My wife is always on the lookout for material that I can share with others to raise awareness about the wide ranging impact that our choices can make in our lives and on the environment. Recently she pointed me to a show from the Sundance Channel called Eco Trip. I think is a light simple way to introduce people to examining some familiar products in their lives.
If you practice Permaculture, you can use it as a way to bridge the conversation to get them to begin thinking about, indirectly, the ethics and principles. I’ve found that sharing these, without ever naming them, can be a very effective way to spread the knowledge and get minds turning.
In each show David de Rothschild examines a single type of object through it’s life cycle and the effects it has on people and the surrounding areas. From there we are offered alternative solutions. In the handful of episodes I saw, this was mainly about recycling in one form or another. The episode on the light bulb looked at compact florescent and LED lighting, including the new risks opened up by the former containing mercury.
So far the episodes have been: chocolate, cotton t-shirt, gold ring, paper napkin, light bulb, bottled water, cell phone, and salmon.
I said in the beginning that this is a “light” show because the material doesn’t go into a great deal of depth as it moves quickly through various phases and we see the host talking with activists, scientists, and then performing some kind of task to help the cause. I cannot vouch for the validity of all the material either though some cursory research didn’t show anything glaring.
If you are already involved with some kind of environmental cause or have put Permaculture into action in your life, there isn’t much new here and you would be better served by more in-depth material. If, like me, you have some family members who don’t see a need to change their lifestyle and want to keep on living to consume, it could be a way to at least put a crack in their thinking and start to show them the wide world. Pick an episode about something they eat or use all the time and see what happens.