Informational BGTV Segments

These are excerpts from the PBS-aired television series, Building Green

Environmentally Friendly Kitchens


In this short video, host Kevin Contreras shows us the highlight of his kitchen, a beautiful system designed by Italian manufacturer Valcucine, and takes us to the home of ecofabulous‘s Zem Joachim to see her favorite green kitchen item.

Solar Ovens: Nature-Powered Cooking


Kevin Contreras makes chicken marsala in one of his favorite innovations, a solar oven, reminding us of yet another fun, easy yet great way to green our daily lives.

Introduction to Living Roofs / Green Roofs


Kevin Contreras visits the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, and learns about the benefits and basics of construction of living roofs from Steve Windhager, Director of the Center.

Removing and Disposing of Old Carpet


Start living greener right away by following these easy steps on disposing of old carpets

Breathable Plaster Exterior for Straw Bale Homes


What if you could wrap your home in something as beautiful, breathable, form fitting and environmentally friendly as your own skin? You can!

Radiant Heat and Green Insulation – Eco-friendlier Options


If you want energy efficiency, uniform warmth and freedom from respiratory ailments, hydronic or radiant floor heating is the green way to go. It gently warms a room or structure from the ground up through a series of hot water tubing in the subfloor. What better way to keep it warm and cozy than blue jean insulation? Easy to install, breathable, formaldehyde free and good for the environment.

Termites? Earthquakes? Mold? No Problem with a Steel Frame


Kevin Contreras often says, if you’re going to build it, build it green. When he weighed the options, a steel post and beam frame for his straw bale dream home made the most sense. It’s half the weight of wood after all, and yet it has twice the strength. It is guaranteed to be straight, comes pre-cut and is made from 66% recycled materials – leaving our precious forests untouched. Termites and earthquakes beware!

Shaklee’s healthy tips on household products


While it’s great to think green when building your home, it’s also important to be green aware about the everyday products you bring into it. BGTV’s Kevin Contreras visits with Sloan Barnett of Shaklee, a global leader in natural food products and household cleaners, to learn how to make better choices and find healthier alternatives to common household goods. Shaklee offers a whole range of personal health and wellness products, steeped in preserving environmental integrity and capitalizing on the latest in scientific research.

Hay Now! Straw Bales Rock As Green Home Material


This is not your ancestors’ straw hut! Straw bale homes are the new wave in green home building. Why not? Straw is natural, highly renewable, energy efficient, mold & allergy resistant, fire retardant (bet you didn’t know that) and one of the healthiest choices you can make for the frame of your green home. The range of designs and architectural features is unlimited. Check out the Santa Barbara dream home host Kevin Contreras built out of straw – it’s Zen modern and green to the core.

Introduction to Dumpster Diving!


Kevin Contreras introduces the excitement and benefits of recycling house parts, including the deconstruction of the structure that previously existed where he built, as well as treasures he discovers for the construction of his new straw bale home.

Landscaping and the Environment

An introduction to environmentally-friendly landscaping techniques; we introduce permaculture concepts and give some nasty stats related to lawns.

Intro to “green”/eco-friendly paints


Kevin Contreras explores the basics of environmentally-friendly paints and notable (especially green) brands.

Beautiful Windows & Doors the Green Way


Kevin shares the secret to finding beautiful doors and windows that not only increase the overall comfort of your home, but that use precious natural resources like wood and energy responsibly. Learn the virtues of reclaimed jar harwood, double paned glass and natural cleaning products like orange oil as you discover healthy building choices for you and the planet.

Natural Light


Kevin shows us how he incorporated natural light strategies and techniques into the building of his straw bale home; a look at Solatubes natural lighting solutions.

Greener Foundations & Flooring, Fly Ash Cement


What’s the foundation of a green dream staw bale home? Watch this episode and find out. It’s all about discovering a world of options and eco-friendly innovations so that you, too, can break ground lay the cornerstone on better living through green building.