ABC, Brought to You by Honda, Says Don't Buy Stuff

April 18th, 2008 1:03 PM

Left wing environmentalist Sam Champion continued to push his eco-agenda on Friday's edition of "Good Morning America." The liberal weatherman enlisted the help of, a web page devoted to "green living." One of the site's founders, Heather Stephenson, lectured a family interested in going green about the evils of buying new toys for their children. She explained, "'Cause the best thing that you can do for the environment, actually, is not buy more stuff."

The goal was to help the couple "get their green on." And while some of the suggestions were sensible, others sounded rather socialist. After encouraging a neighborhood "toy swap" as an alternative to new toys, the other founder of Ideal Bite, Jennifer Boulden, touted old jewelry. "And that's the best thing you do, in terms of eco, is not have to buy new. People don't think about the fact that when they're wearing new jewelry, it is from the Earth. It has to be mined," she hectored. Isn't this more than a little hypocritical on the part of GMA? After the segment ended, commercials appeared advertising a new Disney movie, Amtrak, the newest cars from Hyundai and Honda. Wouldn't it be best to watch an old Disney movie and not encourage the making of new ones? Shouldn't eco-Americans simply buy used cars and not patronize Honda and Hyundai?

In more activist news, Elle magazine has awarded the aforementioned Mr. Champion an "eco-illuminator" award in its new issue. The publication openly phrased the meteorologist for inserting an agenda into his weather reports:


Weathering Heights

One of the strangest disconnects over the past several years has been that TV meteorologists have been talking about the unseasonably warm winters, early springs, heat waves, and other erratic weather—yet, until recently, they never mentioned the words global warming or climate change. Champion changed that: On one of his first assignments as weather anchor for Good Morning America, in late 2006, he traveled to Iceland and witnessed firsthand the melting ice cap. Since then, he’s been saying the forbidden words loud, and saying them proud, to a mass-market audience. "I have the perfect venue," says Champion, who does one green segment a week. "People want to hear about it, and they want to talk about it."

To show you what kind of company Champion is in, the magazine also gave an award to this summer's Democratic National Convention, to be held in Denver. "...They’ll be in for the greenest Democratic National Convention in history," Elle applauded. Finally, the magazine also congratulated the work of No Impact Man, Colin Beavan. NewsBusters readers may know him as the radical environmentalist who is giving up, not just electricity, but also toilet paper. To bring it full circle, Champion has twice promoted Beavan on GMA. As Earth Day appoaches, viewers can expect more environmental lecturing from Champion. One question though, are the expensive suits he wears second hand? Does Champion know how much energy is wasted to make new ones?

A transcript of the segment, which aired at 8:41am on April 18, follows:

SAM CHAMPION: We are counting down to Earth Day right here on the old GMA show. Showing you know how to live greener. And this morning, we're focusing on the little changes that can make a big impact on the planet. Now, we've enlisted the help of our friends at the environmental website who are giving one family a green make-over, you could call it. But it's something that we can all learn from. Planet Earth, it's home to over six billion people. And we share the planet with wildlife and plant life. So, how do we take care of our most precious resources? Our loved ones. Well, maybe one step at a time.



CHAMPION: Three years ago, Heather Stephenson and Jennifer Boulden co-founded, a website dedicated to helping make our lives a little bit greener through simpler and practical bite-sized tips. They believe that even the small steps can make a big difference. So, we asked our ideal ladies if they could teach one family how to get their green on.

[Knocks on door of home. Rest of segment is Boulden and Stephenson touring the home and making suggestions.]

CHAMPION: Michelle and Scott McCuen (PH) have two very important reasons for wanting a more eco-friendly life style. Four and a half year-old Mason and two and a half year-old Maddix.

SCOTT MCCUEN: We have two kids now and we just want to teach them early how to help the Earth and, you know, teach them about green and start them young.

STEPHENSON: Yeah. Great. That sounds great. Let's get started. The more we can look for toys that don't incorporate plastic in it, the better. These are wooden-based toys, painted with environmentally friendly paint. And what's really great about these toys, you know, obviously they're going to grow out of them. You know, he's going to grow up. They're going to grow out of them. They're going to want other things. So, find a group of people and do a toy swap. 'Cause the best thing that you can do for the environment, actually, is not buy more stuff.

BOULDEN: Let's go through the morning ritual. All right? You're getting ready and reach for your shampoo. Who would have thought that there's actually eco-shampoos out there? There's also organic beauty products available. Same with your makeup. Here is a new idea. It's basically your brushes that are often used plastic for the bristles and raw materials. These are made out of bamboo, and recycled aluminum and then synthetic bristles as opposed to animal bristles or ones again that are petroleum based. And, lastly, you might be putting on your jewelry when we're getting ready.


BOULDEN: And these type of items actually come from, like, vintage. And that's the best thing you do, in terms of eco, is not have to buy new. People don't think about the fact that when they're wearing new jewelry, it is from the Earth. It has to be mined. A lot of energy goes into that. A lot of chemicals are used in the mining process.

STEPHENSON: Here in your home office, we usually like to think about two different ways that you can get a lot more green in your day-to-day life. The first is dealing with paper. Print two sided. You can set your printers settings so that you print double sided. Everyone gets way too much junk mail. The average person, this is not going to surprise you, gets 11 pieces of junk mail a week. If everyone in the United States actually went online and signed up to have their junk mail reduced, we'd save 11,000 trees. Really, look at the energy use of your appliances. Something that most people don't know, is that their appliances are actually using energy even when you're not using them. So, perfect example, you guys have this cell phone charger plugged in here. All right. 90 percent of the energy that this cell phone charger uses is just evaporating into the air while it's sitting here not plugged into the phone and not charging the phone. Most the people don't want to be pulling plugs though into and out of the wall. So, what you guys have already done, which is great, is you have a power strip that has one of those on/off switches, so when you're not here in your home office, all you have to do is just switch off that switch. It's not only going to help the environment, but it's also going to lower your electricity bills for your home.

SCOTT MCCUEN: Great. Sounds good.

STEPHENSON: It's good stuff.