Vanessa Carlton's SoHo loft is quite spacious by Manhattan standards. Yet it feels super cozy, with an earthy feel that exactly matches its owner. And it should, as she decorated the ethereal space herself. The wallpaper is tree print; the dining room table is long and wooden and adorned with drying flowers, the bathtub has beautiful, dark branches lying across it. And of course, in the center of it all, sits the "A Thousand Miles" singer-songwriter's unusually feminine piano (grand, indeed!). CGG knew right away that Vanessa was going to be a high-scorer on our How green is. . . quiz:
Vanessa with her dog Victor and an assortment of reusable grocery bags.
CGG Check List
Has a hybrid Even better: "I don't own a car," says Vanessa. "But if do I rent one, like when I'm in L.A., I rent a Prius." Bikes or walks when possible "I don't have a bike but I walk everywhere," says the New Yorker.
Takes mass transit If her destination's not in walking distance, "I take the subway...unless I'm in a total bind, and then I take a taxi."
Recycles "Yes! Glass, aluminum, plastic, cardboard and paper." Collects compost "I don't have the machine for it. Plus, I don't cook -- I mostly eat granola when I'm at home." Brings reusable bags to the grocery Vanessa loves collecting cloth bags from the 1950s and '60s, and also digs the cool designs made by Enviro Sax Uses filtered (instead of bottled) water And her Britta sits atop her countertop as proof! Uses eco-light bulbs "They're longer-lasting too! I haven't changed mine in years!" Wears organic or second-hand clothes "I like the line put out by Bono's wife [Edun]. But in general, I wear vintage." Her favorite store: New York's Exquisite Costume. Eats organic food. She's no longer a vegan ("I turned green -- I mean, literally: my skin tone!"), "but when I do eat meat, it has to be organic. I shop at local markets where I can trust the sellers. It's hard to trace exactly where your meat is from -- I mean, sometimes you're in an airport and you have a chicken sandwich. But I do what I can."