Greeningdales™ Would Give Rise to a Sustainable Economy Definition

How can a home and lifestyle brand give rise to a sustainable economy definition? Our new sister site is looking to answer that question.

Where Can I Find a Designer Modern Wool Area Rug?

Just about everywhere on e-commerce home furnishings websites and big box stores – most likely. 

But if you want one that's also non-toxic you may need to look a little harder. This is because most of the "popular" brands are mass-produced from synthetic fibers that are saturated with toxic chemicals including stain repellent treatments, adhesives, and artificial dyes.

Recreating Retail

Atmospheric Particulate Matter

Imagine for a minute we have transitioned to primarily using alternative forms of energy. We would still need to figure out which products we want to keep making, as well as how they should be made, in order to match our sustainable homes and lifestyles.

In other words, to make everything in our world better, we must make every thing better.

The good news is we've already started. In the world of food, the sustainable marketplace now contains a plethora of healthy grocer and restaurant choices. For the people who are leading the charge for sustainable American lifestyles, these marketplace choices provide a visible access point to a brighter, sustainable future. By spending their dollars at modern, healthy grocers and farm-to-table dining establishments, today's conscientious consumers are driving changes that are making sustainable agricultural and manufacturing processes widespread.

So what's next? Our furniture, clothing, linens, bedding, lighting... all the products we routinely buy for our homes. In fact, many companies—some of which you can find on our website—have already started making these products in better ways. The challenge is making these products the ones that stand out in a marketplace that is currently stuffed to the gills with unsustainable product choices.

What Tangled Webs We Modern People Weave

Toxic Hot Seat, the movie, will be premiering on HBO at 9pm on Monday, November 25th.


It's about chemical flame retardants and the fact they are all over the place in our homes and in our bodies. This movie addresses key questions about them, like, Do they work? And are they making people sick? Find out who really doesn't want us asking these kinds of questions, and who certainly wouldn't want to see new retail brands emerge and be successful, particular by playing on the fact that they exclude chemical flame retardants from the products they sell.

New Air Quality Research: Another Reason to take a Second Look Inside Your Home

Atmospheric Particulate Matter

Research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has compiled more evidence that poor indoor air quality is a significant health concern in American homes. Two previously unknown pollutants were uncovered: a gas called acrolein caused by various common combustion practices such as cooking and candle burning, and Particulate Matter 2.5, or small particles less that 2.5 micrometers in diameter.

As the article reporting on this research begins, "For decades, no one worried much about the air quality inside people's homes unless there was secondhand smoke or radon present. Then scientists... made the discovery that the aggregate health consequences of poor indoor air quality are as significant as those from all traffic accidents or infectious diseases in the United States."

The paper was published in Environmental Health Perspectives in 2012, describing a new method for estimating the chronic health impact of indoor air pollutants. Their term for the total effect of indoor air pollutants is 'aggregate,' but we like to think of it as a cumulative effect, how multiple chemical sources combine to produce unhealthy living environments.

Inevitably: Comments on Steven Cohen's Sustainability Polemic

Green can't just exist in a building called the Biosphere

Define 'sustainability.' We are often afflicted by a general familiarity with words, if not being able to fully grasp their true meaning. With this admission in hand, there is perhaps no better definition of sustainability than Steven Cohen's recent article in the Huffington Post, The Inevitability of Sustainability Politics, Technology, and Management.

Cohen succeeds in pointing out the relevance of sustainability, and does so to the extent that sustainability is imperative. It is not an option to do otherwise—we, the people of the United States, must commit to sustainable practices simply to survive. All roads lead to Rome, in other words, because every environmental force pressing down on the society of the 21st century demands going green.

Take health for example. Pollution in the environment is closing in on the American household, and will put our health at risk if we do not reverse its proliferation. This speaks to a definition of sustainability—of going green—as something immediately relevant to the individual. Going green isn't about protecting something that's out there, it's about preserving a healthy world for us to live in.

As for policy and economics, Cohen is spot-on: "Pollution and poisoning people or the planet may provide some short-term benefits, but our experience with environmental remediation and restoration tells us that these short-term benefits are consumed quite rapidly, and are soon replaced by longer term costs."

Innovation in Health and Sustainability

Innovation For a New American Dream

The gateway to mainstream understanding of health and sustainability issues lies in retail transformation. WorkingWonders is a marketplace solution built on the premise that people make lifestyle changes according to what they see and experience on the retail landscape. By innovating a mainstream brand that merges retail with sustainability, WorkingWonders will change retail to make it relevant for today's world, and create a healthier, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible American Dream.

We have already seen this transformation in the food sector, led by Whole Foods, but American consumers have not yet been given the ability to make the same health and sustainability advances with their home purchases. WorkingWonders is a brand that identifies and uses sustainable supply chains that, by and large, remain hidden from mainstream view.

Up and Running

Running towards a new American Dream

Well, the website has been up and running since March.

In the last few months we’ve sold some beautiful pieces from our line of recycled outdoor furniture, comfortable non-toxic mattresses, organic cotton linens, no-soot palm wax candles, carpet from our 100% wool and recycled content collections, HEPA air cleaners, recycled glassware, and bio-degradable umbrellas that are compliment magnets for their owners.

WorkingWonders is also most likely one of the smallest of the companies to have qualified for Chase Bank & Living Social’s Mission Small Business Contest. (THANK YOU!!!) In about a month, we gathered 255 votes from our community, which might sound like a small amount, but in reality is a big achievement. We pounded the pavement at shopping malls, coffee shops, and grocery stores to tell people about our business, and learned quite a lot from the experience.

So now we’re ready to roll out our vision, and we’re asking our community to vote with their dollars for the first exclusively green department store to be located right here in Maryland.

Pushing the Green Economy Envelope

The Power of Women and Shopping

Mainstream sentiment is moving toward sustainable trends faster than retail can accommodate. On the tail end of NMI’s report that 80% of Americans are green in one way or another, their research uncovers confusion on the retail landscape, a muddied picture of the sustainable living concept. According to NMI, 66% of Americans say it's hard to know which companies are telling the truth about their environmental record, and 40% admit they don"t know where to go for information about which products are environmentally friendly. Our brand identity is built around solving this problem of green confusion—when we say we"ll be a beacon for healthy homes, this is exactly what we mean—and our Green Guide™ is a bold step toward giving the public the information required to drive green practices through savvy consumerism.

Where is the Green Economy?

Strip Malls are a Blight on the American Landscape

At workingwonders, we're emboldened by Natural Marketing Institute's report saying 80% of the American population is green in one way or another. It's great news, but let’s not make the mistake of thinking the new green economy will simply materialize.

Broad agreement that serious environmental issues exist, the feeling that most Americans want to go green, and widespread adoption of recycling practices are steps in the right direction. The stage has been set, but a new green economy seems as invisible as the emperor's new clothes. Add our frustration over a major disconnect between political bluster and current economic stagnation, and promises of a new green economy have clearly fallen short.

So, what's in the way of making our economy green? Skirting the political implications, we offer two quick explanations for green economy shortcomings: supply chains and innovation.

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