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Mainstreaming the whole 'green' thing

July 5, 2012

I'll just admit it. The word 'green' makes me feel green at times - in a sick-to-my-stomach sort of way. I hate catchall terms that cram any idea regardless of its complexity into a box.

Sometimes when green issues come up now, I can see people in the room getting a little uncomfortable. Like it's a dead issue. A couple more springs, winters and summers like this and we'll see how much of a dead issue it is.

The term is a tough one to use; there's so much pressure involved when you use it that you'll be tagged an expert and then called out and then, well, it'll just make your life complicated.

But that's not always so.

At the recent American Home Furnishings Alliance Marketing meeting, Chris Phillips, director of sales and marketing at Apartment Therapy, said something that put my mind at ease.

When asked about it, he noted that when Discovery Communications replaced the unsuccessful Planet Green this year, it might have been emblematic of changes in how consumers think about the category.

"I think that green as being this marginalized own thing off to the side is not interesting to people anymore. When we tested posts that were about green content and put them on Apartment Therapy, the same posts did much better than when it was over in the corner on our green site."

"Our readers have totally accepted green as a part of their everyday life. And they don't sort of go off to the green department in their minds. They expect it from everything."

Within seconds, I went from wondering if consumers care to thinking maybe they care so much that a green, sustainable story is just another given, something they assume all companies should offer. Phillips didn't even blink when he answered. All I could do was sit back and think: What a thoughtful answer.

In that spirit, here's a nice idea for the bedding guys on what might be done with box springs from Apartment Therapy.

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/before-and-after-box-spring-chair-and-table-172967