Sam 'Champion' of Eco-Friendly Wares, Downplays Cost

April 19th, 2007 4:55 PM

Update added at bottom of post.

"There's many simple, even money-saving ways that we can actually give our little bit of help in our own lives and in our own homes and make a little bit of a difference," said weatherman Sam Champion on April 19 "Good Morning America."

But when it came to cost, the April 19 USA Today contradicted Champion:

“Products that help people use less energy – or leave a smaller ‘environmental footprint,’ as green advocates say – often are more costly than their alternatives, causing some to argue that going green is only for those who can afford it,” said USA Today.

Champion's segment focused on a special energy-efficient home built by BASF The Chemical Company that is 80 percent more energy efficient than other houses.

The home incorporates wood from environmentally protected sources, furniture cushions made from plastic soda bottles, compact fluorescent lighting, modular recycled rug tiles, bamboo bedding, and laminate molding made of pressed wheat instead of solid wood.

Showing off keen journalistic skills, Champion asked questions like, “What is so green about this kitchen? It looks pretty normal,” and “Why do we love bamboo?” He did not mention any extra home construction costs.

BASF media contact Mark Stephenson told the Business & Media Institute that the home did require additional costs of about 5 percent to make the structure (walls, ceilings and floors) so energy efficient.

But, Stephenson added, there is an immediate costs savings of 80 percent in utility expenses.

Champion also interviewed Chassie Post of Domino magazine about eco-friendly bedroom furnishings, but left cost considerations to the very last:

“Now quickly about the cost, I know some of this is gonna be more expensive and that’s what a lot of folks are going to talk about. Is it always more expensive to do the healthy, green thing?” Champion asked.

"Great news. Not anymore, not anymore," was Post's reply.

Editor's Update: For all things Champion at NewsBusters, check our archive of Champion posts. Additionally, Seymour's Business & Media Institute (BMI) has a comprehensive run-down of MRC and BMI material on global warming in a Web page entitled "Climate of Bias."