8 Things You Can Learn from Anna Walker

Anna Walker has two passions: the planet and great design.

Photography by Dan Sellers

8 Things You Can Learn from Anna Walker

Anna Walker has that classic Dallas look—blond hair, well dressed, sophisticated. She even comes gift wrapped in a decked-out, sleek, black Mercedes. But, like her car, which is powered by a bio-diesel engine and sports gigantic stickers shouting “Biodiesel: Stop Foreign Oil” and “Biodiesel: Stop Global Warming,” there is more to Walker than first meets the eye. An environmental activist, she’s the owner and CEO of Dallas-based Antique Drapery Rod Co. and Anna Sova (a green designer showroom).  Fiercely protective of her planet, she also craves good design. To her, the two are never at odds.

Buy organic cotton.
For every cotton T-shirt produced, a third of a pound of pesticides had to be used. Those chemicals stay on the fabric and leach into your skin. We don’t have to produce cotton that way.

Know a decorator from a designer.
A decorator buys other people’s things and rearranges them. A designer builds from the beginning; she believes in the process, workmanship, and integrity of the product. Designers can change the world.

Get outside.
According to the EPA, the average house’s air is three to four times more polluted than outside air. The VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in your house—lacquer, carpet, paint, etc.—are highly toxic.

Go green.
Buy rugs that have been processed in an eco-safe way instead of carpeting; use organic textiles; buy the safest paint you can find; and don’t use toxic stains or wood coatings. Going green is easy—you just have to do a little homework.

Keep it chic.
Green doesn’t have to look like a hippie commune from the ’60s. The interior of my house (a 1931 Tudor) is totally green and chic. When you walk in, you can smell the difference. My paint smells like milkshakes, and milkshakes are good.

Move out of your McMansions.
They will be the next ’70s ranch-style houses.

Buy an air cleaner.
I like the Trane Air Filtration System. It removes many of the VOCs in your house.

Instead of mindless consumerism,
start worrying about the integrity of what you buy.

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