Simple steps (below) and organic products can be found at A Cooler Planet.
The eco-conscious shopping scene in Chicago just keeps getting better, deeper, and chic-er. From mattresses and tabletop wares to locally made sustainable furniture and recycled glass countertops, there’s something for every green need.
Michele Fitzpatrick’s Bucktown shop Verde (the first of its kind in town; 2100 W. Armitage Ave., 773-486-7750) is the place for high-end modern and transitional furniture, most of which is designed by Fitzpatrick herself and built locally out of sustainable materials (her curvy Gaudi chairs, $1,200 each, are gorgeous). She also carries rustic-modern rough-hewn wood tables by local furniture maker Terry Karpowicz (starting at $1,800), eco-friendly fabrics from Kravet, Soliloquy, and Brentano, 100 percent wool rugs from Missoni, and a handful of vintage pieces.
A slightly more price-conscious but equally well curated and interesting option, Green Home Chicago (213 N. Morgan St., 312-432-9400), opened in the Fulton Market District in February. With a full-service approach to green decorating (offering everything from furniture and fabrics to paint, flooring, kitchen cabinets, and tile), this showroom brims with original artwork, vintage pieces, and accessories that reflect owner Karen Kalmek’s eclectic tastes and passions (among them, supporting world poverty alleviation, which is also the goal of several of her vendors, including the locally based Arzu rug company). Exclusives include kitchen cabinetry by Silver Walker Cabinetry and Syndecrete, a recycled composite that’s twice as strong but half as heavy as concrete (and same price, about $120 a square foot)—great for countertops. All items are rated on a ten-point system (in the form of a checklist on a tag) that lists the product’s virtues (recycled, sustainable, etc.).
Bench and light, at Green Home Chicago
A similar labeling system is used at Greenmaker’s Supply (2500 N. Pulaski Rd., 773-384-7500), which is more focused on home improvement, offering such eco-friendly winners as tankless water heaters, dual-flush toilets, and patio pavers made of recycled tires. Greenmaker’s also recently launched its own private-label line of kitchen cabinets and cork and bamboo floors in the hopes of eliminating the middleman and making green remodeling more affordable.
Pillows and colorful vases decorate the interior of Grasshopper 510
For high-end home accents and gifts, Grasshopper 510 (1944 N. Damen Ave., 773-292-0510; grasshopper510.com) in Bucktown is a must. Standouts in this well-appointed little boutique—sprinkled with signs that ask, and answer, such questions as “Why hemp?"—include Stray Dog’s colorful recycled glass and tin lamps ($360-$450); Melt Modern’s recycled aluminum bowls ($275), and trays made from recycled street signs ($85).
Bowls and organic sheets, at A Cooler Planet
A Cooler Planet (2211 W. Roscoe St., 773-248-1110) in Roscoe Village emphasizes healthy and thoughtfully made everyday things, such as organic sheets (including popular brands Amenity and Loop) and towels, recycled-glass dinnerware, crib and regular mattresses, and sustainable kids’ furniture (with a few adult-sized pieces, such as chairs by Bean Furniture). This store, too, is dotted with informational labels explaining its products.
Another standby that’s less gift-focused and more life-focused is Evanston’s Healthy Green Goods (702 Main St., 847-864-9098), which carries the Oregon-based Pacific Rim furniture line (simple pieces made out of sustainable maple with natural finishes), bamboo nesting tables by local company 2Point Perspective, and green staples like air purifiers, eco-friendly cleaning supplies, and energy-efficient light bulbs.
Photography: Eric Hausman
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