If you think enlisting celebrities is going to get me to recycle, think again, Batman:
NBC Universal's three-year "green" campaign has largely focused on off-camera issues like making company facilities more eco-friendly. News and information programs have also been enlisted to do stories on environmental issues, but except for one "30 Rock" episode two years ago, the campaign hasn't touched the prime-time lineup.
This year on "30 Rock," corporate boss Jack Donaghy tells the late-night show's staff it has to cut its carbon footprint by 5 percent, and puts Kenneth the Page in charge of getting it done.
"It's something that is relatable and is something that a lot of people are doing," said Jack McBrayer, the actor who portrays Kenneth.
Backstage, the show has done its part by removing water bottles in favor of water filters and using chemical-free cleaning products. The show rents hybrid vehicles to transport its actors and crew members, said Beth Colleton, vice president of the "Green is Universal" campaign.
"Everybody is on board with greening up the place and being more environmentally-friendly in real life," McBrayer said. "Every now and then people need to be reminded of things that can be done."
In the comedy "Community," the college is renamed "Environdale." College students think they're hiring the band Green Day for a gig, and instead gets the Celtic combo Greene Daeye. Dwight in "The Office" takes the role of "Recyclops" in that comedy. "Heroes" features cast members filling a truck with recyclables and talking about the importance of giving back to the earth.
This effort damages those franchises in several different ways. When these shows come out on DVD, imagine the confusion when it starts up with the "green" episode and the people watching fail to be entertained and realize they've been gypped. Thirteen years from now, when these shows are syndicated out to low-paying, low-rated independent channels on what is left of the TV spectrum, these outdated "green" shows will point to the folly of trying to recycle while President Tila Tequila signs into law the first bill outlawing the word green.
Recycling doesn't work by the way. I'm not a scientist, and I know someone who isn't one, but recycling has minimal benefit to the environment. It's far better to just not buy things made of paper and plastic. Live with cast iron and surgical steel implements and always go with the granite countertops. When the granite countertops wear out, you can pull them out, break them up, and use them for a walkway in the garden.
If you need a celebrity to tell you how to live, brother, you don't know how to live.