TODAY   |  April 22, 2014

What’s really behind ‘eco-friendly and ‘all natural’

Jason Cameron, host of “Desperate Landscapes,” joins TODAY to translate the latest “green” phrases.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> green, ecofriendly, all natural. you see these words on products all the time, but are they really doing any good?

>> so here to break it down for us is jason cameron, the host of "desperate landscapes."

>> happy earth day .

>> happy earth day to you.

>> let's start flooring.

>> a lot of options with ecofriendly flooring, starting with bamboo. bamboo is the fastest growing plant almost on the planet. it can regenerate in three to five years. very sustainable. very durable. very hard. even harder than some hardwoods. and it's very resis tetant to moisture. very good flooring.

>> and then you've got reclaimed wood.

>> a lot of people are going to reclaimed lumber . guys make a living out of just taking old barns down. you can't find this anymore. this is the history. some of these species are 100 to 300 years old. and look at this. this came out of a barn that was burned down. you can still see the burn marx. it keeps younger trees than ending up in a landfill. it's reused. very earth friendly.

>> does that mean it's going to be more expensive, ecofriendly?

>> generally speak, yes. reclaimed lumber is a good example. it's going to be more expensive because of the history. bamboo has come down in price, more comparable to hardwoods now.

>> stone.

>> yes, stone. we had the bamboo. we also had the cork. cork is one of those, very renewable resource . you're not cutting the tree down, you're taking the bark off.

>> i've got cork tile in my kitchen. great for your feet.

>> very comfortable.

>> resilient. it's very resilient to moisture, insects, and you don't take the tree down. stone. you've got slate, which is the most common. it's a very hard surface. great for outdoor. great for indoor. you can use it in both. you've got limestone. travertine. all very good products. again, natural products . and very sustainable. very hard. very wearing.

>> outside to the wood, what doo do you look for there?

>> swing sets. it's going to be that time of year. these are things you'll find in your local home improvement store. this sun treated. this is not something you want to use outside. this is for framing inside. this is your standard pressure - treated lumber . pre- 2002 , they used to use arsenic. they don't use that anymore. now it has a much more copper in it, which is more corrosive. not something you want to use around children. the best option is redwood. it's a very fast-growing species, so it's sustainable. it's easy to work with. it's very kid-friendly. and it's a beautiful species to use. and affordable.

>> this would make a very small swing set .

>> it would. you'd have to really cut that one up.

>> now going out to the garden.

>> organic is big now. the reason for that is it's better for the environment. when you go inorganic, the chemicals leak in. this is cotton seed meal, which is made from getting the oil out of cotton seeds. they crush it up. these are all great things to really enrich the soil. and that's what organic fertilizers are all about. this is a weed control . this is a diy weed control . we've got vinegar, distilled vinegar, dish soap and oils. you mix those together, that will kill weeds. it's a great way to do it without getting chemicals. big fan of synthetic turf . this is forever lawn's landscaping turf. look at this. that's not your grandpa's turf anymore.

>> that looks real.

>> it's amazing. no mowing.

>> what happens with rain?

>> i'm going to show you that right now. no mowing, no seeding, no emissions, no watering. this always looks great. hold that right there. talk about maximum drainage. look how that just goes right through. this is canine grass. it's got a unique backing on it. it's great for dogs.

>> is that crazy expensive?

>> anywhere from $6 to $10 installed. it's more affordable. an excellent choice for people who can't grow grass.

>> and you can sell your mowers.

>> no more mowing.

>> jason, thank you so much.

>> thank you, guys.