A light-hearted post this time… after some heavy regulation and policy matters in recent months…

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about negative environmental impacts of bottled water. Out of the blue, I spotted an interesting extra on the latest Kiefer Sutherland-led TV series, 24: Live Another Day. They deliberately avoided using the typical hundreds and hundreds of plastic water bottles on set by opting for more environmentally-friendly use of boxed water feeding reusable water flasks for cast and crew:

Photo: Cardboard water supplies for the latest 24 production. Source: Fox.
Photo: Cardboard box water supplies for the latest 24 production. (With apologies for the unavoidably prominent ‘product placement’ / ‘promotional consideration’ in this shot!) Source: Fox.
Photo: Taps from the cardboard boxed water supplies. Source: Fox.
Photo: Taps for cardboard boxed water supplies. Source: Fox.
Photo: Reusable flasks in use on the 24 set by crew. Source: Fox.
Photo: Reusable water flasks for the 24 cast and crew. Source: Fox.

I’ve always thought there was scope for reducing the (no doubt quite significant) environmental impact of large-scale film and TV productions. Seems several people beat me to the idea and made viable businesses out of environmental-impact-consultancy to these industries:

Photo: 'Environmentally responsible production' 24-style! Source: Fox.
Photo: ‘Environmentally responsible production’ 24-style! Source: Fox.

Looking deeper, 24 has apparently been a carbon neutral production since 2009 – when it became the first ever TV series to gain this status. Specifically for the ‘Day 9’ production:

‘Each department was able to integrate sustainability into its daily operations. Sets were constructed using 100% FSC-certified lumber and were either recycled or sold to other productions after filming wrapped. In addition, the team was able to divert 98% of the production’s waste from landfill by replacing plastic water bottles with refillable bottles, donating all leftover food and drinks to local charities, and recycling or donating leftover props and costumes. Efforts to minimize air travel and replace generators with grid power tie-ins also helped decrease the production’s carbon footprint.’

All in all, very positive. (I enjoyed the actual series too!) If you’d like to know more details, there’s a video clip here.

Duncan Thomas

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