Houston store sells greener option

April 10, 2008 5:11:34 PM PDT
One local business is going back to its roots to give its customers a greener option. As a result, some hard-to-get items are flying off the shelves.

From big stores to the local market, you are finding many more green options than ever, and going green is becoming even easier than ever.

From washers and dryers to refrigerators, air filters to tankless water heaters, there is no shortage of merchandise on store shelves designed to help conserve energy.

Places like Home Depot have entire lines of eco friendly products.

"The important thing is for our customers to save a dollar and at the same time, make sure they are being Earth friendly," said Home Depot's Zion Greenfield.

While the big stores are making space for environmentally responsible products, one little store is taking the movement to a new level.

"We are really focused on the practical side of the green building movement, or the green movement," said Wagner Hardware's Jeff Kaplan.

Wagner's Hardware store in the Rice Village has been in business for 70 years. Now it's starting something new. Selling products people use every day that are also easy on the environment.

"We're selling paint and flooring and cleaning supplies, things you have to buy," he said.

In many ways the green movement is a return to the way things used to be done, like when Wagner first opened and sold bamboo rakes for 19 cents. The cost has gone up, but the rakes are now back.

From counter tops made from recycled glass and concrete, to floors made from bamboo, eventually everything sold here will be easy on the environment.

"People who want to make an impact but don't know and where to look," said Tiffan C. Wong of Wagner Hardware. "We are trying to be a resource for Houston."

Olga Starostina is sold on the green choices.

"There is a choice of which product you use," she said. "You can use toxic products, but it's just as easy to buy something that would be good for you."

Besides selling green products, the staff at Wagner Hardware can tell you why the item is considered eco-friendly. The store even tracks the conditions under which the product was manufactured to make sure it does not come from a sweat shop.

As for the costs, most items are about the same as you'd find anywhere else.

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