On Alter Eco, the lifestyle and makeover show on Discovery Channel’s Planet Green network, Adrian Grenier, star of HBO’s Entourage, leads a talented team through a variety of green building and community projects. Alter Eco’s cast of green experts—builder Darren Moore, stylist and supermodel Angela Lindvall and activist Boise Thomas—lend the style and smarts to make sustainability sexy. Alter Eco’s emphasis on local economies, organic food and green living makes for conscientious entertainment. Watch it on Mondays at 9 p.m. EST.
Do you think we’re on the way to making environmentalism mainstream?
Adrian Grenier: Unfortunately, I don’t think that being green is mainstream yet. My hope is that, through the efforts of myself and others in this business, the choices we make today will have serious effects on future generations. It’s really up to us to remain committed to the cause so it won’t be considered a trend.
Why is green building important, and how has it changed?
Darren Moore: We build in a fashion that’s recyclable or reusable for homeowners. A green home utilizes less resources and gives people a comfortable, energy-efficient home; a more durable home thanks to better craftsmanship and more thoughtful design; and better air quality because the products we use aren’t outgasing toxins in the house.
How can we continue to bring the message to the masses?
Angela Lindvall: I started my nonprofit, The Collage Foundation, seven years ago to raise awareness through pop culture and media. The media is our most powerful vehicle. We also need to take action on a local level, starting with ourselves, our homes, our communities and then our towns. Collaborate with nonprofits and local legislation.
What’s the most important lesson to remember when trying to go green?
Boise Thomas: Don’t compare yourself to a standard. There are nearly 7 billion people on the planet. That means there are 7 billion different ways to repurpose, reuse or recycle something. Do what makes you feel good and make choices you are committed to. If alternative fuels aren’t your bag, then get excited about buying local. If that isn’t your thing, ask your children what matters. When in doubt, do what I do ... leave any place better than how you found it by picking up garbage. Planet Earth is my house, and if there is trash on the floor of my house, I pick it up.
What’s the easiest step for a “light green” person to take? For a “dark green” person?
Boise Thomas: Light green: Try composting and gardening. Start with your own lawn. Learn what plants are native to your climate and region. Use your time in the dirt to get connected to your land. From there, magic happens. Dark green: Educate others. Adopt your neighbors. There is a paradigm shift happening. People need to grow food in their own yards. A 4-by-4-foot garden plot can feed a family of eight for a year. Imagine what would be possible if the Dark Greenies got interested in everyone being light green. That is my approach. I want everyone to wake up—each and every person.
Alter Eco’s favorite things
■ Darren Moore: My Kill-A-Watt device; it’s a tool that tests how much energy appliances and electronics in your home use and shows how much money you’re spending every day per appliance.
■ Boise Thomas: Local, organic, farmer’s market flowers. They last as long and smell way better than the store-bought fake ones that are bright but have no life.
■ Angela Lindvall: My compost tumbler
■ Adrian Grenier: My Puma bike