As the host of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “EcoSense For Living,” an environmental information and advice show that also airs on PBS stations nationwide, Jennie Turner Garlington follows in the eco-minded footsteps of her conservationist father, Ted Turner. “We were immersed in it, starting at 8 or 9," she tells MNN. "We lived on a big piece of land and learned about ecosystems and wildlife. We carpooled with neighbors. It’s been a way of life of us. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

She worked for CNN’s environment unit for about five years after college, and after she married and moved to Lexington, Ky., she wanted to get back into environmental reporting. In 2005, “I asked my brother to help me do some public service announcements, eco-tips, and he was all for it and shot them for me for free,” Garlington says. “The PBS affiliate in Lexington thought they were wonderful but really needed 30-minute shows. Through the Turner Foundation we were able to fund the show. We wanted to do stories that would help people live a healthier life and save energy, save money. Now here we are with our sixth episode, and we have seven and eight in the works and plan to have those ready for the fall.”

The mother of six children ranging from 4 months to 13 years old, Garlington believes it’s “so important for us as parents educate our children about things that are safe for them and things that aren’t, protecting wildlife, and conserving land, and what they put in their body and getting out in nature for your health, mind and body.”  To that end, “We chose to get out of the city and get back to basics. We live on a farm. We go on environmental field trips every year, perhaps to a national park, and there’s a lot of education about the environment. We go on hikes or to a park on the weekend. And the kids learn about the environment in school, too.”

Her goal with “EcoSense” is “to entertain while educating viewers about making better, healthier choices,” such as paraben-free body products from Walgreens’ Ology line or The Honest Company. “Sometimes you may have to look a little bit deeper to see what’s available. You have to read labels. There are so many toxins, many of them not tested by the government,” Garlington says. But scaring consumers into panic is not her intent. “We want to provide tips and give people hope. We are not a doom-and-gloom show. We want to give you goals that are within reach and make you feel good,” she adds. “The show is all about making people feel good about what they’re doing in their daily lives.”

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