A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Focuses on reducing waste to help the environment and save money, couching the message within a context of financial gain and loss. Some of the featured families own multiple cars, electronics, and other luxuries that can seem excessive. The families are from various racial/ethnic backgrounds.
Products & Purchases
Prominently features logos for Brita and Google. Many of the featured families have lots of consumer goods.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this environmentally themed reality series -- which shows families how they can reduce their carbon footprint and live a greener lifestyle -- makes its point by identifying the financial impact that less-green habits can have on household budgets. There's not much iffy content for parents to worry about, aside from the prominent position of a couple of corporate/product logos (Brita and Google). That said, the subject matter may not appeal to young tweens, though older viewers interested environmental issues and/or green living are likely to find the show interesting and/or inspiring.
Is It Any Good?
Wa$ted acts as a kind of mirror by allowing viewers to see a bit of themselves and their own "ungreen" behavior in the daily habits of the featured families. As a result, people may be inspired by how easy it is to make changes. The hosts share important information about the impact that even a single family can have on the overall environment, offering concrete tips for how to reduce waste without significantly altering your lifestyle. The show also demonstrates how carbon footprints are calculated and provides images to help people envision the real impact that their behavior is having on the planet. And the end of each episode concretely demonstrates the huge difference that making small changes can have on the amount of waste a family produces.
Unfortunately, the show's focus on the financial impact that each family's habits have on their household budget -- and the cash they can potentially win at the end of the episode -- dilutes some of these important messages. Sure, the financial incentive is a practical way of encouraging people to change their bad habits, but it also sends the message that people should be interested in reducing waste primarily because of what it costs them, rather than what it costs the planet. Meanwhile, corporate sponsors' logos are prominently visible in some of the show's graphics. Still, despite these issues, Wa$ted provides a lot of important information. Young tweens may not be drawn to it, but older viewers looking to become more green will find that it has a lot to offer.
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