You know that ideas are going mainstream when they enter the world of the soap. We’ve previously seen, for example, eco-weddings on Days of Our Lives (possibly influenced by actor Peter Reckell’s treehugging tendencies). Now we hear from the UK that the thorny issue of carbon offsets has hit the airwaves in the BBC’s hugely popular long running radio soap, The Archers. For those unfamiliar with the show, it has been running since 1950 and has aired over 15000 episodes (more information is available here). Originally conceived as an educational tool for farmers, the Archers has become a veritable barometer for the current zeitgeist, covering issues as broad as drug abuse, genetic modification and gay marriage.
According to a press release from UK-based offset company Climate Care, an episode last Friday featured one of the characters, Pip, desperately trying to persuade her grandparents that they should offset their flight from Hong Kong. The argument even covered the difference between planting trees and funding renewable energy projects. So offsets have finally reached the village of Ambridge. Maybe Days of Our Lives will take up dumpster diving next. Those wanting to hear the discussion, or simply experience the high-octane world of The Archers, can do so via this link.