The film industry is notoriously disruptive to the environment, but there are several small steps that can be taken to reduce any production’s environmental impact, regardless of size or budget. Some of them require a little research, like choosing the appropriate size gennie so you’re not wasting fuel or power unnecessarily, but others are really easy. And once you get used to working within these green film production guidelines, you’ll hardly even notice you’re doing it.
1. Start by telling everyone involved that it’s a green production. This mindset will encourage cast and crew to consider their actions on set and how they personally have an affect on sustainability.
2. Organise conference calls instead of travelling to meetings where possible. Not only does this reduce the production’s travel-associated carbon footprint, but it also saves time and is an effective way of getting people together.
3. When booking accommodation, choose house-shares and B&Bs over hotels. This is beneficial environmentally as by getting more people into one space, you use less heating/electricity/gas. This also allows for people to travel together and lift-share.
4. Rent items instead of buying new or making. Some local or smaller businesses will let you hire items for a percentage of the total cost. This means the items can then be resold instead of sitting in storage and potentially never being used again.
5. Send out a green memo along with the call sheet, showing the cast and crew the procedures you’ve put in place and asking them to do their part. In general, people are happy to do their part to be green, especially if you make it easy for them.
6. Reduce the amount of printed documents and instead encourage the crew to keep copies on their phones, tablets and laptops. Of course, there will be the need for a certain number of hard copies on set but some people will be able to work with digital.
7. Ask everyone to bring their own water bottles and flasks. Most people have a couple of sports bottles or a thermos at home which they can bring in and will be happy to do so.
8. Designate a recycling bin, make it visible and let everyone know where it is. If people know there is a recycling bin available, most will choose to use it and save on landfill waste.
9. Donate leftover catering to a local homeless shelter or food bank. There’s no need to waste food when there are plenty of organisations out there who will happily make use of it.
10. Plan your waste disposal responsibly. Source an ethical waste and recycling company to collect everything at the end of the shoot. Make sure you have separated the recyclable items from the rubbish, so nothing goes into landfill unnecessarily.
We always do our best to make sure our productions are as eco-friendly as possible and encourage others to do the same. If you’d like to find out more about our green credentials, check out our previous blog where we talk about some of the other things we do to reduce our environmental impact.