Starring Sustainability: A Green Home Makeover

Television host Michelle Harris used her own home as the model for a floor-to-ceiling green makeover.

| January/February 2008

  • Stuffed chairs made with scrap foam, from Stanton International, keep foam out of the landfill, look modern and feel soft.
    Photo By Scott Van Dyke
  • After: Recycled-Glass dishware from Riverside SeaGlass in Pennsylvania is made of post-industrial recycled glass comes in 12 colors and 10 shapes.
    Photo By Scott Van Dyke
  • After: Michelle loves her new, recycled-content EnviroSlab counters. "They're different looking, but they're not like 'oh my gosh, what is that?'. They're similar to granite", she says.
    Photo By Scott Van Dyke
  • After: Recycled and biocomposite bedstand lights by Frankie Goes Fluorescent are made of recycled glass and a natural biocomposite of soy flour and recycled paper, with nontoxic finishes.
    Photo By Scott Van Dyke
  • Before: The pre-remodel bedroom contained particleboard furniture, which is often filled with formaldehyde.
  • Before: You can donate used furniture to a thrift store, Habitat for Humanity, or Freecycle.
  • Before: Ripping our the dirt-and mildew-filled carpet helps reduce allergens.
  • Before: The original barthoom didn't include water saving fixtures and its sinks and vanity were outdated.
  • After: The recycled-content stainless-steel stair railing made a big aethetic impact, Michelle says. Many of the home's design elements hadn't been touched since the 1980s.
    Photo By Scott Van Dyke

Health advocate Michelle Harris was thrilled to offer up her own home for a head-to-toe green makeover for her “Alive and Well” show on American Life TV. Having just moved into a new house in Orange County, California, she already planned to remodel it with healthy, eco-friendly products. “We’d considered featuring green renovations on the show, but asking someone outside the show to let us into their house for six months was crazy, so the timing worked out well,” she says.

Here are some of the tips from Michelle's remodel:

• Stuffed chairs made with scrap foam, from Stanton International, keep foam out of the landfill, look modern and feel soft.

• Hunter Douglas Insulating Shades with three to five layers of material help insulate the home, acting as a radiant barrier and preventing condensation.



• The Recycled-content stainless- steel stair railing made a big aesthetic impact, Michelle says. Many of the home’s design elements hadn’t been touched since the 1980s.

• Bamboo floors made of rapidly renewable bamboo can be manufactured using few toxic chemicals.



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