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Lisa Ling builds green in Santa Monica

October 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
You know her from "Oprah" and "The View." But Lisa Ling is in the spotlight for a different reason. She's going green, building a carbon-neutral home in Santa Monica.It's the new age of homes. Carbon-neutral, that's building a home without a carbon footprint. Lisa Ling and her husband, Paul Song, are giving it their best shot.

"I have spent a lot of my career covering a lot of stories about the depletion of resources around the world, and so when my husband and I decided to build a house in Santa Monica, we decided to go for it and be as environmentally friendly as possible," said Ling.

They're still in the early stages of building, but once completed it will be the first energy-neutral home in Santa Monica.

"Well, the most obvious thing is that in a couple weeks, this entire house is going to be built with this blue wood," said Ling. "And it's been coated with this nontoxic substance that is fire-retardant, mold- and termite-resistant.

"That big tank right there is a 5,000-gallon water tank that we are going to bury under the ground and we're going to harvest the rainwater off of the roof. We're going to have 60 solar panels."

Ling is hoping to be able to set an example.

"This house is a gift for us," said Ling. "We sort of feel like we're going to be sleeping here. We really want this place to be a place where people can come and tour around and get some ideas for themselves."

But the cost is steep.

"I'm not going to lie: It's definitely more expensive to build this way, but hopefully the more people who do it, the more prices will be reduced," said Ling.

Building carbon-neutral can be tough for all of us to do, but we can all do some simple steps to start going green.

"Just reduce the amount of water you use, I mean, I know it sounds crazy but if you start taking shorter showers, you actually get used to it," said Ling. "People have these big spawning lawns that require so much water. We're only going to have indigenous plants -- no water at all -- and a rock garden."

It doesn't take much to do your part.

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