New, improved fake logs for your fireplace

By Times Staff, Wires
Published November 24, 2007

If you plan to use fake logs in the fireplace this winter, note that Duraflame has replaced petroleum waxes with plant-based biowaxes. Emissions from the biologs eliminate the greenhouse gases equivalent to the carbon dioxide emitted by 62,000 automobiles annually, the company says. The logs, available at Target, Home Depot, Sam's Clubs and Wal-Mart, come in several sizes. File under "what won't they think of next": Duraflame's Crackleflame firelog includes seeds that produce the crackling sound of a wood fire.

Advice that makes the holidays shine

This may be the weekend you get out the boxes of lights and start thinking about holiday decorations. Keep this number handy: toll-free 1-888-858-2548 ext.100. That's the help line for the Ulta-Lit Tree Co. Its experts will be standing by from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Christmas Eve to answer questions about lighting dilemmas, why that strand of lights won't work and how to repair it.

Clever use for paint color chips

Got paint color chips left from a recent decorating project? Use them as place cards, enviro-host Danny Seo suggests. Print or stamp names on them and slide them into a groove cut in a wine-bottle cork. Or do the same thing to identify the dishes on your buffet table or hors d'oeuvres array.

Caution about cats and decorations

Holiday decorations will start appearing around the house soon. Cat owners, remember that poinsettias, mistletoe and holly can cause gastric distress for your pets. Keep the cats out of the Christmas tree water: It may contain pesticides and can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Help is at hand for historic places

You have until Dec. 14 to submit nominations for the 2008 list of America's Most Endangered Historic Places, created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The 2007 list included historic neighborhoods in New Orleans and Ellis Island in New York Harbor. (See the complete list at www.nationaltrust.org. Choose "11 Most Endangered" from the "Quick Links" menu.) The sites are at risk from neglect, deterioration, lack of maintenance, insufficient funds, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy. To submit a nomination, go to www.nationaltrust.org/11most/nominate.html. The 2008 list will be announced in May.