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“Wasted” Show Review

April 21, 2008


Aluminum Skyscraper, originally uploaded by "Mr. W".

So, last night N. and I watched the premier of “Wasted” on TLC, which will actually have a normal schedule on TLC’s derivative channel Planet Green (starting in June). The plot line goes like this: a pair of ecologically-minded folks show up at an organization or home of wasteful people, in this case a fraternity (which was perfect for the first episode), and challenge them to decrease their environmental footprint. Of course these frat boys aren’t doing this for the good of the environement rather they are interested in the money they will receive at the end.

The premier show left, perhaps, something to be desired in overall pop, in terms of hosting and enthusiastic energy. However, the premise of the show is, I (J.) feel, a good one.

In general, I think that most people don’t realize their overall impact on the environment. For example, the brothers in the Fraternity probably had some notion that they were a little wasteful, but not to the extent that they would need 104 acres of land to sustain the 14 of them. Of course, the standards by which these things are measured can be subjective, but by any metric these guys were shamefully wasteful and messy (but then what frat boys aren’t-N.)

It was eye opening for them and perhaps some newbie “greenies” to see a months worth of trash dumped in their front yard. The boys first task was to recycle and they did it with little complaint. Their next tasks were a bit harders (for them). They had to stop eating out (but in return they got a house cook and he wasn’t cooking organic or local either), reduce their shower times and overall water consumption and what proved to the hardest task of all cutting down their electricity usage. Almost every room had a TV, gaming system, AND computer which were all left on 24/7. At the end of the month the show matched them dollar for dollar what they saved by “being green” and then multiplied that by 12 to give to the boys as a lump sum. Is it just me (N.) or does anyone else think they probably blew all of that money having a massive party?

I applaud the intent of the show to take people that aren’t green at all and teach then some basics and offering them a reward they understand- money versus just asking them to make changes for the sake of themselves and the planet but the whole thing is so simplistic that I got bored about 5 minutes into it and I think most other people will as well. I mean honestly at this point I think we all realize to cut down water consumption we can take shorter showers and we can save money by eating at home versus going out. I wish they would tackle bigger issues but then perhaps there will be other shows on this new cable channel that will fill that void- one can only hope.

More frustrating then the show was the commercials. I wanted to yell and scream at the TV as if the advertisers or programing directors could hear my “battle cries” against such blatant green washing. The one that sticks out the most was the SC Johnson commercial. Are they coming out with a green line you ask using less chemicals perhaps? The answer is NO! Instead they are increasing their “green cred” by touting the fact that their production plant is powered by methane from a nearby landfill. They don’t talk about the fact that the landfill exists in part to their products or the fact that there products when thrown into the landfill will contaminate the soil and groundwater thus contaminating plants, then animals, and eventually humans. No let’s just gloss over all these facts because they obviously don’t matter- no SC Johnson is green so run out and buy those scrubbing bubbles and know that you are doing your part for the environment without making any actaul change…

Has anyone else seen this commercial? Is anyone else as frustrated as I?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2008 5:31 pm

    you should check out this website: http://www.greenwashingindex.com/ – you can read what other people thought about different commercials, and rate them yourself too.

  2. May 19, 2008 1:32 pm

    I agree the hosts are less than entertaining, however, the information is so good. I just can’t believe how much people waste. I know I have a long way to go to be green; however, these people aren’t even close! Companies love to jump on the green bandwagon and unfortunately, most consumers aren’t savvy enough to know when something is truly good for the environment. We have been taping “Wasted” and watch it as a family.

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