Posted: August 01, 2011
Colorado cool stuff: Ecobond, Brazilets, bedbug boxesBy Eric Peterson
Jim Barthel developed technology to stabilize the lead in contaminated soil with his environmental services firm, MT2, after starting the company in 2000. Five million tons of lead-contaminated soil later, it's hitting the retail market in a big way, debuting as Ecobond at The Home Depot last month. Available as a latex primer or soil additive, Ecobond neutralizes lead so it can be safely disposed, or simply repainted.
"It treats lead-based paint and seals it in place," Barthel says. "You can leave it and paint over it - it's a latex primer. Or you can demolish it and not have to worry about lead disposal." Primer: $49.97 per gallon; additive: $89.97 per gallon.
Made by MT2 LLC, Arvada, (303) 456-0023 or (888) 435-6645, www.ecobondlbp.com. Also available at The Home Depot stores in Colorado.
After starting with Brazilets - prayer bracelets from Brazil - Kael Robinson has continued to combine social consciousness and entrepreneurship via her importer Live Worldly, which changed its moniker from Live Brazilian after a Wall Street Journal article last October generated inquiries from all over the world.
Today she imports 100 different products (mostly jewelry and fashion accessories) from 30 countries and gives a portion of the sales in the form of charitable donations to nonprofits in the countries of origin.
"Our main goals are to make people aware of global issues and bring different cultures to the U.S.," she says. Among Live Worldly's big hits are Decenarios, Brazilian bracelets imbued with different meanings based on their hue ($5 retail); Sorte Necklaces, also from Brazil, featuring two amulets that are said to bring the wearer good luck ($24 to $60); and Love In India string bracelets, recently spotted on Julia Roberts' wrist in "Eat, Pray, Love." ($5).
Imported by Live Worldly LLC, Denver, www.liveworldly.com.
Mark and Annie Danielson, ColoradoBiz CEOs of the year for 2009, have launched another new venture that continues the thread started by Danielson Designs, their home-decor company.
Annie describes Rendi as a "new company with an old soul," noting that it differs in that the products are customizable and it has a direct, event-based sales model. Rendi's "stylists" organize parties where they help attendees design their own gifts and décor - primarily signs and frames - with phrases, quotes and pictures of their own choosing using a Web-based tool. The products are then automatically printed at Rendi's Trinidad facility and shipped within 48 hours.
"A customized gift is really powerful," Annie says. "It's pretty amazing when you watch people open these gifts." $12.95 to $39.95 retail.
Made by Rendi Ltd., Trinidad, (719) 845-2697, www.rendistyle.com.
THERMALSTRIKE BEDBUG BOXES
After earning an MBA from Colorado State University in 2008, longtime electrical engineer Mike Lindsey decided it was time to strike out on his own. He drew from experience: a bedbug infestation he brought home from a vacation to Mexico.
"They like to hide in stuff," Lindsey says. "If they decide to hide in your suitcase or clothes, you'll bring them home." His solution: ThermalStrike bedbug boxes, which use ultra-thin film to heat luggage to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and kill any bedbugs that have hitched a ride inside. Lindsey says it's a great value. "When you get hit with an infestation, you're looking at $800 to $1,500. You can't just do nothing." Available in two sizes; $129 to $179 retail.
Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com