During the creative process, there are many opportunities for efficiencies in the selection of props and set decoration. Explore eco-friendly alternatives to traditional products and methods. Carry reusable bags while shopping for props and set dressing. Call in advance to find out about the environmental policies of vendors, and support businesses with superior environmental policies. Consider toting a reusable water bottle to avoid last minute plastic packaging purchases, and ask the driver to refrain from idling between stops.
- Borrow or rent set items instead of purchasing. Studios often have set materials available onsite.
- Search flea markets and second hand shops for props, and purchase new items made with sustainable resources.
- Look for less toxic sprays, adhesives, cleaners and other solvent-based products.
- Visit www.goodguide.com for to compare products’ environmental and health ratings.
- Look for the ACMI AP (Approved Product) certification seal for art materials.
- Use hybrids or fuel-efficient vehicles when collecting props and set dressing, and consolidate purchases into as few vehicle trips as possible.
- Consider green-themed set dressing and props, such as recycle bins, or characters carrying reusable water bottles or bags.
FABRICS AND FIBERS
- Reuse, borrow or rent materials whenever possible.
- Look for carpet made with natural fibers—wool, sisal, jute, coir or sea grass—or with recycled PET plastic bottles.
- Use only low- or no- VOC adhesives.
- Look for organic cotton, linen, kapok and wool for bedding, and wood pulp and bamboo for towels.
- Donate used materials to local schools, community centers and charities.
- Compost any inedible food props.
- Donate clean, fresh produce and packaged food props to a food bank or shelter. The Good Samaritan Act protects individuals and organizations that donate food items to nonprofit organizations. Visit feedingamerica.org to understand provisions of the Act.
- If possible, rent or borrow plants and other greens.
- Opt for organic compost and soil rather than conventional products, which typically contain petroleum-based ingredients.
- Look for native, organically grown plants.
- Ensure that plants get the proper amount of light and water throughout the shoot.
- Donate or replant locally after the shoot.
- Compost any plants that expire.
- Return plastic pots to retailers for reuse.
Download a PDF copy of the Props & Set Decoration Best Practices.