Dark desire While it may seem as though Fifty Shades of Grey has everyone wanting to rip their clothes off and run around their apartments naked, Hong Kong’s steamy weather can have the same effect. A cold shower is a simple solution – but if you’re having trouble keeping your flat cool, you may want to think about installing SunTek solar film (top; from HK$45 per square foot) to keep the heat out. SunTek, made in the United States, is a little like sunglasses for windows: it reduces the amount of solar heat and ultraviolet rays coming through the glass. This cuts down on the need for energy-guzzling air conditioning. SunTek distributor Winston Lam, a green-building advocate and founder of Envirobuilding Solutions, claims the film can cut one’s energy bills by up to 30 per cent. It also reduces colour-fading on wooden floors, painted walls or upholstery. SunTek is available in various tints, in case you still feel the need to get naked. Envirobuilding Solutions is at 4/F, Tung Yiu Commercial Building, 31A Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2810 0325.
Sweeping gestures Emeco, the American company that has been associated with the ubiquitous aluminium Navy chair since the 1940s, may now have a design icon for the 21st century. And it’s about as planetfriendly as you can get. Created by Philippe Starck, the Broom chair (right, held by Starck) has a simple, modern and somewhat organic design. It comes in six hues: white, yellow, orange, green, natural and dark grey. However, what makes the chair special is that it is produced from 90 per cent rubbish. Starck was inspired after noticing the huge amount of waste at lumber factories and plastic plants. He envisaged taking a broom and sweeping it all up to create something useful. The Broom is made from 75 per cent reclaimed polypropylene, 15 per cent reclaimed wood fibre and 10 per cent glass fibre. The chair can itself be recycled, to extend the lifespan of the materials even further. Starck’s clever design has already made an impact, picking up the prestigious Multiple Production 2012 editors award at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York in June, and was a hit at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan earlier in the year. The Broom chair costs HK$2,499 and is available from Aluminium (various locations; www.aluminium-furniture.com).