Light Brown is The New Green is the New Black


Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times

TreeHugger has covered the green party scene in words and video before, but we didn't notice that the colour of cardboard is the new green or black or whatever. We hope that this is just a phase and that the whole world isn't going to look like the inside of a UPS warehouse.

The New York Times shows the latest and most extravagant green and greenwashed parties of the year. Event designer David Monn's put on a little do, shown above, where he "wrapped 28,000 square feet of a parking garage on the Hudson River in post-consumer cardboard for the Guggenheim International Gala; he also made tables, chairs, centerpieces and chargers out of the stuff. The décor was partly an homage to Frank Gehry, one of the evening's honorees." However even Mr. Monn thinks there are limits: "I don't believe in gluttony. It's one of the seven deadly sins and you can get punished for it. I've been thinking a long time about what I might be able to do to decrease the waste inherent in our business."


Philip Greenberg

Designer David Stark, to put together the "Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's awards gala last month, directed the museum to shred its office paper for six months, producing a harvest that he augmented with 12 years of his personal tax returns and his own office's papers. He then turned the resulting 6,000 pounds of paper strips into giant topiaries and chandeliers, floridly archaic shapes fashioned from trash. It was the language of excess — those topiaries recalled the gardens of Versailles — expressed in the material of frugality.

The endeavor was not without contradictions or mishaps, said Mr. Stark, who had to comply with the museum's fire codes requiring that all that material be flame-proofed. "So then we had to find the organic fire retardant guy," he continued, "and for two and a half months we were dipping 6,000 pounds of paper in fire retardant and then trying to dry it out by spreading it on the floors of our warehouse." As the date of the event loomed closer, Mr. Stark looked out upon the soggy landscape, realized he needed help, and bought three energy-hogging commercial dryers to finish the job.

"I'm certainly not going to do it again," he said, "but I learned a thing or two." ::New York TImes