The softcover book is 128 pages, with color photographs, and is printed on recycled paper, of course. Retail price is $16.95, with a percentage of the proceeds going to One Percent for the Planet, an organization that supports environmental groups worldwide.
‘Green Hawai'i’ due out next month
As the nation slowly opens its eyes to green consciousness, Hawaii residents can do their share to protect the environment, starting at their own doorstep. Author Kevin Whitton hopes to show the way with "Green Hawai'i," set for release Sept. 1. The book details the latest in energy-efficient technology and sustainable design and includes water-saving practices in the yard and tips for smart community recycling.
Go green with Kevin Whitton's new book "Green Hawai'i." Also, read about a SmartHome exhibit.
Whitton is managing editor of freesurf magazine and wrote "Rain, Beans and Rice: Memoirs of Life in a Costa Rica Rain Forest."
How ugly is it?
That worn, repulsive couch of yours could be your ticket to a $5,000 living room makeover by HGTV's "Myles of Style" Kim Myles in the "Ugliest Couch Contest." Just send a good-quality color photo of the beast to Sure Fit Inc., care of "Ugliest Couch Contest," 6575 Snowdrift Road, Allentown, PA 18106, and, on a separate sheet, your full name, address, phone number and e-mail address. View official rules at www.SureFit.com and enter online. Twenty photos will be selected by Myles; Natalie Warady, style director for O at Home; Jacqueline Gifford, features editor for OK! Magazine; and comedian Sean Kent, seen on NBC's "Last Comic Standing." The public can vote on the Web site starting Oct. 13, and the winner will be announced Nov. 15.
HOME & GARDEN
Learn how to design multigeneration home
Graham Builders is offering a free seminar on how to make your home comfortable and safe for multiple generations, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 13 at Ward Warehouse.
The workshop, "Planning for Your Accessible Multi-Generation Home," will be led by Bonnie Osaki and Evan Fujimoto of Graham Builders and will cover common issues that affect multigeneration homes and highlight past projects.
Early reservations for the free event are recommended. Call 593-2808, ext. 114, or e-mail
Free seminar gives basics of homebuilding
Whether you're considering remodeling or building from the ground up, be sure to take in the free "Building Your Dream Home" seminar Wednesday.
Sponsored by Graham Builders, the lecture covers how to select a builder, what you need to know about residential design, setting your budget, estimating your project financing and scheduling.
The seminar runs 6 to 8 p.m. at Honolulu Country Club.
Classes fill up quickly, so RSVP at 593-2808 or visit grahambuilders.com/seminars.html.
More than 250 children younger than 5 drown every year in swimming pools, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Fences and walls offer a first line of defense, but even toddlers can unlock gates and get into trouble.
The Terrapin Wireless Gate Alarm from Safety Turtle sounds an immediate alarm if a gate is opened without adult assistance. The alarm also sounds if the gate fails to latch properly within 11 seconds of an adult entry.
The Terrapin uses a base station that can be located as far away as 200 feet to sound the alarm.
The system comes with a bypass switch that allows adults to open the gate without triggering it.
The Terrapin Wireless Gate Alarm, which retails for $100, is available online at safetyturtle.com and through many pool builders and fence installers.
Get the lead out
Lead-based paint was outlawed for use in the United States in 1978, but many homes - especially those built before 1960 - may still have some.
In its September issue, Consumer Reports put seven lead-testing kits through the wringer. Most of the kits quickly indicated whether lead was present in the test samples, but the testers discovered they varied greatly in ease of use.
Four kits were rated "Easy To Use."
» Abotex Lead Inspector Lead Test Kit ($13)
» First Alert Premium Lead Test Kit LT1 ($20)
» Homax LeadCheck 5250 Test Kit ($8)
» SKC LeadCheck Instant 225-2404 Sampling Test Kit ($24)
The directions for Industrial Test System's SenSafe Lead Paint Test 480310 ($15) had small type and was rated "Difficult to Use."
Consumer Reports also tested 11 radon detection kits along with its lead-test kit roundup. The full report is available in the magazine and online at ConsumerReports.org.
Here's a partial list from CarMax of things that you (or your mechanic) should check on the car if you plan on doing a long stretch of driving:
Tires » Check air pressure, tread depth and look for bulges and cuts in the tread area and sidewalls.
Transmission » Fluid should be clean and not smell "burnt."
Air conditioning system » Inspect fans, compressor clutches and belts.
Cooling system » Fill to capacity with the proper coolant.
Oil and filters » Change according to manufacturer's recommendations.
Suspension » Inspect ball joints, tie rod ends and other steering and suspension components.
The dual-flush toilet is no longer something for the chi-chi bathroom or tech junkie. American Standard's new Flo-Wise two-piece toilet is widely available at prices starting at $389.
The concept of the high-efficiency toilet is simple:
You push one button for a bigger flush, a different button for a smaller flush.
So you're using as little as 0.8 gallons per flush and probably using 30 percent less water than toilets with no option other than a 1.6-gallon flush. (Yes, 0.8 is only 50 percent of 1.6, but you're still going to push that 1.6 button sometimes, and so 30 percent is the toilet experts' estimate.)
Combined with low-flow showerheads and faucets, you'll notice dramatic water savings
Call American Standard at (800) 899-2614 or go to www.americanstandard-us.com or visit Home Depot for more about the Flo-Wise.