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Green House Has Famous Seal Of Approval

For the third year in a row, Good Housekeeping magazine is bringing its eco-friendly living tips to life, building the third Good Housekeeping Green House, this time in Manhattan.

The Early Show got an advance look at the house, which is open for tours this weekend and will be showcased in the magazine's November edition.

As Editor in Chief Rosemary Ellis explained, "We take a house that either needs a small renovation or, in this case, a gut renovation, and we try to make it as green as we possibly can. ... We do it for a couple of reasons. One is to show our 25 million readers things that they can actually do in their own homes, whether they are building a house from scratch or they want to make a tiny change."

This year, Good Housekeeping transformed a 4,600 square foot brownstone in Harlem from top-to-bottom in just four months, making it one of the greenest houses in New York City.

"All the floors in this house are recycled hardwood floors," Ellis explains. "The carpets are recycled carpets. ... The insulation in this house is denim insulation. It's actually made from shredded blue jeans. ... There are three huge solar panels on the roof that provide between 80 and 85 percent of the house's electricity."

Good Housekeeping hopes the house will show readers there are small steps they can take to make their lives greener, from buying recycled products such as a trash basket made from flip flops, to using more eco-friendly materials, such as bamboo blankets and organic cotton sheets, to painting your walls with organically-safe paints. Of course, every product in the house has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

The house has front-loading washers and dryers. They "not only use much less water," Ellis points out, "they also, in the tests we've done with the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, clean clothes better. So, on a couple of fronts, these are great to have."

The house's designer, Robin Wilson, says going green couldn't be easier: "It's really exciting, because the price points have come down ... from the organic towels, sheets, plates that are vintage, and also, you'll find vintage pieces (furniture) that have been ... reclaimed by re-staining them."

"It doesn't matter where you are," Ellis observes. "You can make your house greener, you can make your life greener; just look at the green choices and try to make a more energy-efficient, smarter, greener choice."

Tours of the house will be given Saturday and Sunday, August 3, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., both days. All are invited. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors. The Green House is located at 151 West 122nd St. in Manhattan.

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