America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan has a novel way of reducing his carbon footprint. “I refuse to go on Simon’s private plane anymore,” he quips, referring to buddy Simon Cowell, the show’s executive producer. “It’s the ultimate sacrifice.” But all kidding aside, the British TV host (most recently seen judging YouTube sensation Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent) and winner of the first Celebrity Apprentice is actually pretty green, and is involved with a competition that educates British schoolchildren about the environment. “We challenge them to come up with energy saving ideas,” he notes.
“I’m also editor-director of a kids’ newspaper in England and we do lots of environmental campaigns aimed at young people. You get kids between 7 and 14 into thinking that it’s a good thing for the planet and that’s where you can be very effective, because their generation inherits the problem.” Indeed, his own three sons “are pretty into it,” he shares proudly. “One of them is a green monitor in his classroom.”
Morgan, fellow judges David Hasselhoff and Sharon Osbourne, and new host Nick Cannon kick off America’s Got Talent on July 23 on NBC, and it should be an interesting summer. “We’ve got a man who whips his wife this year,” he reports.
David James Elliott (JAG), who portrays a fellow scientist, eschews throwaway grocery bags and recycles, designating a separate basket for used batteries. “We carpool whenever we can. It’s certainly in our interest financially -- gas is pretty expensive. We’re doing what we can. I have two children and they’re learning about it in school. They bring home information and stuff for us to do.”
Nevertheless, Elliott is confused by the “conflicting information out there that makes it difficult to know what is doing the right thing. People say making car batteries causes more harm to the environment than they save, and making solar panels burns more energy than they save. What’s the answer? I don’t know,” he says, “but I’m looking for the truth.”
Next month, Elliott stars in another sci-fi TV movie called The Storm, playing the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “We weaponize the weather,” he says, “and we think it’s a good thing.” NBC airs the two-parter July 26 and Aug. 2 at 9 p.m.
Not only are the home remodels on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition amazingly fast, they’re pretty eco-friendly, according to carpenter Paige Hemmis (pictured right). “We have a green element in every show that we publicize, and do more behind the scenes. Solar is a huge one that we’re trying to use and we always have some sort of recycled element, everything from countertops to flooring to refrigerators.”
Hemmis recycles when she’s at her L.A. condo, but spends most of her time traveling for work. Recently, she flew to the Bahamas to compete on ABC’s The Superstars, in which she and skier Bode Miller were paired in various sporting events. “I’ve never been athletic, but I’m very competitive,” says Hemmis, who was lured by the idea of 2 1/2 weeks at the Atlantis resort, win or lose. “It took away a little of the paradise because we were working so hard every day,” she says, “but it was still fun.” The Superstars premieres June 23 at 8 p.m.
At home, “We eat a lot of organic food and try to keep the lights off when we’re not in rooms,” says Buré, who’s married to ex-pro hockey player Valeri Buré. “We try to bring our own grocery bags and turn the faucet off and not take long showers. We do those little things that add up. But I still use paper towels,” she admits.
Gilpin says she became more eco-conscious after she became a mom. “I wanted to be able to pass that along. Now my girls are studying it in school so they’re starting to tell us things,” she tells MNN. “I’ve been carrying around a metal water bottle, trying to recycle, and I got a Toyota Highlander hybrid. It seems like every day we learn a new way that we’re destroying the planet, so we’re trying to keep up with it all.”
Make It or Break It premieres June 22 at 9 p.m.
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(Photo credits: Paige Hemmis by ABC/Bob D'Amico; Candace Cameron Bure and Peri Gilpin by ABC/Adam Larkey)