Alter Eco

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Alter Eco TV Poster Image
Series argues that it is easy being green.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Promotes living a "green" lifestyle by suggesting ways to change current habits and making different choices. Some discussion of how being green can translate into big money for contractors. Not much cast diversity.

Violence
Sex

Some references to being a "ladies man" and "having girls."

Language
Consumerism

Promotes lots of eco-friendly companies, including Silver Lake Farms and Ecovations. Products like eco-friendly sunglasses are discussed; viewers are frequently referred to the show's Web site for information on how to purchase these featured products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Visible wine and cocktail drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that overall, this series -- which suggests creative ways that people can live a green lifestyle and be more environmentally friendly -- has a positive message. That said, cast members (including Entourage heartthrob Adrian Grenier) and guests often do seem to be "preaching" about the green life, and the series promotes lots of specific eco-friendly products and services, even directing viewers to the show's Web site for information on how to purchase featured items. While the show's content is pretty mild, there are some subtle sexual references, and team drinks wine and cocktails during meals.

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What's the story?

Reality series ALTER ECO offers fun, fashionable suggestions for living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Hosted by actor Adrian Grenier, the series follows a team of environmentally conscious people like model/green style expert Angela Lindvall, sustainability educator Boise Thomas, and eco renovator Darren Moore. From building green houses to finding businesses that support the green movement, the group demonstrates how anyone can make more environmentally sound choices in their day-to-day life.

Is it any good?

Alter Eco isn't exactly exciting, but viewers interested in environmental issues will likely find it interesting. In each episode, the Alter Eco team defines what it means to be "green" or environmentally friendly, offering lots of information about the benefits of living a lifestyle designed to sustain the environment. It shows how things that are usually thrown away can be repurposed or recycled to reduce waste and promote a greener environment. It also introduces various eco-friendly projects -- like creating their own compost bins -- that people can pursue on their own.

While a lot of this information is helpful, some of it sounds rehearsed and even a little preachy. And the shameless promotion of eco-friendly businesses and products sometimes makes the show seem a bit like an infomercial. As a result, it's sometimes a little slow. But if you can look past that, you'll find a strong, positive message about how easy it is to adopt a greener lifestyle and help protect the world we live in.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the growing trend to "go green" and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Do you think TV shows like this will encourage more people to make earth-friendly changes in their lives? How can the media promote issues like environmentalism without being too preachy? Families can also discuss what changes they could make at home to become more environmentally friendly. Are there any projects your family can work on to make your lives greener?

TV details

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