by Sue Ann Rybak
Where can you find stainless steel baby bottles free from bpa, phthalates and other toxins, or a natural organic latex mattress?
This May area residents will be able to find a variety of environmentally-friendly products at Green Design, a new eco-friendly general store that will open at 8434 Germantown Ave., the former Byrne Fabric store, which later became Chestnut Hill Fabric store.
When Tim McNulty and his wife, Chi Park, decided to have kids, they began researching what products would be the healthiest for their children.
“We wanted to get the most natural and environmentally friendly items,” McNulty said. “We started to do research on what foods to eat, what clothes to wear and what toys to buy for our children.”
McNulty credits their motivation to live a more eco-friendly life from living in Germany and the Netherlands.
“In general, people in those societies are much more green in their way of thinking than in the United States,” McNulty said. “It helped to drive some of our earlier thinking to discover better ways of living.”
But after the birth of their two children, they decided to move east to be closer to family. And that’s where the inspiration for Green Design came from.
“After doing all this research we realized why not make use of it,” McNulty said. “One of the things we found from doing our research was that there were not a lot of brick and mortar stores that carry these items. While you still can buy them on the Internet, most people at the end of the day still want to see the items before they buy them.”
In 2008, McNulty opened his first store in Princeton, N.J. The store was a huge success. McNulty chose Chestnut Hill as the second location for his store because people in Chestnut Hill tend to be more “environmentally-conscious and want quality products for their family.”
Both stores feature a variety of products such as organic baby clothes, bamboo furniture, organic latex mattresses and pillows, stainless steal water bottles, organic and wooden toys and much more.
“Its not just that something is environmentally friendly,” McNulty said. “From the design aspect everything is beautifully designed. Someone put a great deal of thought into the design and practicality of the item. The side benefit is that it’s also environmentally friendly.”
Thanks to a partnership with Terracycle, a company that collects items that are not normally recycled and turns them into useable items such as tote bags, purses and coasters, the Chestnut Hill store will be a collection point for consumers to drop off items such as ziplock bags, chip bags, drink pouches, flip flops, cell phones, cookie and candy wrappers.
It’s just one more way McNulty is helping to make the world a better place for his kids.