New Sundance Series Investigates Product Stewardship

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David de Rothschild’s new series, Eco Trip: The Real Cost of Living, premiered on April 21 on the Sundance Channel. The eight-part original series follows de Rothschild as he tracks a different consumer product in each episode, exploring its origin and environmental impact.

In an interview with Treehugger, de Rothschild describes the idea that consumers have about everyday products they purchase. According to de Rothschild, it’s very easy to put something in a bin and never think about it again. As consumers, we tend to forget about the product’s origin and the “supply chain” it went through in order to be neatly delivered to consumers.

“We now need to start thinking how we can make that supply chain smarter [and] more efficient,” de Rothschild says. “…until we do that, we’re going to continue to find that there’s products that just keep on mounting up and getting into our landfills.”

The show follows the life cycle and explores the idea of product stewardship of common items found in every household. Airing on April 28, Eco Trip’s second episode follows a t-shirt’s life cycle from the cotton field to the retail store. de Rothschild learns that 99 percent of cotton worldwide is grown with toxic chemicals and pesticides. In search of an alternative, de Rothschild explores the benefits of clothing made from organic cotton.

Eco Trip airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the Sundance Channel. The show is just one of de Rothschild’s efforts in promoting recycling and product stewardship. The adventurer is gearing up for his voyage on the Plastiki, de Rothschild’s 60-foot, rudderless catamaran made out of used two-liter plastic bottles. de Rothschild will set out on his 11,000-mile journey from San Francisco to Sydney late this summer.

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