I never anticipated when I started working at the National Trust, that I would be able to integrate my love for fashion, preservation and sustainability into the requirements of my job. But Saturday night, May 3rd, I found myself at Lyndhurst, one of our historic sites in Tarrytown, where their “Green Life” eco-friendly fashion show benefit allowed me to do just that by welcoming 200 people to the newest kind of fundraiser!
We have 29 historic sites across the country. And we are working to make all of our sites greener, by using greener housekeeping products, buying renewable energy, and trying not to throw materials out if we can reuse them elsewhere on the site. Lyndhurst is one of our sites that is ahead of many places with its hard work changing maintenance practices to help make a difference. For over a year they’ve been dedicated to raising awareness about sustainable practices and The Green Life is a fabulous and unusual example of that. With a very exciting program that included eco-friendly fashions (lots of hemp, organic cotton and even an evening gown with recycled plastic bottles), a presentation by the National Wildlife Federation, food and beverages that were organic and/or local, a silent auction of mostly sustainability-related items and vendors of sustainable products, The Green Life opened a lot of eyes to the fact that every change you make in your lifestyle can help stop global warming. So when you buy an eco-friendly dress, a hybrid car, or stay in your old house instead of building a new one, you’re making a choice to stop climate change. Many attendees stopped me to say that hearing about the National Trust’s Sustainability Initiative had opened their eyes considerably. And a lot of people were talking about repairing their windows and installing insulation in their attics and basements. One man apologized to me for building a new house…
Through our Sustainability Initiative, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is focusing the nation’s attention on the importance of reusing existing buildings and reinvesting in older and historic communities as critical elements in combating climate change. Americans already embrace as common sense the need to recycle aluminum cans, glass and newspapers. We advocate applying that same common sense to our built environment.
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The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.
Barbara A. Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C was formerly the Graham Gund Architect of the National Trust in the Stewardship of Historic Sites office. She is currently a sustainability consultant to the National Trust and can be reached at email@example.com.