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EPA Bans Paint Strippers Containing Methylene Chloride

Paint strippers containing the chemical methylene chloride have been banned for consumer sales by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Image Credit: Raquel Baranow / CC BY-SA / Flickr Months after a number of U.S. retailers began acting on their own, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule prohibiting the manufacture and sale of paint strippers containing a toxic chemical blamed for a number of deaths. In a press release, the EPA said it found risks to consumers using strippers with methylene chloride to be unreasonable. The agency said even short-term exposure to fumes from the chemical can quickly…

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All About Sub-Compact Tractors

Find Out If a Sub-Compact Tractor Is Right For You1. How much acreage do you have? If you have more than one acre and less than five, a sub-compact tractor is an ideal landscaping solution, depending on terrain and other uses. (For lots larger than five acres, you will likely need more horsepower; check out Kubota’s line of larger machinery, here.) 2. What jobs will you be performing regularly? Will you use your tractor strictly for mowing, or do you plan to do larger-scale garden tilling, material moving, haying, snow removal, grading, etc.? Let your job list help you determine…

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Hotel Hakuba: A Japanese Ski Lodge for Scandi Design Fanatics

Located in a village near Nagano, the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics, Hotel Hakuba is a ski lodge from Onecollection founders Ivan Hansen and Hans Henrik merging Japanese architecture with midcentury Scandinavian design. A bit of history: In 2000, Hansen and Henrik acquired the rights to produce the designs of Danish midcentury icon Finn Juhl. “Since part of the line is produced in Japanese workshops, we already had a strong affiliation with the country,” they say. Hotel Hakuba is their first hospitality project, and it’s a natural extension of the brand, offering a “full-fledged Finn Juhl experience.” For more information, go to Hotel Hakuba.…

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Big Batteries, Not New Power Plants

In a pilot program in Boothbay, Maine, 600 batteries housed in storage containers at an industrial park help ease peak loads on the local grid and make a new power transmission line unnecessary. [Image credit: GridSolar] Due to their decreasing costs, lithium-ion batteries now dominate a range of applications including electric vehicles, computers, and consumer electronics. You might only think about energy storage when your laptop or cellphone is running out of juice, but utilities can plug bigger versions into the electric grid. And thanks to rapidly declining lithium-ion battery prices, using energy storage to stretch electricity generation capacity. Based…

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Home Depot Bows to Labor Realities

A shortage of roofers is at least partly to blame for The Home Depot's decision to discontinue its roofing installation services. Roofers are one of several skilled trades in short supply in some parts of the country. [Image credit: UMD Watershed / CC BY-NC / Flickr] A shortage of skilled construction labor appears to have caught up with The Home Depot. The building materials and home goods retailer has stopped writing contracts for the installation of roofing, siding, insulation, and gutters. While maintaining dozens of other installation services, the company had decided those four specialties weren’t attractive in the long…

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Davelle: 13 Ideas to Steal from New York’s Tiniest Jewelbox Restaurant

Above: Outside, Kanayama and team embraced the Lower East Side grittiness, with a fairly nondescript little shopfront and a simple sign. 2. “Graduate from cold industrial design.” Above: “This is what we kept saying when we designed the space,” Kanayama says. “We didn’t want to make this space the industrial look that’s been everywhere here in New York. So we took different approach: Let’s build something that we can only make here, not in Japan.” Their tact: taking down the interior walls to expose the original bricks and cement, then adding a floor of reclaimed New York wood. 3. Add soft…

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