Eco-Trip: The Real Cost of Living



Informative "green" docu raises questions for consumers.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series' information -- which focuses on how the production and distribution of everyday things can have a serious environmental impact -- is given from multiple points of view and encourages consumers to ask their own questions and make their own informed choices.


Animals (like fish) are occasionally shown being harvested and gutted.


Some very mild references to "looking sexy." De Rothschild is occasionally shown taking off his shirt to change into scuba gear and other uniforms, but these scenes aren't presented in a sexual manner.


Words like "ass" and "s--t" are occasionally audible.


The show's intent is to encourage people to be more aware about their consumption habits.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine or beer is occasionally briefly visible during meals. Frequent discussions about chemical contaminants, including poisons that were once used as drugs and have now been banned.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this informative series -- which explores how the production and distribution of everyday things impacts the environment -- is relatively mild aside from occasional strong language ("ass," "s--t") and passing references to looking "sexy." Younger kids may be bored by some of the scientific information, and sensitive viewers could be upset by some of the images and/or discussions about the life-threatening impact of harmful pesticides and other chemicals on animals and humans.

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What's the story?

ECO-TRIP: THE REAL COST OF LIVING follows host David de Rothschild as he travels the world learning how everyday things like T-shirts and Atlantic salmon make their way into consumers' hands -- and how much impact their journey from origination to use has on the planet. As he works alongside farmers, fishermen, and scientists, he uncovers multiple (and sometimes competing) points of view. Interviews with experts provide additional insight into the role of consumer demands, climate change, and the depletion of the planet's natural resources. At the end of each episode, de Rothschild explores some of the ways that consumers can educate themselves about what they're buying in order to make more informed choices.

Is it any good?


This informative, nonjudgmental series offers plenty of information about how seemingly minor production and/or harvesting decisions can have a major (and sometimes devastating) impact on the planet. It also demonstrates the necessity of thinking beyond buying products that are labeled "organic" and recognizing that assembling and transporting even the most "earth-friendly" goods affects the ecosystem.

Granted, knowing that everything you buy, use, and/or eat probably has had some sort of negative impact on the environment can be incredibly frustrating. But the show uses this information to encourage viewers to ask their own questions and think a little bit more carefully about their habits. As a result, it succeeds in leaving viewers who want to make a difference feeling a little bit more empowered.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different ways the media can send messages about causes like environmentalism. Are messages that don't try to overwhelm or frighten viewers as effective as those that rely more on "scare tactics"? Why or why not? Do you think shows like this will encourage more people to rethink their daily habits and/or make more earth-friendly life changes? Families can also discuss how to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. It is possible to only consume products that are completely "Earth friendly"? How can we be sure that what we consume is really "green"?

TV details

Cast:David de Rothschild
Network:Sundance Channel
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Eco-Trip: The Real Cost of Living was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bynoahm June 17, 2009


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