Ecollywood: The Bachelorette tries to get her suitors to recycle
Plus: The new season of 'Big Brother' features an eco-friendly house. We take you on a tour.
Thu, Jul 09 2009 at 5:29 AM
ECO-DATING: Jillian Harris, from ABC's 'The Bachelorette', likes her men to be green. (Photo: Kevin Foley/ABC)
Before she signed up for on-camera dating on The Bachelor and now The Bachelorette, Jillian Harris was an interior designer in Kelowna, British Columbia, specializing in restaurants. “I always do my best to look for something that's sustainable or green-friendly,” says Harris, who recycles, has a compost bin in her yard at home, watches her electricity consumption, and plans to eventually trade her current car for a hybrid. “I don't think I'm perfect,” she admits to MNN. “I don't think I'm the most green person, but I definitely am very aware of it, and I find even with boyfriends, I find myself constantly trying to incorporate it into their lives. I’m like, ‘Dude, you just threw the bottle in the garbage. What are you thinking?’ It’s a huge deal breaker for me. But luckily, that’s one thing I could change about somebody, or teach them about.”
Now down to three candidates in her search for a fiancé, Harris says the process “is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it is also the most incredibly fun thing I've ever done.” Not privy to what viewers see when she’s not around, she says it has taken her a while to figure out some of the men’s motives. “Knowing what I know now, maybe I should have let them go sooner, but I needed to make my own decision and sort out and hone in on what I was looking for,” she explains.
While she can’t discuss the outcome of the finale, airing on ABC July 27 at 8 p.m., Harris says she’s “really happy” and looks forward to “going back to my regular life, my job, and wake up in the morning and have no cameras and just be happy when my face isn't in a magazine. I don't want to become famous or an actress. I really am just looking to fall in love, and get married and have babies. I think it will all just eventually fall into place, hopefully.”
For the past 10 seasons, scheming and backstabbing have been the name of the game on Big Brother as confined ‘houseguests’ compete for a cool half million. This season, premiering July 9 at 8 p.m. on CBS, the contestants will do so in an eco-friendly house and will have to live green -- or face consequences. For some, it might be more difficult than dealing with the high school-type cliques (jocks, brains, popular kids and off-beats) the show has placed them in.
It’s a great way to boost interest in the series’ 11th installment, acknowledges production designer Scott Storey, who developed the green idea with Executive Producer Allison Grodner, “but we weren’t doing it to keep people interested. We’re doing it because we think it’s the right thing to do.” CBS, he adds, has “been very encouraging and helpful in making it even bigger and better than it initially was.” The goal? “To make our houseguests more conscious of what they’re doing to help the environment as well as send home to our viewing audience the message that these things are easy to do,” says Storey. ”Putting them on a show like this that appeals to younger viewers makes it sort of sexy.”
The house, built on a soundstage, has a California Contemporary design constructed from such sustainable materials as water board (a reconstituted lumber product), shipping containers, and even garbage -- the walls in the recycle room are made from items recovered from the trash including wood chips, cardboard tubes, glass bottles, aluminum cans, and plastic. Storey chose renewable woods and painted them to look like exotic zebrawood, fashioned a recycled water waterfall headboard for the beach-themed Head of Household room, and outfitted the kitchen and backyard garden with composters. Houseguests will have to sort and recycle all their trash, limit their water usage, slice their own organic bar soap, and generate some of their own power. In the recycle room, two bikes attached to generators will provide part of the electricity. Story can’t divulge game play elements but there may indeed be penalties for not following the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ rules.
“On a television show we can’t be as eco-friendly as we would like to be. It really takes months to get a composter up and running. We have 13 people in the house, and there’s no garden large enough to support that many people,” Storey concedes, but he’s proud to be taking steps in the right direction. “The show has a huge fan base, and I think it will have an important impact,” he believes. “I hope it will make a difference.”
Stay tuned for next week’s Ecollywood column. In the meantime, check out our celeb section and Ecollywood videos.
(MNN homepage photo by Kevin Foley/ABC; Julie Chen photo by John P. Filo/CBS)