Archive for the ‘Television’ Category


I caught a couple of very entertaining green shows on HGTV last weekend. Both — Eco House Challenge and No Waste Like Home — are about families trying to live in a more environmentally aware way.

Eco House Challenge pits two Australian families against each other to see who can be the greenest, and the results are hilarious. It kicks off with each family losing — for 24 hours — their water, electricity, garbage cans and cars.

The family with the dad who is ex-Army is totally gung-ho, rigging up water collectors in the backyard to get water to flush their toilets and heading on the local bus to the beach to swim instead of taking showers.

The other family is devastated when they can’t use one of their many cars to drive their 11-year-old son to his birthday party. They call a taxi and have a hissy fit when it shows up 45 minutes late and much too small for all of them (heard of public transit???) Their teenaged daughter sits in the backyard swinging a hula hoop and complaining about having to unlearn everything she’s learned in her whole life — like relying on electricity and hot showers. The teenaged son complains that he can’t drive to meet his friends for drinks.

There was also a lot of complaining on the first episode of No Waste Like Home, where British environmentalist Penny Poyzer visits a family and gets them to give up their polluting ways. In this one, the family kept their thermostat at a whopping 28 degrees Celsius inside the house, the children dressed in beach clothes year round. The mother nearly had a nervous breakdown when she had to cut in half the number of loads of laundry she does each week and switch from hot to cold water to wash them. Don’t get her going on the texture of the towels that dried on the clothesline instead of in the dryer! On the upside, they managed to save 420 pounds in the two weeks that they followed Poyzer’s plans.

HGTV is also rebroadcasting Living with Ed, where actor Ed Begley Jr. and his wife Rachelle fight about his green lifestyle. She’s an actress who wants a Hollywood monster home while he’s the kind of guy who powers his toaster in the morning by hopping on an electricity-producing bike on his balcony. I liked the concept but found the bickering spouses boring.

 You can catch all three shows on HGTV on Sunday nights beginning at 6:30 p.m.


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