Posts Tagged ‘environmental homes’

Tips to Keep Warm This Winter

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Solid Insulated CurtainsTurn down. Seal off. Save up. With a little planning and a little knowledge, you’ll be protected from the cold and save money this winter.

Here you’ll find strategies to help you save energy during the cold winter months. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings.

Turn down –
Setting your thermostat at 65 degrees during the day and lowering it to 60 degrees when you’re not at home or asleep can save you hundreds of dollars a year. If you install a programmable thermostat, it’ll take care of that for you. You probably won’t notice the difference if you lower your thermostat by a few degrees but you will notice the difference in your heating bill.

Seal off -
Rebecca QuiltKeep your heat where it’s needed by closing heating vents in unused rooms. If some rooms of your house do not have doors you can hang a quilted blanket or comforter across the doorway to keep the cold inside that room from escaping into the rooms you are heating. Make sure any open vents are clean and that furniture isn’t blocking them. Cover drafty windows by using a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during winter. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration. Install tight fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that still feel drafty after weatherizing. Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.

Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun
Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Maintain Your Heating Systems
Schedule service for your heating system. Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently. Replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed. For wood and pellet-burning heaters: clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance periodically with a wire brush. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going. When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly—approximately 1 inch—and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.

Braided Log CarrierUse Your Fireplace
Burning wood for heat is an easy way to lower your heating bill and it is also a quick way to heat up a room. If you spend most of your time at home in a certain room, make that room the one with the fireplace in it. Install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room. Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room. Add caulking around the fireplace hearth for extra insulation.

Wear Layered Clothing
The best way to stay warm in the winter is to dress warmly. You may feel silly wearing a hat around the house but studies show that if your head is warm the rest of you will feel warmer too. Wear wool socks to keep your feet warm and layer long sleeves and sweaters – add layers when you are cold and remove them if you get too warm.

Utilize Heat That’s There Anyway
When you take a shower with hot water, keep the bathroom door open so the heated steam can penetrate the cold in other rooms. Don’t turn on the ventilation fan or it will quickly suck away the heat. Cooking on the stove or with the oven can also generate heat to help you stay warm.

Orange Tabby Door StopStriped Insulated Curtains

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Eco-Friendly: Going Green at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Country style and eco-friendly at the same time! Taking care of the environment in a responsible way is what Sturbridge Yankee Workshop stands by with our array of eco-friendly and ‘green’ items. Combining natural fibers and materials and natural processes of creating the items results in an environmentally responsible collection we are proud to offer to you.

Look for the eco-friendly green leaf symbol on our ‘green’ item pages. Investing in earth-friendly items for your country home feels good – for both you and the planet!

Since the definition of eco-friendly can be vague, we thought we’d let you know exactly what this symbol means on an SYW product.


Fisherboy Sundial BathMany of our outdoor products are made from recycled cast aluminum and use environmentally friendly outdoor sealants. Here are a few examples:

Fisherboy Sundial Bath

Lab Thermometer Clock

Rose Clock




Investing in quality furniture has been a hallmark of Sturbridge Yankee Workshop’s commitment for over fifty years. Now, we are proud to offer over many environmentally-friendly furniture pieces that are durable, stylish, and good for the planet. We search for manufacturers who share our vision for sustainability and low-impact earth living.

Crafted in solid knotty pine lumber certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, these wonderful furniture pieces are a ‘green’ choice for home decor. All stains and paints are water-based for low environmental impact, and these benches, tables and chairs are proudly crafted in the USA.

Knotty Pine Shelf Bench

4′ Simple Bench

English Garden Table

English Garden Chair



When searching for the perfect accent for your home, don’t forget to add ‘environmentally friendly’ as a criteria. Here at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, our fifty-year commitment to quality home decor now includes items that are made with as little impact to the earth as possible.

Enliven any living space with our eco-friendly braided jute area rugs. Sturbridge Yankee Workshop offers natural materials and ‘green’ methods of producing the rugs to grace your home’s floors for years to come. Jute is a natural and environmentally responsible fiber that is 100% biodegradable. We have plenty of sizes and colors for you to choose from!

Jute Braided Chair Pad

Jute Braided Rug

Jute Oval Braided Rug

Checkerboard Rug

Sunflower Rug

Now you can be proud to decorate your country home with our 100% jute braided accent rugs. Like their larger counterparts, these braided beauties are biodegradable. It makes them the perfect choice for both the environment and your country home!

Seashore Braided Rug

Lighthouse Braided Rug

Beehive Braided Rug

Americana Saltbox Rug


Crafted in solid knotty pine lumber supplied by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, these nostalgic signs are a ‘green’ choice for decor. All stains and paints are water-based for low environmental impact, and these signs are proudly crafted in the USA.

What Part of Meow Sign

Home is Where Your Dog Is Sign

Motto to Live By Sign

Beach Rules Sign


What Part of Meow SignIt's a Dog's Life Sign

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Care About Your Indoor Air Month – Proper Ventilation

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Eco-friendly Rug Spot RemoverFebruary is Care About Your Indoor Air Month and we at Sturbridge Yankee would like to share a few of our secrets, starting with the importance of properly ventilating your home. We know what you’re thinking, “Ventilation? In February?” Relax, we don’t mean, necessarily, opening your windows.

Truthfully, proper ventilation is especially important when it’s cold outside. Fireplaces, leaking chimneys, gas stoves, water heaters, furnaces, gas heaters, pellet stoves, and other combustion-driven appliances leak carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into your home. Propane and oil-burning furnaces also leak fumes into the air. The most important thing you can do is make sure your appliances are in good repair and have been installed with proper ventilation duct work. Check these vents once a year to insure they haven’t become clogged or blocked. Whether you use your fireplace regularly or not, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year and make sure any necessary repairs are made. More than soot can collect in a chimney and people who only use their fireplaces a few times a year may not notice a problem as quickly.

Change your heating and air conditioning unit’s filter once a month. We recommend using a hypo-allergenic filter. Have your heating and air conditioning duct work cleaned to remove dust and other debris that can blow around your house.

Keeping your appliances in good working order improves their efficiency as well, saving energy and saving money.

And, if you accidentally get a 60 degree day in February, opening your windows for a few blissful hours is always a good idea.

Unscented Beeswax PolishPrairie Swag Curtains

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