CBS ‘Early Show’ Highlights Environmentalist ‘Scuppies’

At the end of Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith introduced a segment on a new group of environmentally-friendly young professionals: "Earth Day, of course, was yesterday, but for many Earth Day is every day, especially for a growing number of Americans of means." Correspondent Priya David went on define this new demographic: "Scuppies, so interesting, that's what the people in this group are called. Scuppies, it's short for Socially Conscious Upwardly Mobile Person, and there are more of them out there than you may realize. They are the new yuppies. Young, upwardly mobile, friends of the Earth." David further explained that: "The term, coined by financial planner Chuck Fallia, refers to green young people who love both money and mother nature." She then went on to contrast today’s well-meaning "scuppies" with the greedy "yuppies," or young urban professionals, of the 1980's:

DAVID: Today's scuppies aren't like the yuppies of the 1980s. MICHAEL DOUGLAS: Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.DAVID: Instead, they want to do good.

Throughout the segment, David gave a more complete definition of a scuppie by citing various examples of their "socially conscious" lifestyle:

They buy organic food...Decorate with socially conscious [free trade] furniture...Or buy from flea markets. Their houses are cleaned by organic cleaning services...And landscaped with pesticide-free fertilizer...They eat at restaurants that use fresh, local ingredients...They drive old cars...And no designer pets for scuppies...For scuppies in training, environmentally-friendly diapers.

David concluded her report by describing the elitist nature of the scuppies: "Now you'll see they're not afraid to show off their healthy stock portfolio by spending more money on expensive and environmentally correct clothing, and they're proud to recycle their copy of the Wall Street Journal."After the segment, Smith wondered if he fit the "scuppie" category, unfortunately he didn’t quite make the cut:

SMITH: Any of us -- do you think any of us are scuppies?DAVID: You could potentially be a scuppie, Harry. I mean --SMITH: If I ride my bike to work everyday --DAVID: You might be working the age limit just a little bit.

This story on America’s "scuppie" population followed a story on Tuesday’s "Early Show" which highlighted the recent banning of plastic bags at Whole Foods supermarkets. According to correspondent Hattie Kauffman: "Plastic bags may go the way of the dinosaur. Ikea plans to ban them in October. And starting today Whole Foods won't use them."Kauffman described efforts across the country to ban plastic bags:

KAUFFMAN: Most of the plastic bags are not recycled. They end up cast off on land and in the sea. Whole Foods regional president Michael Bescanson says the plastic ban is coming just in time. MICHAEL BESCANSON: Unless you're living under a rock, you have to see that we have a problem. There's too many of us, we're overburdening the system. The -- the Earth can't handle it. KAUFFMAN: Last year San Francisco banned plastic bags in all of the city's larger stores.UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I hated the plastic bags. Because then once you get them home, you don't know what to do with them.KAUFFMAN: The Mayor of Seattle wants to take it a step further, a 20 cent fee for any disposable bag.GREG NICKELS: The answer to the question, paper or plastic should be neither. Both harm the environment.

Toward the end of the segment, Kauffman mentioned that: "Most shoppers we spoke to approve of the ban." The ban on plastic bags was also a topic of conversation on NBC’s "Today" on Tuesday, when actor Ed Norton declared that: "Yeah and when, and when China is ahead of us in banning these things [plastic bags], when other countries around the world are banning these things that we, we need to get in line with that and catch up."Here is the full transcript of Wednesday’s "Early Show" segment:8:49AM SEGMENT:HARRY SMITH: Earth Day, of course, was yesterday, but for many Earth Day is every day, especially for a growing number of Americans of means. CBS News Correspondent Priya David is here to tell us more about them. Good morning.PRIYA DAVID: Harry, good morning. Scuppies, so interesting, that's what the people in this group are called. Scuppies, it's short for socially conscious upwardly mobile person, and there are more of them out there than you may realize. They are the new yuppies. Young, upwardly mobile, friends of the Earth.CHARLES FALLIA: This is the person that you see in front of you at Starbucks asking the Barista 'is this free trade coffee?' It's the person at Whole Foods you see with the canvas bags. These are the scuppies.DAVID: The term, coined by financial planner Chuck Fallia, refers to green young people who love both money and mother nature.FALLIA: That looks good. DAVID: Today's scuppies aren't like the yuppies of the 1980s. MICHAEL DOUGLAS: Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.DAVID: Instead, they want to do good.CARMEN FALLIA: I've always been eco-minded. DAVID: They buy organic food. FALLIA: We have the grass-fed fat free organic milk. The only thing better than organic food, I think, is organic beverage or cocktail. The tables are free trade.DAVID: Decorate with socially conscious furniture.FALLIA: We give them a fair wage for it.DAVID: Or buy from flea markets. Their houses are cleaned by organic cleaning services.FALLIA: Uses nothing but organic cleaning supplies.DAVID: And landscaped with pesticide-free fertilizer.FALLIA: We don't like to have any pesticides in the house, out of the house. UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Hi. How are you today? DAVID: They eat at restaurants that use fresh, local ingredients. WOMAN: All of our produce is all locally grown.DAVID: They drive old cars.FALLIA: It's not a hybrid. DAVID: Even though that old car could be an Audi.FALLIA: What makes us very scuppy and very environmentally sound is the fact that it's very, very old.DAVID: And no designer pets for scuppies. FALLIA: Here you see our pet. Stretch literally followed me home one day in New York City, up to my apartment.DAVID: For scuppies in training, environmentally-friendly diapers.CARMEN FALLIA: We're going with the chlorine-free diapers.DAVID: There are hundreds of businesses that cater to this new group. From dry cleaners to clothing stores to burger joints. Now, the thing about scuppies is they don't want to sacrifice living well for doing good. The Fallia family's other car, for example, is an SUV. SMITH: OohDAVID: Now, take a look at this picture of a scuppie couple from the scuppie.com web site. Now you'll see they're not afraid to show off their healthy stock portfolio by spending more money on expensive and environmentally correct clothing, and they're proud to recycle their copy of the Wall Street Journal.RODRIGUEZ: Baby steps, I guess. DAVID: Absolutely. In those environmentally-friendly diapers.SMITH: There was a great piece on the "Evening News," though, last night talking about some of the companies out west, especially, that give incentives to their employees to buy, for instance, hybrid cars, different kinds of things like that. It's out there. DAVID: Yup.SMITH: Any of us -- do you think any of us are scuppies?DAVID: You could potentially be a scuppie, Harry. I mean --SMITH: If I ride my bike to work everyday --DAVID: You might be working the age limit just a little bit. DAVE PRICE: You just do that to save money.SMITH: Unbelievable. Thank you so much.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC