The Living Green Tour and Exhibit a seven-month 15-city tour sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens and Clorox’s Green Works a line of plant-based natural cleaners was a show home filled with product and advice for consumers looking to save money live healthier and conserve natural resources.
The 2 500 square-foot exhibit which launched in February and travel ed through October reached more than one million attendees at home shows on both coasts and various stops in between. Its four rooms—kitchen bathroom living room and utility room—featured green products from sponsors Green Works Pella Windows and Doors Bosch Kohler and Lee furniture. But in addition to the expected Energy Star appliances and water-saving kitchen and bath fixtures the living green home also offered innovative earth-friendly options. Tiles in the bathroom and kitchen were made from old car windshields the countertops were made from recycled glass bottles. The floors were made of bamboo and cork. The couch was soy-based. A desk in the living room was made from an old door.
But there was more to this house than met the eye. Although the exhibit looked like a typical Better Homes and Gardens home—clean and comfortable and inviting—most of the materials used in the build-out were recycled recyclable reused repurposed or energy-efficient. The exhibit’s aluminium framework was recyclable. The paint was made without harmful chemicals and toxins. Graphic panels are made with eco-friendly substrate and paint; the carpet was eco-friendly. And to eliminate wasteful product brochures staffers in each room answered questions and demoed the appliances and other products. The tour itself was powered via bio-diesel fuel and mapped out to maximize mileage efficiencies.
“There were some limitations based on availability or practicality ” said Greta Palmer account director Leaddog Marketing Group New York which handled. “Things had to be portable enough and light enough that we could truck them around to 15 cities. This was a big educational process and we learned as we went along.”
The challenge Palmer says is a lack of eco-friendly materials for use in mobile tours. “Materials have to be very durable and portable. We tried to be as environmentally responsible as we could ” she says.
Onsite each room delivered information in a fun way. Towels in the kitchen and bathroom were embroidered with messages about replacing paper towels with hand towels to save trees; the kitchen tiles recommended using a tile board for family notes instead of paper. A picture frame in the living room contained advice rather than a photograph about turning down the thermostat.
A tour host traveled with the show and led presentations throughout the day. An on-site computer was available for further information. And guests registered at bhg.com for a green challenge that offered the chance to win a $15 000 green home makeover.
“People were amazed engaged and staying for a long time ” says Alain Begun associate publisher marketing and brand development at Better Homes and Gardens. “This wasn’t about putting solar panels in your house; it was about things you can do today that make changes in the environment.” EM