Planet EchoSpring 2012 Television
Planet Echo is a half-hour TV magazine made up of skits, short segments, and field packages all themed around conservation and environmental topics. The program is produced in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and airs in Canada on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN). According to Planet Echo's companion website, "APTN airs and produces programs made by, for and about Aboriginal Peoples and it is the first cable network of its kind in the world."
Planet Echo stars Chuck and Andy Clément, brothers who share facts and showcase people doing their part to support sustainability and help save the planet. In one segment, "Stuff," the brothers search out some recycled treasures, visiting a Winnipeg neighborhood giveaway-kind of like a yard sale but the items are free for the taking. Later, they make their way to a bike shop that sells recycled parts and talk to the owner about rebuilding old bikes rather than buying new ones.
The program is recommended for kids aged 8 to 12, and though some of the skits are a little corny, the factoids are fascinating and there's a nice blend of hard science and light-hearted humor to keep kids' attention. The program includes frequent tags directing viewers to the companion website for more activities and information, and many show segments are available for viewing on demand.
For a universal message about doing your part to help save the planet, and an interesting glimpse into Aboriginal history and culture in Canada, Planet Echo is an earnest half-hour offering up positive suggestions kids can understand and put into practice in their own lives.