and their ceiling fans use highly-efficient DC motors.

The Inglins are among a growing class of households in Singapore choosing the green option for their household appliance. Recognising this, Best Denki has appointed Eco Ambassadors - employees who are specially trained to guide shoppers to green purchases - in their stores. This is part of the store’s “Switch to Green” programme. These Eco Ambassadors introduce you to a range of energy efficient refrigerators, air-conditioners, light bulbs, LED TVs as well as water-efficient washing machines. They can also answer queries on energy labelling schemes and educate the public on energy and water-saving matters.

Furnishings that Care for the Earth

Another way to a green home is through buying green home furniture that is growing in popularity in Singapore. Rest assured that this does not mean you have to stick to a bamboo-and-teak, resort style only for your décor. Leading furniture retailer in Singapore, V.Hive, has a range of green furniture from Denmark that boasts clean lines and sleek designs.

V.Hive has a modern line of furniture from Denmark that will fit into any contemporary home and is environmentally friendly
V.Hive has a modern line of furniture from Denmark that will fit into any contemporary home and is environmentally friendly

Another way to a green home is through buying green home furniture that is growing in popularity in Singapore. Rest assured that this does not mean you have to stick to a bamboo-and-teak, resort style only for your décor. Leading furniture retailer in Singapore, V.Hive, has a range of green furniture from Denmark that boasts clean lines and sleek designs.

“We have been bringing in green furniture since 2008. We see it as our social responsibility to be part of a meaningful global movement to provide and promote green products. We also have reliable and like-minded manufacturer whom we can work together providing products for the good of the whole community,” said Felix Song, CEO of V.Hive.

The Tvilum line is produced according to pro-environment regulations and requirements that aim at reducing environmental impact through their production, recycling, preservation and quality measures. To reduce carbon emissions, 34 per cent of the total energy consumption in the production of the furniture is carbon-neutral. All chipboard waste is recycled for carbon-neutral heating. In fact, all material involved are recycled as much as possible, from production to the delivery of the end product. The products are packed in cardboard packaging consisting of 98 per cent recycled materials. The factory also consistently sorts cardboard, plastic and paper for recycling.

The Tvilum line is also PEFC certified (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). PEFC is the world’s largest forest certification organisation for sustainable forestry. It looks into maintaining forests and promoting the responsible use of timber. The furniture is tested for harmful substances and bears the Indoor Climate label, which meets the requirement of California Air Resources Board (CARB), one of the world’s most stringent production standards governing the emission of formaldehyde.

Sleep easy on Isaiah organic mattresses exclusively distributed by OM
Sleep easy on Isaiah organic mattresses exclusively distributed by OM, the first-ever green mattresses in Asia

Soft (Green) Options

Another way you can make sure you have a good night’s sleep and still be green is with Isaiah organic mattresses brought in exclusively by OM. The mattresses are the first-ever green mattresses in Asia. They combine revolutionary technology with natural, organic material. The organic mattress is made with nano-bamboo charcoal fiber, which combines four-year-old bamboos carbonised under intense heat with nano-grinding and biochemical spinning techniques to make bamboo charcoal yarn.
The product, therefore, has the health benefits of charcoal with the eco-consciousness of bamboo. Bamboo is eco-friendly because they are fast-growing and thrive without the need for fertilisers, pesticides or much water. They also give out 35 per cent more oxygen than similar-sized trees in the same area. Charcoal can absorb more poisons than any other substances, absorbing thousands of times its own weight in gases, heavy metals, poisons and other harmful chemicals. Charcoal can also absorb intestinal gas and work as a deodorizer for foul-smelling gasses.

Lest you think the mattresses are all fluff, Isaiah organic mattresses can withstand weights of up to 100 kg rolling over it over 80,000 times while hardly registering a dent or any damage on its surface and stuffing.

Karastan SmartStrand <sup>®</sup> carpets from Goodrich Gallery are made with corn-based polymer and, renewable sources
Karastan SmartStrand ® carpets from Goodrich Gallery are made with corn-based polymer and, renewable sources
Photo credit: Karastan Mohawk

Surrounded by Green

These days, you can even ensure that the floor you walk on at home is eco-friendly. Goodrich Gallery has carpets and wood flooring that are environmentally safe. Its Karastan
SmartStrand ® carpets are made from corn-based polymers. They come from renewable sources and replace petroleum-based ingredients, thus saving energy as well.

Goodrich Gallery also has Engineer Timber Flooring made from high-density fibreboard (HDF) as the core layer. Its range of Geff Palmwood decking is made from retired palm wood trees. There are millions of such trees every year that no longer produce fruit and would otherwise become waste products.

The Inglins may seem forward-looking but with the growing importance of environmental awareness and conservation, there is a plethora of green home furnishing choices for homeowners to pick from for one to go green in style.

Best Denki
9 Bishan Place
Junction 8 #03-02
Tel: (65) 6258 8488

www.bestdenki.com.sg
Best Denki
2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building #02-01/07
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 6564 4022

www.bestdenki.com.sg
Best Denki
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura #04-12B
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6336 8218

www.bestdenki.com.sg
V.Hive
109 North Bridge Road
Funan DigitaLife Mall #02-32/36
Singapore 179097
Tel: (65) 6883 0638

www.vhive.com.sg
V.Hive
2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building #03-27
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 6563 1338

www.vhive.com.sg
OM
2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building #03-25
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 6883 0700

www.nobel.com.sg
Goodrich Gallery
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura #04-17
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6884 5757

www.goodrichglobal.com
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