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Colorado TV: “Urban Conversion”

An Arvada man turns his eco-makeover into a reality TV show.

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Entrepreneur Rodman Schley’s definition of “green” used to center on banknotes, not bettering the planet. But in 2009, when his wife, Gina, expressed her desire for a more eco-friendly lifestyle—and eventually convinced Rodman to sell their suburban mansion and rent a home on an acre of land in Arvada—he realized that downsizing wasn’t that big of a loss. “I thought I would miss my big house, but I don’t even think about it day to day,” Rodman says. With Gina’s encouragement, Rodman began exploring other ways to live sustainably—with the cameras rolling. Rodman and his production company, 9-Ball Studios, started filming his environmental efforts, such as backyard beekeeping, and turning them into humorous and informative 20-minute online shows. Five years later, American Public Television picked up his series, Urban Conversion. The eight-episode season will air on about 250 of its stations this spring. (Urban Conversion will be available for stations to air starting on April 22, Earth Day.) Viewers will get an eco-education in homebrewing, alternative fuels, and more. “Getting one person to do one small thing is great,” Rodman says. “Getting half a million people to do half a million small things is fantastic.”

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