As a professional editor who has worked on a variety of national publications over the years, I’ve ended up on a lot of email lists … a lot. So when I was shuffling through my Inbox the other day, I wasn’t all that surprised to receive a press release announcing the opening of a new home improvement store, despite it not having all that much to do with my current role on a healthcare building magazine.

However, perhaps the shopper within me was what got me past the first paragraph rather than immediately trashing it and moving on. The news item was about the first retail opening in Austin, Texas, of TreeHouse, a home improvement store that will carry sustainable and healthy-living products from paint and wall coverings to bathroom fixtures and solar power products.

“The true mission of TreeHouse goes far beyond providing innovative and useful products. The real business, and the passion of the founders, is helping people find solutions that allow them to live healthier, more efficient, and sustainable lives,” the press release states.

Now, why am I telling you this? It occurred to me that back in 1979 when Home Depot launched its first one-stop-shop, do-it-yourself superstore, perhaps no one could have predicted the way it would not only cause a whole retail movement, but answer a need no one entirely knew existed.

And now here we are with the national progression toward greener lives resulting in the physical manifestation of a big box home improvement store … gone green. Will TreeHouse be the next Home Depot? Well, your guess is as good as mine. But the point is sustainability—and expectations for products that achieve it— is not going anywhere.

If there is enough consumer demand for a retail outlet like this (albeit, there is just one location to start), what does that say about our society today? And what does it say about what expectations will be for our healthcare facilities?

When patient satisfaction is the ultimate buzz word, it’s reasonable to think that offering a green environment for patient stays will be noted and appreciated. Not only is this something that needs to be achieved to combat the vast energy consumption of the healthcare industry, but also to answer the need TreeHouse has perceived to exist: to help people live healthier, more efficient, and sustainable lives.

Why shouldn’t our healthcare facilities be just one of the places where we do that?