13 Easy Ways Filmmakers Can Help Save The Environment

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Film productions can wreak havoc on the environment. From gas-powered vehicles and flights to remote locations to endless plastic water bottles on set, production uses a lot of resources.

But many film studios and television networks are overhauling their processes to make sustainable film production possible.

Green Production Alliance for Sustainable Film Production

According to Variety, more than 10 major studios have signed up with the Producers Guild of America to work together to help the industry adopt sustainable practices and technologies more quickly.

“Sustainability really only works if there is a shift in the cultural mindset,” says Dave Ambroz, executive director of corporate social responsibility for Walt Disney Television.

Sony is also committed to sustainability, claiming that it aims to reach a zero carbon footprint by the year 2050.

One way that the studios are achieving their environmental goals is by hiring a “steward” or “Eco Manager/Eco Supervisor.” These employees’ entire job is to establish sustainable programs on set and educate crew members on best practices. Perhaps you can hire someone like this on your production!

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Green Production Guide

The PGA also offers a Green Production Guide that anyone can access online. It will help you find green vendors and other information to help you reduce waste, use less water, avoid toxins and pollution and more.

The Green Production Guide also asserts that sustainable film productions may not be as expensive as you think. People often complain about the cost of going green, but pro-environmental measures can actually SAVE your production money if you plan ahead during pre-production and communicate well with all your departments.

The Environmental Media Associaton

For 30 years, the Environmental Media Association has been awarding Green Seals to TV and features that meet its criteria. The EMA also provides a sustainability checklist. Download it here to use it for your sustainable film production!

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Action Steps

If you want to have a sustainable film production, consider the following measures:

  1. Ban plastic water bottles or disposable coffee cups on set
  2. Use solar cells for power
  3. Use electric vehicles
  4. Encourage carpooling and use of public transportation
  5. Go paperless or use double-sided printing for scripts
  6. Hire only green vendors
  7. Have a best practices meeting with your crew members
  8. Offer crew members incentives for participating in green measures
  9. Ban tungsten / incandescent lights on set (change to fluorescent, high-intensity discharge, etc.)
  10. Use upcycled or recycled props and other materials
  11. Recycle props and other materials when you’re finished with them
  12. Keep convenient recycling bins on set
  13. Have the characters in your film engage in sustainable practices (don’t show them drinking from plastic water bottles, either!)

What are you doing to make your film production sustainable? Let’s start a conversation in the comments!

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