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Issue Date: February 2007


How Green it is

The 64th annual Home & Garden Show’s dual green theme introduces sustainable design concepts and offers a taste of Ireland.
Kristen Hampshire
Emerald landscapes and eco-design — the 64th annual National City Home & Garden Show centers on a dual green theme. Tour 20 indoor acres of energy-conscious architecture, green products and breathtaking gardens. At the same time, experience the Emerald Isle’s vegetative landscapes and country gardens, fairytale castles and lively people. There are plenty of opportunities to soak in some Irish heritage — a modern-day castle, marketplace of imports and good craic (fun!) and music at an authentic Irish pub.

“The show is everyone’s escape in February,” says Brad Thimke Sr., a landscape designer with Don Mould’s Plantation in North Ridgeville, which is responsible for this year’s entry garden.

“People can get out and smell the flowers,” adds Rob Attewell, show manager. The show takes place Feb. 3 through 11 at the I-X Center.

Merging the Irish theme with a focus on sustainable design, the grand entryway will feature a modern-day Irish castle. The structure is a testament to technology and timeless design working well together — drawbridge meets solar power.
“It is definitely a showstopper,” Attewell remarks.

“The green building appeals to everyone, and it is a trend we are seeing more and more,” he adds. Driven by the increasing cost of natural gas and other natural resources, the number of show exhibitors with eco-friendly wares has grown along with the public’s demand for these types of products.

The Green Pavilion will feature a full bill of progressive companies that provide conscious solutions for the home and landscape.

Want to learn how to save energy? Looking for products that don’t harm the environment? From organic furniture to flooring, paint, cleanser and home building products, this marketplace of inventive, Earth-friendly products and service providers will open your eyes to how accessible sustainable living can be.

“There is now a demand for sustainable products, whereas maybe five years ago, there was not,” says Mike Dungan, president of Business Interiors and Environments in Cleveland and Akron. He will show his products in the Green Pavilion.

Sustainability, Dungan explains, is not just about products. It’s a way of life. “Sustainability is a holistic approach about attitudes and decisions,” he says.

Going green is a matter of “basic common sense,” says Steve DiMaria, vice president of Energy Wise Building Systems, and more homeowners are taking advantage of highly recyclable materials such as galvanized steel and polystyrene insulation, which have been around for years. Other green-building pillars include energy-efficient materials, indoor air-quality ventilation systems, and products that don’t release volatile organic chemicals.

The Home & Garden Show features a collection of modular homes and builders that specify sustainable products for construction. This year’s Boulevard of Dreams centers on waterfront living, showcasing two modular homes: a ranch and Cape Cod. Boats, natural grasses and lots of water will fool you into believing you’re on the coast — somewhere.

“The water is the biggest draw that we have in Northwest and Northeast Ohio,” says Carolyn Pope, sales manager for Marine City Sales, which is presenting the two modular homes.

Meanwhile, vendors and professionals will teach you ways to save energy, reduce waste and decrease the overall impact that building and our lifestyles have on the environment.

Home, garden, furniture, energy, the way we choose to build and live — this year’s show lends insight into the ways we can “go green” at home.

“[The movement] is now more than green products — though they are very important,” Dungan points out. “A sustainable economy includes all aspects of the community: the people, the planet and the prosperity of a community.”
Meanwhile, the spirited Irish theme collides with these ideas: community and down-to-earth sensibilities.

In the show’s Irish Village, the East Side and West Side Irish American Clubs’ collaborative display of commerce inspired by their heritage will tempt attendees to take home a bit of the Emerald Isle. Irish imports and travel information will tempt you to explore the country yourself.

So consider this your guide to going green — packed with ideas, information and concepts that reflect our society’s desire to live for less. 

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