The Green Dollhouse: A step towards making sustainable homes the norm?

The Green Dollhouse: A step towards making sustainable homes the norm?

This dollhouse could give green building a jump-start with the future generation, shaping their expectations for how a house should look.

As I was Christmas shopping this year, I came across a toy that made me think. It was called The Green Dollhouse, and, in addition to the furniture, it comes complete with a wind turbine, solar panels on the roof, a rain barrel and recycling bins. Even the shape of the dollhouse is different from a typical dollhouse—and, for that matter, from a typical home. According to the product description, the dollhouse “features replicas of the alternative fuel sources and environmental controls that are used in real-world eco-homes. Children can learn as they play that by using energy, water and other resources efficiently, we can protect our environment.”

Cool, right?

My childhood dollhouse was quite different, and what you would likely expect—a small Victorian house with pink walls and little shingles on the roof. My dollhouse defined my idea of what a house should look like; as a result, modern, eco-friendly homes look strange to me. So maybe toys like this can change the next generation’s idea of “normal” and help make sustainability and energy efficiency more mainstream.

From our research, we know that kids have a big influence on sustainable behavior in their households. Our 2012 Green Living Pulse study found that the strongest social influence on sustainable behavior was that of children/grandchildren (32%), and that 80% of adults who had discussed environmental issues with the children in their homes had adopted greener behaviors.

While sustainable homes are not the current social norm, toys that teach children about efficient household water and energy use give me hope that someday they will be.

What do you think? Would you buy a toy like this? Has a child taught you something about sustainability?

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Posted on

December 31, 2013

About the Author

Martha Wampler Behm

Martha Wampler Behm

Martha keeps us all on track with her organizational skills. She plots timelines, helps with budgeting, and keeps projects flowing smoothly between departments. Martha lives in Knoxville with a big dog, a little dog, her baby and her husband.

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Suzanne Shelton

President and CEO

Suzanne is the voice and the vision of Shelton Group. Drawing on her extensive experience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – Suzanne provides high-level strategic insights for our clients and guidance for our research and creative departments. She regularly speaks at conferences around the country, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and the International Builders’ Show, and serves as a guest columnist for publications like Fast Company, Green Builder and GreenBiz.com.

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insights

Susannah directs our research team and plays a key role in extracting the nuggets of information that pave the way for recommended marketing strategies and creative approaches. Susannah has nearly two decades of market research and strategy experience, including her role as president of SE Consulting, where she led the services for the likes of DIY Network and the makers of GORE-TEX®.

Laila Waggoner

VP Client Engagement

Laila leads our client engagement process, overseeing activities from both a strategic and a tactical level to ensure our work generates desired results – and clients’ satisfaction. She brings 25+ years of marketing leadership experience to her client relationships, with particular expertise in the homebuilding and remodeling industries as well as member-driven organizations, such as the Vinyl Siding Institute and Plastics Pipe Institute. Before joining Shelton Group, she led strategic marketing teams for Owens Corning’s insulation business.

Matt Brass

VP Creative

Matt steers the creative department in concepting, designing and producing campaigns. He ensures sound strategy and deep insights inform everything his team develops, and works closely with the accounts department to ensure copy and designs will meet our clients’ goals. As a designer and filmmaker himself, he’s also a principal contributor to all of Shelton’s in-house photography and videography work.

Glen L. Vesser III

VP Finance and Administration

Glen manages Shelton Group’s finances and administration, ensuring our internal systems run smoothly so we can provide exceptional client service in a seamless and timely manner. Glen’s financial and administrative expertise has been shaped by decades of experience in a variety of industries, including public accounting, media distribution and health care.

Mike Beamer

VP Business Development

Mike joined our team to help provide strategic vision and foster our agency’s growth by overseeing new business leads and managing agency marketing and website content. He arrived in Knoxville steeped in energy efficiency and renewables – he previously led client service for an agency division in Boston dedicated to marketing communications strategy and branding for B2B and B2C clients in that space.