Luv My Planet


Green TV

Posted in TV and Film by luvmyplanet on 13/12/2010

With another winter storm bearing down on my neck of the woods, I am filling some of my downtime by watching reruns of several Canadian programs on IonLife. One thing that jumped out at me was the number of programs with some degree of a green theme. I have already mentioned “She’s Crafty,” which originally aired on HGTV Canada. A few minutes on the episode guide alone will inspire anyone who hates sending things to the landfill.

Another rather inspiring program focused on repurposing is the reality show “Junk Raiders.” In this series, a diverse team is given a budget of $5,000 (about $4,950 USD) to remodel a worn-down warehouse space into an upscale loft and office area. Two of the team members are seasoned “freecyclers,” who turn trash into treasure. Some of the ideas they come up with are enough to make anyone give a second thought to that old couch, car, or even shopping cart. In short, it’s one of the few reality programs that get a “thumbs-up” from me! If you don’t have access to IonLife, you can watch episodes at the link in this paragraph.

Also in the very small category of worthwhile reality TV is “The 100-Mile Challenge.” (I discovered this show before they took the “green” out of Planet Green.) It’s based on the book The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon. In the series, the authors recruit volunteers in a town in British Columbia to follow a diet sourced from a 100-mile radius for roughly three months. At first, the participants — and the viewer — have their eyes opened to just how challenging such a plan can be. Where, for instance, would a Canadian coffee drinker get his or her morning java? It’s really enlightening to see how the participants think their way out of such predicaments. One coffee drinker learns how to make a coffee-like beverage from a local patch of chicory. A teenage girl with an addiction to sugar develops a love for locally produced honey. To see the rest, you will have to watch the videos at the above link by clicking on “Episode Guide.” (One word of warning to my fellow vegans: there is a scene in which a sheep is butchered for sausage. This is a good opportunity to forward the video ahead about a minute or two.)

For those looking for easy ways to green up their homes, look no further than “My Green House.” In each episode, the “Green Team” visits a different home, focusing on issues like sustainable gardening, insulation, energy-efficient appliances, toxins, and the like.

For news bits on the green front around the world, there is “Green Matters.” From efforts to halt deforestation to wildlife rescue to innovations in green technology, this half-hour show is bound to cover it.

One token show from the United States that I enjoy might come as a surprise, considering that I am neither a teenager nor the mother of one. It is the syndicated program “Eco Company.” For someone who tends to be a pessimist when I read about environmental matters in the news, the work of the young people featured on this show is enough to allow that ray of hope to shine through. I hope it is enough to inspire teens to take an active role in mitigating the climate crisis and its potentially devastating effects.

While the above sampling provides good examples of green programming, the very fact that their descriptions numbers less than 600 words in this post is very telling. If you are a regular listener of “On the Green Front,” you regularly hear host Betsy Rosenberg note the dismally small number of television and radio programs (at least in the United States) dedicated to environmental issues. She couldn’t be more on the mark.

Perhaps this calls for a little activism on our parts. Even if you are fortunate enough to live in an area where you can enjoy local programming with an environmental bent, take a few minutes out of your day to drop an email, a phone call, or an old-fashioned letter to various television and radio networks at the national level and demand programming that examines environmental issues — from the problems to their potential solutions and everything in between. Perhaps more media exposure will force the proverbial ostriches to dig their heads out of the sand. Perhaps…

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