Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Easing My Window Pains

Your eco radar for all products new and earthworthy.

2:19 pm - March 27, 2007

Those of you who read our January/February cover

story about decorating an eco-bedroom on the cheap

are well acquainted with my efforts to furnish a new

apartment using as few resources--natural and

monetary--as possible. Because of cost, I had to

make a few initial compromises, like purchasing a

conventional mattress. To make up for those, I've

obsessed over making all the other little purchases

as eco-guilt-free as possible.

I stumbled across this week's Fresh Find on a die-hard quest to find either Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood and/or bamboo drapery rods (bamboo is rapidly renewable, replenishing itself in as little as five years). And the Antique Drapery Rod Company did me one, nay two, better: they not only supply both of the above but also recycled wrought-iron rods, with a minimum recycled content of 65 percent, and recycled aluminum rods, with a minimum recycled content of 96 percent.

The company, based in balmy east Texas, has been around since 1992, and it seems that they've always held environmental standards as a high priority. Their plastic packaging contains the highest percentage of post-consumer waste they can get, and all paper packaging components are made of 100% recycled fibers. They also use low-VOC finishes on their hardware. Their bamboo rods require no chemical finishes whatsoever, just "a traditional technique using earth, fire and water," according to a company rep.

I opted for the recycled wrought iron to hang my linen curtains (linen is natural fiber that doesn't demand the heavy doses of pesticides that cotton needs), primarily because they're expandable, unlike the wood and the bamboo. Three rods with three sets of finials and brackets ran me about $250, so the costs are comparable with other rods I found, but given that I should be able to use them forever without needing to buy new rods every time I move (and that they'll help cut down on my a/c bill this summer), it was a worthy investment.

For more information and a full range of styles, see or call 214-653-1733.

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