Friday, June 20, 2008

Is it Necessary to Go “Zero-to-Green” in 6.2 Seconds?

Mark and I moved into our home on a sweltering hot August day nearly six years ago. We started early in the morning and didn’t stop until the last box wasn’t just inside our house, but unpacked. Looking back, we must have been crazy. But it was our first house (it still is!) and we were too excited to be exhausted.

We’re bringing that same enthusiasm and drive to our green conversion but, because it can cost a lot of green to go green, we’re not exactly moving at the same break-neck pace. My inclination is to hurry-up-and-go-green and, all things considered, I’d rather be quick about it because it’s the right thing to do for the earth and our health. But I’m trying to see the bright green side of taking it slow and—in the process—I’m finding that making careful and conscious green choices, over time, is quite satisfying.

Here’s an example. Back in December, I interviewed Christine Chamberlain, the owner of The Clean Bedroom ( for a magazine article and was shocked to learn how unhealthy the average bed is, with an off-gassing mattress, pesticide-laden sheets, and toxic pillows. No wonder I was tossing and turning at night!

Immediately after the interview, I wanted to go to Christine’s website and buy an organic mattress, organic sheets, and organic pillows. But it just wasn’t in the financial cards. A few months later, we had saved enough to buy an organic wool mattress topper from The Clean Bedroom—a green mattress was our first choice but, for the money, the topper offers protection from off-gassing and dust musts, so it made more financial sense. Then, a few weeks later, we found organic sheets on super clearance at TJ Maxx ( And, just last week, the organic wool pillows from Natura ( I blogged earlier about seeing at Target ( went on super clearance as well. It might have taken seven months, but I got my green bed . . . and without spending a lot of green.

Is a green bed really better? Instead of an answer, I have a challenge for you: Why don't you sleep on it—literally—and get back to me.

Question of the blog: You can't always wait for an item to go on sale . . . With that in mind, what's been your biggest green splurge?

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