Get Green with Style Blog

Why I Am An Eco-Friendly Interior Designer Part 1

Hi!  This is Michelle Banks Watt, one of two authors of this blog.  The next few posts will be about my backround and why I am an eco-friendly interior designer.

When I was growing up, about the only “eco-friendly” thing we did (and this was before the term even existed) was turning off the lights and TV every time we left the room.  It was during the energy crisis, and my sisters and I came home from school with little stickers to put on every light switch in the house reminding us to do so.   The novelty of it excited us and encouraged us to do it; not to mention the fact that it gave us the authority and power to reprimand the others if they forgot!  To this day the habit is still ingrained in us.  My next bout of  green came after college when I moved to Denver.  I believe this is where all of the hippies converged after their heyday was over.  I was completely awed by the natural beauty of the mountains and completely disgusted by the orange haze that often floated over the city.  Denver, at the edge of the Rockies, is nestled in a valley and warnings of unhealthy  ”ozone days”, caused by trapped car emissions and industrial smoke filled the news.  This resulted in the ex-hippies, now all grown up and with science degrees, coming out of the woodwork to warn us of the dire consequences to our health and the environment and fortunately the government listened.  Many initiatives were started in the late 80s and “ozone days” became rare.  The wave of excitement to protect our health and the environment consumed everyone, and things like the expansion of the High Line Canal trail (an intricate web of walking and biking paths that connect to the entire city) were born.  I became a vegetarian like most of my friends.  I even bought a few expandable cotton “French market bags” from Williams-Sonoma and started taking them to the grocery store every week to avoid the paper and plastic.  I still use those same bags, 20 years later, and it is only in the last couple of  years in suburban Chicago that the checkers and baggers have stopped looking at me funny.  And don’t get me started on my seven years in Wisconsin…


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