I Want My Green TV: The Amazing Un-Eco-Friendly Race


This week we saw the two extremes of Green TV. The CW’s girls from West Bev went green in little doses, while a three week race around the world left a big carbon footprint.

Even West Bev Girls Go Green

Sometimes the eco awareness tips come between the TV shows, not on the TV shows. Such is the case with the CW’s “Go Green” campaign.

The network is running an interstitial in prime time that serves up environmentally friendly tips from shows like 90210 and Life Unexpected. Who’d have thought the egocentric Naomi would help drive home the eco-centric tip about reducing your carbon footprint by “leaving your car home twice a week?” And it’s quite possible that the footage from Life Unexpected might make teens think twice about the fact that planting a garden offsets carbon emissions by removing carbon dioxide.

The spot is tied to a larger campaign on the CW website sponsored by SC Johnson. There, a second video tells how the girls from West Bev are helping the environment by wearing vintage clothes. An uplifting and important green message, but kind of depressing when you realize their retro is 1985.

There are featured interviews with Kelly Rutherford from Gossip Girl and Michael Rady from 90210, who talk about ways they’ve personally gone green, provide lots of helpful environmental tips, and even include a green matching game.

If only the new Melrose Place was as entertaining.

The Amazingly Un-Eco-Friendly Race

On Sunday night, The Amazing Race crossed another final finish line. Brothers Dan and Jordan took home the top prize, but in our estimation, the loser was Mother Earth. Contestants traveled 40,000 miles across five continents leaving a huge carbon footprint in their wake.

The six finalists alone, traveled 25,000 miles per person by plane. That’s a carbon footprint of 9.2 tons each in just 23 days (an average American uses 20 tons a year). Now add in the crew and other contestants who didn’t go the distance. Plus the cars, taxis, buses, and trains they travel on, and that’s a lot of environmental damage just for a few fleeting hours of TV pleasure.

Still, the reality show did manage to be more eco-friendly this season than in years past. They limited the number of plane trips to six, as compared to as many as fifteen on previous excursions. Racers used public transportation more and they occasionally hopped on bicycles and even ox driven carts to get to some destinations.

So we’re hoping Dan and Jordan might help to offset “The Race’s” footprint. By our very rough calculations, if they use $15,000 of their one million dollar winnings to plant a few trees or donate to a wind farm, they can make The Amazing Race carbon neutral.

And maybe next season, part of the game could be to buy carbon offsets every time a plane ticket is purchased? Just a thought.

Tune in next time to see what’s cropping up on green TV.

Image Courtesy of the CBS