The United Nations reports that if the Human population grows to 9.6 billion by 2050, the amount of resources needed to sustain our current lifestyles would be equivalent to three Earth-type planets. Scary, right? Every individual and organisation has a responsibility to reduce carbon footprint and film productions should be no different.

Here are some simple and practical tips which you can apply straight away to your production.

1. Encourage the crew to bring their own water bottles

Set life is thirsty work, and your cast and crew will drink water like fish. Let’ssay that you’ve got 20 people on set, each drinking 4 x 500ml bottles a day for a 5-day shoot. That’s 400 plastic bottles. Instead, invite the cast and crew to bring their own refillable water bottles. This will also save you an incredible amount of money. If your organisation has the budget, you could even invest in branded water bottles which your crew can then take onto other sets and spread your brand image!

Bonus tip – make sure that your cast and crew write their name on any disposable bottle or cup they might use, so they can stick with using that same product!

2. Cut down on printing

The film industry is terrible for paper consumption. There are piles of forms, reports, checklists and mountains of other documents that will increase your carbon footprint and drive up your production costs, too. Documents that need to be disseminated to all cast and crew, such as call sheets, contact lists and memos, can be emailed. Most crew will be happy with this as they’re used to reading information from their smartphones.

Bonus tip – if you do need to print, use double-sided, black & white settings where possible.

3. Promote carpooling and public transport

When crewing for a project, you’ll generally find that a lot of the crew will be ina similar area and most of them will be happy to drive other crew (or cast) in their cars. Not only does this reduce the amount of CO and CO2 being chucked into the atmosphere, it cuts costs if you’re paying mileage as you’d need to compensate fewer drivers.

Bonus tip – try to coordinate carpooling by department and/or call time so all their department can start work straight away!

4. Chat to your department heads &collaborators

Who says that you have to do all the work? Be intelligently lazy and involve your collaborators in your greener goals. Your makeup artist, for example, will be able to suggest more environmentally friendly cosmetics. Each department can reduce their carbon footprint so lay out your expectations and let them do the legwork!

Bonus tip – you don’t need to have a separate meeting for this. Just include itin the agenda for one (or a couple) of your production meetings!

5. Arrange doggy-bags for left-overs

As Napoleon famously said, an army marches on its stomach. Your cast and crew will love you if you let them take home left-over food and it ensures they get to eat before the next day. This will also save you money on waste collection!

What are your favourite tips and tricks for a greener production?

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