Build it Green with Greenmaker Supply

| May 13, 2009 | 0 Comments

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Like many parents who live in Chicago, you know that most of us somehow fit more into less space. For my husband and I, that is a conscious choice. We live in a loft where most of our living space (and our stuff!) is exposed, but we bought it for its 16′ ceilings, knowing we would have room to grow if and when we started a family. We proceeded to add a second floor, and my husband, an architect-turned-construction project manager, did almost all the work himself. He did a wonderful job, adding many square feet to our living space, but during this project, from framing to painting, we only made a few choices that could be considered “green”. My eco-friendly leanings were just beginning back then, right around the time I became pregnant with my first child.

Fast forward to 2009 – our son is now 2 years old and we have another on the way, so we needed to do a bit more construction to make more room out of what we have. His small bedroom has been just fine, but there’s no way we can fit a crib and a bed in there.  We decided to open up some enclosed space upstairs to make a little room for him up there, and the new baby will inherit his “old room”.

But this time around, we wanted to do it all as green as possible…where would we start? Did the default building store sell green options other than CFL’s? (They do, btw.) I guess we could have just continued to shop there like homing pigeons, but another thing we are trying to do now is buy local and support small businesses instead of the big box retailers. That’s where Greenmaker Supply comes in! I heard about Greenmaker from a like-minded friend of mine, and am so glad she shared their name with us.

Greenmaker, located on Pulaski a little bit north of Fullerton, is a fantastic mecca for eco-friendly home improvement options. They sell everything from drywall to countertops, including the kitchen sink. When you visit their store, you can shop for a new dual-flush toilet (which happen to be on sale right now), pick up some no-VOC paint chips to check out at home, and talk to someone about composting options. It really is a full-serve home-improvement store, but the employees are knowledgeable, helpful and thorough, and looking for the green alternative is a no-brainer.

Nearing the end of our project, I went in on a weekday morning with my son, and the staff were really good with him and tolerant of his inquisitive nature. I was able to talk to the manager about my paint choices and options, and never felt rushed or pressured. My husband and I went back a few days later when we had made or color decisions, and they were able to match a Behr color for us, as well as mix our other choices while we checked out countertop and tile options for future projects. We also picked up some recycled cotton roller covers and they worked great. I was happy to be able to paint too, since all their paints are no-VOC, and I didn’t have to leave the house with our son. There was no smell at all, and I have no worries about the room’s drywall, cork flooring or paint off-gassing into his little system as he sleeps there every night.

The best part is that the prices for everything we’ve purchased from Greenmaker have been either comparable or less expensive than if we had bought them from the major competitor. Don’t get me wrong, they also have some very high end options, but if you are working with a budget  (and who isn’t these days?) they can help you to find the most affordable yet still sustainable or eco-friendly option. Whether you are in the midst of building a whole new home, or just thinking about getting a new bathroom faucet, head over to Greenmaker and make a choice that will improve your space and conserve our environment.

Greenmaker Supply
2500 N Pulaski
M-F – 8 to 5
Sat – 9 to 4

Photo Credit: on flickr by salvadorgaller

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Category: Featured, Shops & Services

About the Author ()

Kristen Holub, mother of 2 and creator of EcoActivista.com, is an artist and business owner turned stay-at-home mom. She makes conscious and mindful decisions to keep the household eco-friendly and shares tip and tricks for others to do the same. She can always be found running around town with her kids, as she jots down and shares their great finds in the city.

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