04/05/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

An Inspiring Eco-Renovation In Barcelona

As Americans fumble with their green goals and begin to cast a critical eye on sustainable practices on many levels -- from a cap on industrial emissions to the use of fluorescent light bulbs -- Ms. Scholtus's experiences (which she recounts on her blog, are an object lesson in how fully one can realize green ideals on a budget in an existing home in any city.

IN making her new home livable, Ms. Scholtus's challenge to herself was to hew as closely as possible to the three R's of environmentalism: reduce, reuse, recycle. (Restore and respect are the other R words listed on her blog, but she liked R3 as a title for the project because her street address is 3.) Could she find products that were made close to home, were produced without a huge environmental impact, could be dismantled after her tenancy (following the cradle-to-cradle recycling model) and did not use too much energy? Oh, and all for under 30,000 euros (about $38,000)?

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