This is the fourth in a series of blogs highlighting the unique waste-reducing reality TV series produced by this earth-friendly Texas city.
And then there were three…
But the old (paraphrased) cliche’ the game must go on holds true, especially when it comes to reality TV.
And so, here are some highlights from Episode 3: two families realize the importance of ditching traditional disposable diapers, MC Michael reveals the “Rules for taking out the trash” and two teams surprise everyone: one during the challenge and another at the elimination. It’s reality TV at it’s best!
I’m loving the series, but I also wanted a bit more info on how the contestants were chosen. So, I spoke with Lauren Hammond, Public Information Specialist for Austin’s Waste Services. Hammond said “We wanted the contest to reflect the city’s unique diversity.” So, naturally, they were thrilled when 50 families originally applied. Through a series of interviews, they whittled the numbers down to eight, and follow-up auditions reduced it further to the lucky four.
Hammond added that they also wanted to produce a professional-looking program, so, they joined forces with Austin’s Channel 6, the government access TV station. As a result, Dare To Go Zero rivals the majority of reality-based TV available today.
The Zimmerman-Brian family (Black Team) were certainly thrilled to be chosen. Julia Zimmerman adds though that they had no idea what they were getting themselves into until the cameras start rolling. “Just having someone come into your home on a weekly basis is unnerving for some folks…not to mention, our son was just around 6-7 months old at the time, and we have dogs! We also didn’t quite know what we were going to do waste-wise” she added, since they thought they were doing a pretty good job recycling and reducing at the time.
Then again, like most families with young children, the Zimmerman-Brian’s struggled with the diaper situation. Truth be told, most people find disposables easier (and less messy) to use. And frankly, many day-cares require them. For the Black Team, whose benchmark waste was 25 pounds, disposables had to go, and they’ve stuck to their guns since. “We made the switch to cloth diapers 24/7 for Will during the filming, and we’ve maintained that nearly 100%, ” Zimmerman said.
So, how they are doing with waste reduction now that the cameras are off? “We’re not perfect,” Zimmerman says, “And we do have slip-ups, but I think we’re trying to maintain our reduction. I think I had the most room to grow because (husband) Jason was already fairly good at recycling, but I’ve made many improvements.”
Two episodes remain. Who will get booted and who will be the biggest waste reducer…