Greendesign store offers ‘eco-friendly’ products
Not only does the store offer eco-friendly products, but much of the decor comes from American-made sustainable materials, and 90 percent of the store’s products are made in the United States. The store welcomes its customers with a mat made of grass grown through sustainable methods.
McNulty said that the store has been positively received since its opening. Patrons include tourists, University visitors and Princeton residents.
“Business is actually doing well,” McNulty said. “We’re getting a lot of traffic from people coming to see what we have.”
“The people in this area are very receptive to this idea,” he said, adding that once a day someone tells him that “this is something that Princeton needed.”
Customers have stopped by Greendesign for a variety of reasons. Cora Coyle, a housewife looking for products for her 16-month-old daughter, said she heard of the store through the Holistic Moms Network. The network, of which Park is a member, is a nonprofit group for individuals with non-traditional ideas of parenting and natural living.
“I always try to get the natural, most organic products online or wherever we can find it,” Coyle said. “But it’s hard to find a lot of this stuff, and you want to be able to see what you’re going to buy.”
Ken Vernon, a Hoboken resident, said he was drawn into the store by its eclectic display.
“As a commercial real estate appraiser, it affects what I do because investors are focusing on building efficiency,” Vernon said. “Nowadays, the hot topic is green buildings.”
Though there are no other stores exactly like it in Princeton, there are stores in town — such as the Whole Earth Center, Olive May Natural Foods and the U-Store — that are of a similar nature, said Jeffrey Domanski GS, associate manager in the Office of Sustainability.
“While [Greendesign is] not an everyday-needs store necessarily, it’s good to see there’s a place within Princeton that’s promoting these types of products,” Domanski said in an e-mail. “I hope there’s an audience for them and that the store helps educate consumers on what sustainability is about.”
McNulty views the store as a place to engage customers in a discussion about what makes a product “green,” while ultimately leaving it up to the customer to make the decision to purchase the product. “We try to educate people when they come in,” he said, about things “like buying one stainless-steel bottle instead of several water bottles.”
One section of the store is devoted to baby products and other environmentally friendly products that are safe for children. Many parents tend to gravitate toward products like these after learning of the harmful impacts of certain products and being unable to find natural alternatives, McNulty said.
His own two children have inspired many of his store’s products, he said, explaining that he and his wife want healthier products for their children.
McNulty and Park attend trade shows in New York and search for vendors online, using criteria such as the vendors’ philosophies and how and where their products were produced to decide whether to sell them at Greendesign.
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