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The voice behind the bull horn on ABC’s hit show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Ty Pennington has designed a career around his love of DIY. From carpentry to woodworking, Ty knows his way around a home site.
Bamboo sat down with Ty to discuss his upcoming new show, The Revolution, and to find out how a small town boy from Marietta, Georgia, has become a successful household name on television sets across the world.
Bamboo Magazine: What does green living mean to you? What aspects of your life (travel/home/food/lifestyle) are most important to you in being green?
Ty Pennington: To me, living green boils down to respecting the world around you by not abusing it. Abuse comes in the form of being wasteful, but also by being ignorant. Not realizing how your imprint on the earth hurts or helps is criminal. So, I try to be aware and do what I can to leave only footsteps, as they say. I can’t say I travel green—that’s hard when you’re on the road constantly trying to meet deadlines other people set—but I do incorporate a lot of green living at home. My bath and bedroom linens are eco-friendly bamboo, I have a water system that draws moisture already present in the air and filters it into drinking water, I attempt to minimize the use of cleaning chemicals, and I recycle everything—typical stuff like cardboard, paper and plastic, but also clothing and furniture.
BM: Has Extreme Makeover ever done a completely sustainable build?
TP: We incorporate sustainability into every house we do, and, yes, there have been several homes that can be considered completely sustainable.
BM: I think the way you showcase everyday heroes on your site is absolutely incredible. Do you remember who your first hero was growing up? What have you learned from him or her that you still incorporate into your everyday life?
TP: Thanks. The Everyday Hero idea came from people I meet who do these extraordinary things, but who don’t ask for any recognition. As for my personal heroes, it may sound silly, but truly it’s my mom. She had to juggle a lot, including an out of control kid. What I learned from her that I use every day is that you can do anything you set your mind to when you have the support of your family and friends.
BM: What is the easiest and most effective way to help those in need?
TP: Here’s the thing about helping—most people say something like, “Let me know if I can help,” when they know someone might need it. What I say is, “Don’t say that!” Say instead, “Here’s how I can help,” and start small. Take the trash to the curb for someone who is housebound. Weed and mulch the flower beds of the single mom down the block who holds two jobs just to keep her kids in a good school. Spend a day at a shelter helping paint a wall or cleaning the kitchen. If you can afford it, give grocery and gas gift cards to people you know will appreciate it.