23 March 2017
There’s nothing quite like an evening sat in front of the telly. All curled up on the couch. A pint of Ben & Jerry’s nearby. But did you know that producing an hour's worth of TV spits out about 12.9 tonnes of CO2?! That's the equivalent of seven return flights from London to New York!
But, fear not channel surfers - no need to resign yourself to endless Friends re-runs quite yet... the industry is on it. And there’s been some promising progress.
Last year, the World Bank’s Connect4Climate initiative started Film4Climate. This was to mitigate the environmental impact of film production and to raise awareness about climate change through cinema. The folks over at 21st Century Fox have also set themselves environmental goals. One is to reduce carbon emissions from feature film productions by 15% per shoot day. More of that, please!
What About Your Favourite Shows?
If you watch very closely, you might even notice a few of your favourite shows now include a few more green products and props as well. All kinds of environmentally friendly coffee cups and non-GMO products have made appearances on shows like House of Cards, Suits, VEEP, Orange is the New Black and Gossip Girl. Now that’s smart telly.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Even last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens avoided the use of diesel generators. By doing this, the production went on to save roughly 1944 gallons (7359 litres) of diesel and 102 metric tonnes (92.5 tonnes) of C02! Save emissions, they have.
Downton Abbey’s in on it too. You may not expect a historical drama from the other side of the world to be front of the pack on new technology, but while Lady Violet grappled with the new-fangled telephone on screen, she was more than likely being lit with ultra-efficient LEDs. Not only did the production team make the switch, but Highclere Castle (the real life Downton Abbey) are replacing their lighting to make their building more energy efficient. Cutting carbon and saving cash... we suspect Lord Grantham would have approved.
It may have been a while since it aired on screens in the southern hemisphere, but Eastenders mixed modern day realism with innovative carbon cutting. Having had a dedicated a sustainability steering group, they had not only introduced low energy lighting rigs, but also solar-charged their toilet blocks! Well, until Martin and Andy sold them off at least... (if you're not familiar with this storyline, look it up. Seriously).
It’s clear. The world is moving more and more towards a future that’s cleaner, greener and more energy efficient. In Australia alone, more than 15 percent of homes now have solar panels on their roof! So the more that this is translated through to the shows we watch, the better.
There are loads of other TV shows doing their bit to produce the lowest carbon telly possible. So pull up a beanbag and get comfy – we have a good, clean feeling about the future of TV.