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The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this international MTV site aims to make teens go green. Teens can provide an email address to sign up for news, send links to a friend, or post comments on the blog, which are moderated before they're posted. Otherwise, there's no social element or content sharing, and the site is free of profanity and sexual content. One blog post links to a FunnyorDie.com skit with cursing, but warns readers first. The blog also links to many sites that sell products. The site has some helpful environmental tips, but there's also a fair amount of celebrity fluff.
What's it about?
MTVSWITCH.COM wants you to go green. The Web site is part of MTV Networks International's Global Climate Change Campaign, which highlights innovative ways in which people can reduce their carbon footprint. Animated creatures called the Environmentors offer energy-saving tips like buying fresh instead of frozen foods or line-drying clothes. There's a wide array of videos, from interviews with musicians like Chris Cornell and KT Tunstall, to more conceptual pieces, like an artist who sees "faces" in electrical outlets and encourages you to "starve" them to save energy. The main site links to an MTV Switch blog that covers "the latest trends and fashions that are keeping the earth clean." It's fun to learn about green products, but the blog could use more ideas that don't involve buying things.
Is it any good?
While the site has a good message about saving energy and includes some useful environmental tips, style often trumps substance. There's a beautifully animated panorama of mountains and trees that shifts as you navigate to different parts of the site -- which takes a really long time to load. And, on the whole, there's not a lot to learn in the videos. Some are totally pointless, like one that just shows concertgoers sloshing around in the mud at the Glastonbury Festival. And parents might not agree with Fall Out Boy's sentiment that "Being addicted to gasoline is worse than being addicted to cocaine."