Sustainability and eco-friendliness have been hot topics for some time now. With all the focus on buying products that advertise as organic or earth-friendly, we can sometimes forget there are other ways to lead an environmentally responsible life.
One of the best ways to keep our planet in shape is to reduce waste -- and not just by recycling bottles and re-using plastic cups and plates.
“If something is meant to last a lifetime, than it’s eco-friendly” says Toni Nicolo, owner of Greenhouse, a home furnishings and accessories shop that prides itself on its handpicked selection of eco-luxury items. In September 2008, local resident Nicolo opened Greenhouse at 375 Atlantic Ave. with Wilsey Wolf in order to bring aesthetically pleasing, eco-friendly home décor to the people in the neighborhood.
Nicolo and Wolf knew that their business would fit in among the many home design shops and they also felt there was an environmentally friendly mindset in the neighborhood.
“People feel more rooted and want to make their homes nice,” says Nicolo of the neighborhood. “Brooklynites are pretty sophisticated and want the best that they can find. They appreciate really nice things and want to invest in their homes."
Spending a little more on something that you can enjoy for a lifetime is worth it when you’re growing your permanent furnishings and décor collection. Simultaneously, you’re minimizing waste by holding on to a few timeless, sustainable pieces, she said.
And what better neighborhood to peruse for long-lasting additions to your home than Atlantic Avenue where there are antique, found objects and vintage shops galore! By definition, the beautiful furnishings and accessories in these shops are eco-friendly because they are being repurposed as soon as you bring them home.
Nicolo says she can't pick a favorite item in the store, but notes the linens at Greenhouse are particularly "green." They are just one example of a home product that is inherently eco-friendly because it is a long-lasting material. Purchasing linen towels, tablecloths and bedding is an easy and luxurious way to begin or add to your environmentally responsible home.
And how can you keep your earth-friendly home in tip-top shape in an earth-friendly way? Head to Go Green at 485 Atlantic Ave. and you’ll find an extensive selection of environmentally safe, non-toxic and inexpensive cleaning products.
Founder and Brooklyn native Wayne Miles opened the store in September 2006 after working in the cleaning business, using toxic chemicals and observing their harmful effects on people. Not only does Miles sell supplies for routine housekeeping, but he also offers residential and commercial cleaning services. Subsequently, Go Green has helped hundreds of local businesses transition into supporting a healthier environment via their cleaning practices.
Most recently, Go Green started the only refill service in the area where customers can reuse empty product containers by bringing them to the store for a refill.
“It’s one of the best things that I’ve been able to offer the community,” says Miles.
He hopes to soon host workshops about how to lead a more eco-friendly life and is currently taking requests for specific topics to cover.
As we look for pieces to bring into our homes in this environmentally conscious world, we should search for repurposed furnishings or those made of materials that are naturally sustainable. Don't stop there because every time we clean our homes we can make a difference in our own health and that of the planet by choosing non-toxic products. And best of all, we can easily join the green movement here in the neighborhood.
By Feb. 1, Greenhouse will be in a larger space at 387 Atlantic Ave.
Home Works generally appears on Tuesday and will resume normal publication on Tuesday, Feb. 8.