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Urban Conversion

Urban Conversion

URBAN CONVERSION follows fiscally conservative businessman and host Rodman Schley as he seeks to learn more about the sustainability movement. It is all in an effort to get on the same page as his wife Gina, who wants their family to lead an eco-friendly, environmentally conscious lifestyle. While Rodman enjoys living with all the modern conveniences of the city, Gina would rather move the family to a simple, low impact life in a rural setting. In the spirit of compromise, Rodman and Gina begin to seek ways to bring the country to the city and begin their own "Urban Conversion". Each episode goes beyond the buzzword to find out first-hand what the "green scene" is all about. Cultivating an urban farm, understanding backyard beekeeping, and learning about alternative fuels are just a few of the issues Rodman explores. Schley lends his common sense (and often humorous) perspective to the viewer through hands-on learning experiences, interviews with experts, and profiles of eco-leaders who have built their lives around living more sustainably. The series is set in Colorado, but takes the Schley family across the nation to cities like Detroit, where urban farming is helping to heal a community, and Washington D.C., where White House chef Sam Kass gives them an educational tour of First Lady Michelle Obama's vegetable garden.

Latest Episodes

Topics: Large scale eco-building. After coming to terms with the fact that a family of four probably needs a bit of space, Rodman and Gina continue to explore what other types of alternative builds could be in their future. They are introduced to a family built rammed earth construction home, the benefits of retrofitting an existing build and learning about the environmental benefits of straw bale housing.

WGBY Create
Fri Jan 3rd, 6:30am

Topic: Healing Qualities of Nature and Mental Health. Rodman is consumed by work and obligations in a fast paced technology filled lifestyle. A therapy session with Reuvain Bacal leads him to the realization he is suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder. Following doctors' orders, he finds himself hiking Colorado's Rocky Mountains, horseback riding in the wilderness and taking part in a fire ritual. Going beyond a topic, Rodman learns to connect with nature in a way that may change his whole outlook on life.

Beginning a journey to reduce his family's carbon footprint, Rodman Schley explores the world of backyard farming with urban agriculture guru Sundari Kraft. He finds himself out of his element milking goats, taking care of chickens and learning how to use natural fertilizer to sustain a backyard ecosystem.

Topic: The movement to living simpler by reducing spaces carbon footprint (and mortgage payment). Rodman and Gina are looking towards the future and what their next home may look like. Their liaison to alternative-environmentally friendly building practices, Brian Fuentes, sets them up on a tour of three examples of living simply and small. Rodman and Gina weigh in on a tiny home, a (literally) hand made cordwood home, container home and even get a laugh out of a tree house.

Topic: Wind Power, Solar Power, Climate Change. Rodman, a global warming skeptic, puts his views to the test as he visits with climate change expert Casper Ammann. Casper lays out the stakes, leading Rodman to get his knowledge of clean alternative energy solutions up to snuff. First, he visits NREL where he learns the basics of wind energy from expert Fort Felker. Fort then directs him to a backyard where a smaller turbine helps power a single home. Next, he is put to work by Namaste solar, where he learns about the theory behind installing solar panels to contribute to the grid.

Rodman sees first hand the positive effects of urban farming as it shapes a new identity for the Detroit community. Leading the way is Taja Seville and Urban Farming, who takes him into the city to see where hope is springing up from vacant lots and community run programs.

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