TV Jumps on the Green Bandwagon


Man, wouldn’t it get our attention to see Tony Soprano driving a sky-blue Prius on his way to whack somebody? Well, we won’t hold our breath.  But Sundance Channel is developing a new series called THE GREEN, starring none other than Robert Redford.  And Discovery Channel is rebranding their Home Channel as PlanetGreen, "the first-ever 24-hour television network dedicated solely to green lifestyle programming," according to their press release.  PlanetGreen will cover ecotourism, organic living, and "home greening."  They’ve also announced plans to make their headquarters, practically next door to me in Silver Spring, Maryland, a carbon-neutral building.  Let’s hope that while they’re at it they take out their uninspired and very thirsty landscaping and replace it with something a little more eco-friendly.  (A favorite rant subject of another local gardening columnist.  See, I’m not the only snarly eco-gardener in town.)

Carter3_2Now on to HGTV, the network we love to rant about.  But this time they’ve gone and done something we approve of, like launching a new show called "Red, Hot, and Green".  It’s a full  hour devoted to green design and starring "eco-stylist" Danny Seo and "green enthusiastic" Carter Oosterhouse, "America’s Handyman."   Here’s Carter but do check out his website for more evidence of the assets he brings to this show.  I, for one, won’t miss a single episode.  I won’t even make fun of him if he gets some of his gardening facts wrong.  Yes, he’s that gorgeous.   

So you’d better believe I’ll be reviewing "Red, Hot, and Green" when it debuts in 2008 but until then, let’s look at two features on HGTV’s current line-up:

Dream Home Giveaways are a popular yearly event on HGTV and I love the way Ecorazzi describesDream them:  "It’s a fun time, but also a perfect example of unsustainable home building and excessive space."  Exactly, because however beautiful the homes may be, we never forget these are mansions, more distinctive than McMansions but mansions nonetheless.  But guess what – their next giveaway is a "green home," so we can’t wait to see how they pull this off.  Or fail to, like the New York Times features about green vacation homes that conveniently ignore the fact that there’s nothing green about a second home.  But I give HGTV credit for trying and hope to see the square footage figure on their website, buried among the cheerful descriptions of solar panels and low-flush toilets.

On a totally bright note, I’m happy to learn that "Living with Ed", a new show about uber-environmentalist Ed Begley and his wife,Edbegley is successful enough to be called a hit on their website and be renewed for a second season.  Check out the website for yourself, but here’s what I’ve learned about Landscaping with Ed: There’s a white picket fence made out of recycled plastic milk jugs around what’s frequently called a small house, lots of drought-tolerant plants, and a long list of plants that produce actual food.  And their gardener seems like a pretty cool guy, too, and has lots to say himself.

Not only will you not see me making fun of the show; I’m making a note to catch it in reruns. (Favorite Ed Begley role – hairdresser boyfriend to the mother on "Six Feet Under.")  I’m especially hoping to see him riding his nifty stationary bike, hooked up so that it recharges the home’s batteries as he’s peddling.  In 10 minutes he can produce enough electricity to toast two slices of bread! (Actually, that’s kinda depressing, like working your butt off and learning you’ve just burned a grand total of 50 calories.)

Hat tip to and Ecorazzi for all the eco-TV news.


  1. This is a really good show. I admire Ed for really putting his beliefs into practice. I hope that as a result of publicity like this some of these ECO friendly ideas and products can be a little more deisgn friendly and accessible to the regular homeowner.
    I love that his wife is always grumbling, but when given the chance she shows she cares too.

  2. That’s my favorite Ed role, too! (Love Six Feet Under…)

    Nice review. I have loved articles I’ve seen by Danny Seo, so I look forward to seeing that new show sometime. (At my parents’ house, most likely, as I have no cable and rarely watch TV here.)

  3. Future green building must take account of the “green washing” that seems to be accelerating throughout the real estate market place. I’ve seen repeated use of words like “green”

    and “stewardship” across the board. I’ve seen some Realtors using the word “green” in their ads, knowing that awareness is elevating by the media and they use that hype to drive

    more traffic to their listings. I’ve ran across great sites such as ( Listed Green ) that screen developers and realtors so as to minimize the “green washing” effect.

    Some blogs have been overused in this regard as well. Hopefully, the general public can sift through this green hype and really see the changes that builders and developers have

    to do to reduce our carbon footprint.

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