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Greedy for Green

4/14/2006 12:00:00 AM


The past couple of weeks have been heartening for me. First of all, I’m always ridiculously happy to see the month of March end. No matter what’s going on in my life, the onset of April’s longer days and the sudden burst of plum blossoms in my back yard causes a tectonic shift in my mood. I can’t help it. I’m just completely in love with spring.

But my happy mood is based on more than just daffodils. First of all, I was blown away by the response from a group of interior designers when I presented a seminar on healthy, green homes at the International Window Coverings Expo in Tampa, Florida. So often I preach about healthy homes and green design to the choir—at environmentally oriented events. I can be pretty sure those audience members are already sympathetic with my views on natural, nontoxic décor and green design principles. For this one, I wasn’t so sure. Nontoxic materials and sustainable design weren’t huge topics at this huge and very mainstream show.

I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to a more enthusiastic audience. They peppered me with questions and demanded to know where they could learn more. They were hungry for information on natural, nontoxic materials. All sorts of possibilities blossomed in that room. It was truly fun—and another reminder that the culture is catching up with us. Suddenly, everyone’s greedy for green.

This month Elle, Vanity Fair and GQ are all pushing the green thing. A group of high-powered corporate executives (including leaders from GE, Shell and Wal-Mart, no less) told a Senate committee that they would welcome mandatory caps on their greenhouse emissions. And an ABC News-Time-Stanford University poll found that 85 percent of Americans believe global warming is probably happening, and nearly half, 49 percent, consider it extremely or very important to them personally.

Global warming doesn’t contribute to my ebullient mood, of course. But watching my fellow Americans begin to address it and take steps toward mitigating it sure does. The long, long winter is melting into spring.

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