Getting the Green Goods

Timeless: In the mythology of the Andaman Islands, humanity emerged from a bamboo stem. And while the good folks over at Bambu may not believe in bamboo-based creation, they have married modern design with traditional craftsmanship. Their lacquerware is natural, food-safe, and as durable as Karl Malden. $32. Available at Downtown Home & Garden, Ann Arbor; 734-662-8122.

Natural: Ann-Arbor-based Palumba specializes in organic, green-built, handmade children’s toys made from all-natural materials. But your kids won’t care about the environmental sensitivity, they’ll be too busy frying up some imaginary eggs in their very own play kitchen. Made of solid cherry with walnut and birch accents, the mini-cooktop comes fully assembled and ready right out of the box. $350. Available at Palumba, Ann Arbor; 866-725-7122 or

Fresh: Had enough with harsh chemicals and medicinal smells? Who hasn’t? Caldrea’s cleaning products eliminate the headache-inducing irritants and replace them with natural freshness and cleaning potency. Biodegradable and never tested on animals, Caldrea’s products hope to turn keeping house into an art form. Prices vary. Available at Union General, Clarkston; 248-620-3800.

Waxy: Nurse logs are fallen, decaying trees that provide ecological support to seedlings while encouraging regeneration of the forest. And what does that have to do with candles, you ask? Well, nothing. But Vance Kitara’s Renewal Candles — one of three varieties available from the Natural Essences Collection — take their inspiration, and look, from these nurturing logs. Made of recycled soy and palm wax, Kitara’s candles flicker with an eco-friendly flame. Prices vary. Available at Casual Concepts, Rochester; 248-652-1080.

Woody: Scott Klinker’s gotten a lot of ink for his designs. Head of the graduate 3D design program at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Klinker founded Scott Klinker Product Design and quickly had his Spaceframe Builder’s Kit chosen as one of the top 25 products of 2004 in Fortune magazine. His partnership with Royal Oak’s Context Furniture  — run by Bryce and Kerry Moore — resulted in these simple but sleek A-Frame tables and benches. Table, $650; Bench, $415. Available through Context Furniture, Royal Oak; 248-200-0724 or

Sustainable: Based in Zeeland, Knu manufactures contemporary furniture with a commitment to sustainability. They’re as green as it gets, even forgoing a print catalog because it would be “a huge, unnecessary use of our collective resources.” This table and chair was designed as functional sculpture and comes in your choice of six eco-friendly veneers. Table, $4,800; Chairs, $2,400/each. Available through

Elemental: Luna — a new environmentally conscious glass-and-aluminum tile collection — was created in collaboration with glass artist Erin Adams. Adams, a native San Antonian, explains it this way: “Luna is the idea of marrying two materials together in a setting that highlights the differences and similarities of each.” In other words, they’re good looking and are made using recycled alumi­num and oil. Prices start at $135 per square foot. Available at Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy; 248-643-3393.

Recycled: Demijohn bottles date back to the 1700s. Once filled with wine and wrapped in wicker, these one-of-a-kind jugs come in a variety of colors complete with rustic surfaces and even some 300-year-old dirt still clinging on. Collected from all over Europe, the bottles are great for grouping and available in medium and large sizes.  Prices vary. Available at Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, Ann Arbor; 734-665-2314.