Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Green Is The New Black"

Those of us of a certain age know Southie as an area of Boston that exploded in rioting by working class whites over the busing of black students to their schools in 1974. And The Greening of Southie makes it clear that it is still a blighted, working-class neighborhood, albeit one on the upswing in terms of development.

Made by Ian Cheney and Portland native Curt Ellis, the team that made the documentary King Corn, it documents the building of the first LEED-certified green residential building in Boston. Following the various stake-holders involved in the process, from developers and architects to suppliers of the green materials incorporated into its design, they also spend time with the construction workers who install the materials.

And, like the residents of Greene, Iowa, who gave King Corn its heart, these workers provide the most powerful testimony on what green building is all about. Most had never heard of or worked on this kind of building, and they go from being skeptical to wishing they could live in the building themselves. And it's informative to hear them talk about how much they like the low-VOC paints and glues, and the difference between the green insulation and the fiberglass they're used to working with, which irritates their skin, lungs and eyes.

It's eminently watchable and informative, and it's showing on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, on the Sundance Channel as part of their new series titled The Green. Watch it if you can.

Details: The Greening of Southie. Tues., Apr. 22, at 9 pm on the Sundance Channel.

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