Tuned In

Dead Tree Alert: Turn on Your TV, Save the World?

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Honky Grandma Be Recycling! NBC Photo: Virginia Sherwood

In this week’s newly rebranded Tuned In column in the print Time, I write about TV’s sudden interest in green programming, which is rising faster than the global sea levels. Discovery launches an entire environmental channel, Planet Green, next year, while NBC has planned a week of eco-themed episodes in November. As with so many things, you, my favorite readers, got my early take on this last month, but I elaborate on it here:

It’s an unlikely marriage of motives. Ad-supported TV is a consumption medium: it persuades you to want and buy stuff. Traditional home shows about renovating and decorating are catnip for retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Of course, there are green alternatives to common purchases: renewable wood, Energy Star appliances, hybrid cars. But sometimes the greener choice is simply not to buy so much junk–not the friendliest sell to advertisers.

That said, I can’t wait to see what 30 Rock does with this.

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