Sunday, February 26, 2006

The ReUse People

Huell Howser has the best job ever. He hosts a variety of tv shows that air on KCET (as well as other PBS affiliates in California) weekdays between 6-7pm. All the shows are centered around California and are hosted by him: California's Gold, California's Green, Visiting...with Huell Howser, Road Trip...with Huell Howser, etc. His shows have an informal, folksy appeal. Last week KCET aired an episode on California's newest state park, San Simeon State Park, which is a 15 mile stretch of Central California coastline that was donated by the Hearst family.

Another recent episode was about The ReUse People, a Bay Area non-profit that takes apart homes ("deconstructs," as they say) and salvages the parts (everything from the wood to the windows to the toilets). For example, a homeowner can hire certified contractors from The ReUse People to carefully take apart the home in the reverse order that it was built (meaning, first they remove all the internal fixtures, then the windows, roof and walls) and then donate the parts for a tax deduction. The ReUse People have a warehouse that the public can visit to buy salvaged house materials at 5-25% of retail. It's an environmentally-friendly alternative to getting a bulldozer and dumping your house in a landfill.

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