While on location, take every measure to manage your waste, conserve water, protect the landscape and respect the local community. During the scout, evaluate each location with an eye toward sustainability options. Remember that cities have different policies regarding recycling and waste removal. Check with local municipalities for details.
Be sure to involve the prep crew and swing gang in greening efforts, especially in terms of water and waste removal. Off-set crew are often charged with the task of regulating their own green behavior and benefit from a supportive Locations department.
- Choose alternative fuel vehicles (hybrids, electric, flex fuel) for long drives.
- When possible, scout locations via public transit, bicycle (with a helmet), foot or carpool.
- After choosing a location, determine ways to reduce your environmental impact there. Work with the location contact to ensure that the best methods for preservation and protection of the site are followed.
- Include public transit information with maps given to cast and crew.
- Try to make all signage out of recycled or recyclable materials.
- Use only elastic bands or string to hang signs on trees—never staples, thumbtacks or tape, all of which can severely damage trees.
- Protect interior locations with corrugated cardboard made with post-consumer recycled content. When available, consider using reusable, cut-to-size, plastic mats.
- Hire a waste hauler who will provide recycling services for construction materials, catering, crew waste, and any other materials generated on location.
- Set up garbage and recycling stations separated by:
- Cans, bottles, plastic and foil
- Compost, if possible. See COMPOST for instructions.
- Create easy to read signage that details proper practices for composting and recycling.
Try a DIY Rubbermaid recycling bin. Cut two or three holes in the lid and place a bag underneath each hole for easy sorting.
- Avoid disposing of waste and recyclables in municipal containers when you are unsure of the municipality’s recycling policies.
- Provide catering and crafts services with compost and recycle bins (or ask them to bring their own) for the materials they generate.
- Distribute reusable water bottles and set up water coolers instead of stocking bottled water.
- Brew coffee on set and distribute reusable mugs or compostable hot drinks cups.
- Ensure that sufficient waste and recycling bins are placed in the:
- Staging area close to camera
- Craft service tables
- Base camp
- Catering area
- Shop and construction spaces
- Extras holding areas
- Monitor usage of bins and consider moving them to more convenient areas if they are not being used consistently.
SENSITIVE AND PRISTINE LANDSCAPES
- Contain all vehicle and foot traffic within the production vicinity, and cordon off any areas with particularly sensitive vegetation or wildlife.
- Ensure that all film-related activities are carefully managed to prevent damage to the landscape.
- Reinstate any land or vegetation that are damaged as a result of production activities.
- Scan the area thoroughly before leaving to ensure that nothing is left behind and that the area reflects its pre-production condition.
Water Best Practices
Eliminate plastic water bottles from your production. Research convenient water systems that help conserve water and reduce waste, while keeping the cast and crew hydrated and healthy.
- Distribute stainless steel reusable water bottles and encourage office staff, cast and crew to drink municipal tap.
- Install faucet-mounted filters or use filtered pitchers, such as the Brita Ultramax.
- If water bottles are beyond the budget, choose cups made with paper or biodegradable, corn-based plastics.
Contrary to popular belief, bottled water is less regulated than tap. It also requires petroleum-based plastics and fossil fuels to package and ship.
- If the safety of the local tap water is a concern, use five-gallon water jugs instead of purchasing single-serving disposable bottles.
- Source water locally whenever possible.
- Consider renting a bottle-less water cooler, which removes chlorine and other contaminants.
- If packaged water is essential, consider Tetra Pak “boxed” water, when available, instead of bottled.
- Maintain watering stations in the following locations:
- In the production office
- By the set
- At the craft service table
- By camper/truck parking
- In extras holding
- In the hair/makeup trailer
- In the wardrobe truck
Download a PDF copy of the Locations Department Best Practices.