Winter Visit To The Home Show: A Sliver Of Green Is Seen In Philadelphia

The promo for this year's Philadelphia Home Show , ongoing until January 28th, featured green stuff that looked like it would be fun to check out. A stroll through the exhibit made one thing extremely clear: bamboo has overgrown the home flooring market. Samples were shooting up all over. A virtual bamboo flooring forest it was. Analogy tells the rest. Pennsylvania has famously been characterized politically as 'Philadelphia on the East and Pittsburgh on the West, with Alabama in between'. The Philly Home Show floor was anchored by a single Myers Motors NmG all electric car (shown in photo) on one side of the hall, opposite a cluster of GMC SUV's and Trucks on the other side. Uncountable flooring, siding, shower liner, and window vendors spanned the aisles between these disparate vehicle types. Even in a home show, vehicles circumscribe the boundaries of our lives.

While the show was held in the Convention Center (exterior view shown above), located in Center City, Philadelphia, the displays seemed mainly to be of objects and services best suited to the wealthy suburban estate owner. We had no idea that the market demanded so many copper-clad exterior features and composite granite countertops. No "Energy Savings" banners were in sight. No water saving devices were offered.

While looking at the green kitchen exhibit by "Planit Greener", we watched a lady pace around nervousy, looking confused by the unfamiliar materials. Asking what a particular surface was made of she was told: "recycled newspaper." Off she went with wrinkled brow, presumably heading for a granite composite counter top.

It won't surprise anyone when we say that "green" is a very small niche category in the Philadelphia area suburban home market (with the exception of the bamboo that has crawled underfoot).

Things that would be familiar to TreeHugger's regular readers were either masked in the carnival of vinyl, or dimmed by the banging about of the cookery demonstrators and weird gadget hawkers. For now, a visit to the designer's studio or an hour or so spent on the web renders far more green choices. Wonder if it's that way in Europe as well?

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