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If there’s one event you should make an effort to get out and see this year, it’s Gulf Coast Green. The event showcases Green building practices and vendors in Houston and from the entire Gulf Coast. This will be our second year at the show and we plan for it to be even bigger and better than last year. This year, we will be sharing our booth with Green Bank, Waste Management’s Green Squad, and Naturalcare Cleaning Company.  We will be showcasing many of our products including a new budget-friendly line of high quality no-voc paint and one of our lines of organic mattresses for you to test out. We will also have samples of our Icestone recycled glass countertops, and eco-flooring such as cork and bamboo. The event is at Reliant Park April 18th and 19th. 
 
Gulf Coast Green 2009 SYMPOSIUM is the leading green building conference targeted to design and construction professionals within the Gulf Coast region, organized by the AIA Houston Committee on the Environment. This year’s symposium explores sustainable principles and practices at a community scale, including Keynote Speakers Alex Steffen, Steve Mouzon, and Doug Farr.

Following the GCG Symposium is the 2-day HOUSTON GREEN EXPO, free and open to the public on April 18 and 19 at Reliant Park. A collaboration of AIA Houston COTE and the City of Houston, it is the largest green product expo in the city, offering the latest in green companies and their products for living a green life. The Expo will also offer educational presentations targeted to homeowners and interactive programs for children and young adults. The Houston Green Expo is free and open to the public, and requires no advance registration.

earthdayhoustonWe are proud to be a part of Houston’s first official Earth Day celebration at Discovery Green this Saturday, April 11, from 9am to 6pm. The festivities kick off with the Mothers for Clean Air Earth Day 5K at 8 a.m. followed by a day-long celebration with family entertainment, environmental education, and much more. Come visit our booth to learn about and play with the newest green building and home supplies:  no voc paint, IceStone recycled glass countertops, organic sheets, and non-toxic cleaning supplies.

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Kaplan House

On March 28th and 29th, the Rice Design Alliance is having their annual home tour. The theme this year is small homes, and you can tour David Kaplan’s “Shot-Trot” house designed by Brett Zamore. This house was a big inspiration for starting New Living and features a Kirei bamboo countertop from our store.

The Rice Design Alliance has held architecture tours every year since 1975 to acquaint Houstonians with the best examples of architecture, interior design, and landscape design in the city.

At a recent RDA Civic Forum, Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg stated that “Our children will not have bigger houses, or faster cars, but they will live richer lives.” Read more

Please join the Houston Interactive Marketing Association on April 1, 2009 at Maggiano’s in the galleria from 11:15am to 1:15pm for their monthly luncheon. New Living’s own Jeff Kaplan will be speaking along with two of New Living’s green coworkers, Mary Frances Blatchley and Jessica Zapatero.

Green Talk
Getting Skeptics to Buy Using Interactive Marketing Tactics

A growing population of environmentally conscious consumers is emerging from the convergence of environmental concern, energy prices and limitless information. These customers are demanding “real green” products from “real green” companies and are skeptical about most companies’ claim on green. The outcome is a longer selling cycle and a reduction in customer loyalty. Join guest panel speakers from Houston’s leading green businesses: New Living, Green Lily Events and forGreen Marketing & Design. They will address key issues at the forefront of the challenging green marketplace and share how they overcome obstacles using interactive marketing strategies. Read more

n a world where green is marketing’s new goldmine, it’s important to keep an eye on the ball. Store shelves everywhere are awash with household products that claim to be environmentally friendly, but it takes a keen eye to separate the real deal from the fray.

“Make sure the products you are putting in your home are not ‘green washed’,” says Jeff Kaplan, owner of retail store New Living. “It’s important to ask questions when buying materials to find out how a product is actually made, what’s in it, what kind of labor standards are used and how it is transported. That is what we are trying to do with New Living.”

The store, located in historic Wagner’s Hardware, sells everything you might need for an earth friendly home. New Living’s Green concept is a first on Houston’s home improvement retail scene, usually dominated by big box stores. And the timing could not be more impeccable. “Houston is one of the leading cities today for building green commercial buildings. WE ARE JUST STARTING TO SEE A STRONG INTEREST IN GREEN HOMES AND GREEN HOME REMODELING,” say Kaplan, also a commercial real estate broker. About half of New Living’s business comes from working with architects, designers, builders and painters.

In the past, using earth-friendly products and materials often meant lower performance. But that is changing quickly. “The technology behind green products has gotten so good that there really are not any trade-offs today.”

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News about the Economic Stimulus is everywhere, but the big question on everyone’s mind is “What does it mean for me?” At the 2009 Houston Home Show, March 20-22 at the George R Brown Convention Center, homeowners can learn how a few changes to their home can mean big credits on April 15, 2010.

Instead of searching through the thousands of pages of the stimulus bill, visitors to the Houston Home Show can browse the aisles, talk to local companies, and in most cases, see the products in action. At the end of the day, consumers can walk away with knowledge about the product, exact costs and how it will benefit their tax bill.

Energy efficiency is the key when it comes to the new tax credits. Items that comply with the requirements stated in the stimulus can be written off under a single tax credit—for 30% off each items cost, up to $1,500. Tax credits you earn on all the energy efficient home improvement items are cumulative, and are capped at a maximum $1,500 for all the energy efficient improvements combined.

Click “read more” to see more details and a few of the items included on the stimulus that can be found at the Houston Home Show: Read more

TEDA Symposium: How do we measure Houston’s sustainability progress across public, private, and nonprofit programs?
Thursday, March 12, 2009 ~ 8 am-12 pm ~ Federal Reserve Bank, 1801 Allen Pkwy.
Moderator David Crossley, President, Houston Tomorrow
Panelists
The Hon. Peter Brown, City of Houston Council Member and Chair of the City’s Sustainable Growth Committee
Cris Eugster, Ph.D., Chief Officer for Sustainable Growth, Mayor’s Office, City of Houston
Adam Saphier, Principal, Trammell Crow Company
Amanda Timm, Executive Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
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forGreen Marketing & Design is a strategic marketing and design firm who offers its clients the opportunity to take a leadership position in the eco and healthy living movement through strategic brand positioning and coordinated campaigns utilizing the latest interactive technologies.  forGreen’s offers a harmonious mix of web communications, social media marketing, public relations, support collateral, as well as viral resourcing and strategic networking. Their primary mission is to accelerate the process of positive social and environmental change by helping market those who share the same vision. Their website is forGreen.com and owner/speaker Mary Frances Blatchley can be connected to on twitter: maryfrancesb, yahoo: mfb0404 and at Linked In. Welcome to New Living Mary! Find out more about New Living Coworking.

painting with yolo paint

Given the current economic crisis we all need to be resourceful. We are asking for our friends and customers to help us get open. We will be painting our store this weekend (2/14 and 2/15) and if you are in the area, we would love for you to stop by and help out. We will start at 10:00am on Saturday and Sunday. If you can be there on either of those days,  lunch is on us, we will give you some store credit, and of course, we will be using our non-toxic paint. Lets have fun with this!

If you are familiar at all with the store and the wonderful people who work inside, you may have noticed a new addition to the team. That new addition would be me, Megan McPherson, and I have been serving as New Living’s merchandising intern for about a month now. The staff at New Living has taken on the task of not only starting a new business but also teaching someone completely foreign to their business all of the ropes… what a load! In the coming months I will be helping New Living maintain and display their store merchandise while also assisting in the big move into our newly finished and fabulous store!

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