Green Dad

In 2004, when Greg Snowden opened Green Fusion Design Center in San Anselmo, he was fulfilling not only his own long-held dream of a business to promote sustainability, but also the aspirations of his three sons. Even at ages 7, 8 and 13, the boys traded high fives at the sight of a biodiesel sticker, and when he left for work they’d call out, “Have a good day, Dad—make a lot of money and save the planet!” With his history as a “sustainability advocate” throughout 26 years in the construction industry, Snowden says, creating an eco-friendly showroom for both the general public and industry folks was a natural career progression.

Did becoming a father change his worldview? “Not really. I hear my boys ask the same questions I did, looking for heroes too. They love the environment and wonder how science works to make life better.” They also come up with some pretty creative scenarios of doom to describe how things might be if climate change and other environmental issues are not dealt with soon: a postapocalyptic chaos, perhaps, with super-bacteria from landfill oozing out to contaminate our planet? In a more somber mode, Snowden’s eldest son tells his dad his generation has gone beyond angst and closer to existential nihilism on the subject.

Fortunately, they feel their dad, and what his business represents, is a step forward. “They think a lot of the stuff here is cool,” Snowden says. “At a deep level I believe they love it because I am going after my dream, and because of the hope it gives them for their future.”