Another Big Loser Goes Verde

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Two years ago SoCal-based Quixote Studios hired Adam Roodman, a veteran commercial producer, as director of transportation. Once on board, Roodman had the idea to put together the industry's first green talent motor home. Quixote owners Mikel Elliot and Jordan Kitaen were immediately receptive.

With three kids and a long-standing concern for the environment, Roodman knew he had to find a way to do more beyond recycling that would reduce waste within the industry. So he gave himself a crash course on biofuels and green construction and the idea for the Verde motor home was hatched.

Usually used as celebrity talent motor home, the Verde runs on 100% biodiesel, known as B99 (technically, 1% is petrodiesel, used to prevent mold growth). Quixote initially started out using crop-based fuels for the Verde, but the company eventually switched to recycled vegetable/plant-based waste oil from a locally run, privately owned entrepreneurial shop because, it turns out, fuels via food crops usually aren't as efficient. They also installed a 500-gallon fuel storage tank on their premises.

In addition to being clean, the Verde also happens to be rather luxurious. The interior on Verde 1 was conceived by designer Pattie Stayrook of Art O'Rama, hired for her style rather than for her green expertise, but Roodman says it was no problem to source green materials while maintaining high design aesthetics. Interesting features include low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, recycled carpet, and tabletops made of metal shavings/post-industrial scrap. The bathroom wall is 100% recycled aluminum from cans, transformer coils and industrial scrap. All construction was done with non-formaldehyde plywood and the sofas are filled with natural latex foam. Everything from pillows to curtains are made with 100% Eco-Poly fabric, which is woven from recycled polyester and contains no chemical finishes and emit no airborne toxins. Local vendors were used wherever possible. The generator that runs on the motor home, once it is on location, is also biodiesel. And there's a bonus: It smells better, people say.

Quixote is in the process of converting its entire fleet of talent motor homes and trailers to biodiesel by the end of 2008. Additionally, all new construction will feature non-formaldehyde plywood and healthy materials across the board. And the company is looking into installing solar panels on its Griffith Park facility as well as in its yard on La Cienega. "Although the initial cost of creating this vehicle was much higher than it could have been with traditional materials, the cost is being recouped by higher demand," says Roodman. It costs slightly more to rent than its non-green counterparts, $1100 a day, but clients seem to think it's worth it. So much so that celebs request it specifically, Verde 2 is now on the road (with 1 and 2 models booked back to back) and a Verde 3 is on the way, with new interiors by Diana Marquez, owner of design studio Full House.
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