Last night, in a fit of some procrastination, I decided I would go online to nbc.com and stream one of my favourite TV shows Heroes. Now, my pick of entertainment isn’t the subject of this post, rather I’m interested in NBC’s “Green Week of Entertainment”. Or rather, I’m interested in finding out how many people KNEW NBC did a week of Green themed programming and subject matter on their website.
I should mention that I don’t watch much TV. Well I do, but I tend to just watch Bravo (my wonderful room mate and I only get 12 channels and Bravo is the only decent one), so I don’t watch regular NBC. I had no idea that they were doing a week of Green until I went online to stream my show. What I found was a case of brilliantly marketed Greenwashing.
Thats a term I haven’t seen appear on the media radar in a while, I think because so many major corporations are becoming so active in the field that maybe the environmentalist pundits have been caught off-guard. Its important to give organizations the chance to prove their purpose but what I saw on NBC website seemed so blatantly a case of Greenwashing I was actually disappointed.
Why do I feel this way? Well, it comes down to one simple question. In marketing a Green week did NBC actually do anything beyond filming a few clips on how to reduce your consumption, use biofuels, recycle? Did they reduce the footprint of the shows they filmed? Did they make permanent changes to how their shows are made to become true environmental leaders? I doubt it. I have no proof beyond the fact that if they had the publicity would have been huge. Thats a tact I don’t usually like to take because it leads to confusion and misinformation, but I’m just going to go with it here.
In all of that I did have an interesting experience watching an episode of Las Vegas (oh okay so I really was procrastinating). Beyond the fact that the show is fantastically vapid and therefore very entertaining, last weeks show was themed “Keep It Green”. I actually found very interestingly made — somehow they realised that their audience aren’t the informed consumer of green products who drives a hybrid or makes an effort to take public transport, but the suburban teen/20something with an ugly large American-made SUV. They brought in a whole debate on sustainability and economic principles; the importance of finding the balance between the realities of consumerism and economic growth and the need to stop wasting as much as we do.
I recommend it. Its a fun way to waste an hour and see how the Green debate can go low culture with an impact.