Every Wednesday night at 7:30 during April’s Earth Month, GPB has aired an episode of “EcoSense For Living,” the newest TV venture from producer and host Jennie Garlington. Each week, the fascinating series shows viewers how each of us can impact the environment with the choices we make, whether it’s how we choose to clean our windows, what and how we purchase groceries and even where we root for our favorite Atlanta sports team. Tonight’s final episode in the series focuses on the power of green buildings, including Georgia’s first LEED certified school, Arabia High in Lithonia and even Philips Arena downtown, a massive structure not originally intended as a green building but has achieved LEEDS certification in recent years.
A veteran CNN producer and the youngest daughter of Ted Turner, Garlington tells Intel from her home in Lexington, Kentucky that being a steward for the environment was hardwired into the Turner household growing up.
“We didn’t feel like weird geeks because mom and dad made it fun,” she recalls. “My mom would come into my room with a big trash bag of hand-me-downs from someone’s recycled wardrobe and I remember us digging through it together. They had a smile on their face and that translated to us kids. But believe me, you don’t need Ted Turner in your house as an example anymore. One of the goals of ‘EcoSense For Living’ is to pass along tips and habits others have picked up to reduce your everyday carbon footprint.”
And who better than WSB’s resident millionaire cheapskate Clark Howard to lead the way. In “EcoSense’s” inaugural episode, Howard gave Garlington a tour of his Atlanta home, down to his and wife Lane‘s bruising battle of the bulb. Clark is in favor of the energy efficient CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) while Lane favors the warmer light generated from old school bulbs. But now with the technologically advanced CFLs and LED (light-emitting diodes) sources, even Lane is allowing the radio talk show host more access to their home’s light sockets.
Still, even Captain Planet’s sister was surprised by what Howard had on the side of his house: a meter installed by Howard’s power company that allows the utility to seize control of the home’s air conditioner and shut it down at peak power times. The power company paid Howard $25 to install it and $2 each time they turn off his air conditioner for a matter of minutes on summer’s hottest days.
“I was shocked when I saw that meter!” says Garlington, laughing. “But I have to say, it was super cool! I loved that tour because you never knew what Clark was going to show you next. Hopefully, we’re able to pass along some of those same ideas to ‘EcoSense’ viewers.”