Survivor host Jeff Probst’s best green move has been behind the wheel. “The big thing for me was getting rid of my gas guzzler and getting a Prius,” he tells MNN. “It made a huge difference and now I can’t imagine having that big truck again.” One of the sweltering celebs who braved an April heat wave at the nostalgia-centric TV Land Awards, where he joined host Neil Patrick Harris in the opening bit, Probst also endeavors to recycle and use less plastic. “It’s constant -- you really have to work at it,” he says of being green. “The encouraging thing is young kids are being taught so the next generation will have it figured out.”
On hand to receive the Icon Award with ER cast mates, Alex Kingston also drives a hybrid -- a Lexus -- but walks and bicycles whenever possible and composts green waste for her garden. “We grow our own vegetables, though I’m battling with the squirrels,” she confides. “They eat my broccoli and my lettuce and I’m pretty cross about that.”
For Kingston, returning for the ER finale was like a college reunion. “It was so lovely to see everyone and catch up and reminisce. I loved how they worked in the original characters and gave them a purpose for being there.” She’s waiting to receive some floor tiles she requested as souvenirs. “I was hoping to get an operating table and have it as a sideboard, but it wasn’t allowed.”
Recurring lately on Law & Order: SVU, Kingston is waiting to hear if a series pilot she made makes the fall schedule.
Another avid gardener, Michelle Phillips (pictured right) says she has “cut my watering down to half and my garden is still thriving. I also use Ed Begley products and drive a hybrid Ford Escape.” The Mamas & the Papas legend and Knots Landing vixen joined her Knots co-stars to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a series she believes was ahead of its time. “It was a very brave show, very topical. There was no topic that was taboo that I can recall.” She’s currently developing a Mamas & the Papas movie project.
“We’re humongous recyclers,” says Home Improvement alumna Debbe Dunning. “And we compost constantly. We don’t throw garbage away -- we put it into the garden. We also have a project growing palm trees in Mexico, and with that we’re using a lot of solar and recycling everything including the water.” Having had her third child, a son, six months ago, Dunning also uses chemical-free baby bottles.
She was thrilled to join her Home Improvement co-stars to accept the Fan Favorite award, especially since she was originally merely a guest star on the show. “Then I came back and they asked me to be part of the cast,” she explains.
Another Home vet, Zachery Ty Bryan, is 27 now and in addition to doing guest spots of late on shows like Cold Case, Burn Notice and Knight Rider, owns a pizza joint in Burbank, California called Z Pizza. “It’s a certified green restaurant. We have the low VOC paint, the lighting, and the food is organic,” he says.
Bryan, who made a short film called Trunk that’s making the film festival circuit, has no regrets about growing up on TV. “I have a documentary of me growing up that I can show my children,” he notes.
Stacey Anderson (pictured left), star of TV Land’s reality show The Cougar, is saving a few trees. “I used to be a big pen and paper person but I’m learning to set that aside. It’s time to step away from personalized notes. I’m e-mailing more. It saves paper,” says the Arizona mom of four, who’s happy she decided to go on TV to meet a (younger) man. “I did choose somebody and we’re still together. It was by far one of the best experiences I’ve been through in my life. I’m in love!”
The Cougar airs Wednesdays at 10 PM on TV Land, and the TV Land Awards premiere at 8 PM on Apr. 26.
As part of its Green Is Universal platform, NBC Universal broadcast and cable channels including Bravo, Oxygen, USA and Sci Fi are tying into Earth Day with related programming and PSAs this week. One highlight: MSNBC will present Future Earth, about the rapidly melting ice in the Arctic Ocean, on Apr. 25 at 10 PM.
Global warming is also the focus of a new music video by Op-Critical, which has teamed up with Justice Through Music to remake the Ten Years After song “I’d Love to Change the World” with updated lyrics reflecting an environmental theme. Watch it here.
Stay tuned for next week’s Ecollywood column. In the meantime, check out our Ecollywood videos.