Ontario Green Screen

How A Toronto Production Saved More Than 2,000 Single-Use Takeout Containers From Landfill In Four Months

Every year Canadians throw away over 3 million tonnes of plastic waste from homes and businesses. Almost half of that is packaging. Many packaging materials like take-out waste are lost to landfill or end up in our environment due to lack of recycling options for plastics that are hard to recycle due to their plastic type(s) and size.

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Digital Production Tools

Going Digital: How productions are reducing paper use through digital documentation solutions. A deep dive into paper saving measures from Entertainment Partners Canada

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Cream Goes Green

With a commitment to make 2021 its first-ever carbon-neutral year, Cream Productions has launched a series of green initiatives on set and in offices. Starting with its production of Haunted Museum (ZHM), these initiatives included improving waste management on set and measuring/offsetting carbon emissions. Read the full case study to see what they did.

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Becoming Tom Thomson

Making sustainable choices can be accomplished for any size of production. This independent case study shows how a small project took the initiative to reduce their carbon footprint while filming the pilot for their feature film project Becoming Tom Thomson, filmed in the rural north of Ontario’s wilderness in 2020.

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this case study was created independently from Ontario Green Screen

The Future of Power Using Portable Electric Generators

While filming the CBS drama 'God Friended Me' in Times Square, NYC. The team at Shattered Prism made significant savings using the VOLTstack 5K portable electric generator. Using electric generators for the duration of production resulted in a savings of $1,500 USD per week. Not only did the decision save time and money, there were no safety hazards with snaking cables. The generators were also dramatically quieter than diesel engines, making them neighbourhood friendly.

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Aware of the negative impact that the film industry can have on the environment, Sinking Ship Entertainment decided to create the role of Environmental PA for their Endlings production. The Environmental PA implemented various green initiatives on set, as well as enforcing recycling efforts.

No Plastic Water Bottles:
Beyond just encouraging the use of reusable bottles, they decided right from the start to enforce a set free of plastic water bottles (including craft and catering). This was initially met with some resistance from the crew, and many comments of “this will never work. I can’t leave set to fill my bottle.” We knew that for this to be a success it had to be convenient for everyone. Endlings branded bottles were purchased, labeled with names and handed out on the first day. This gave the EPA an opportunity to introduce herself to the crew and explain their role on set.

At each location, the EPA ensured that there were multiple, conveniently placed water refill stations. To ensure that this effort was a success, the EPA took on the role of “water bottle filler”, a very busy job in the hot summer months. It was crucial to have a dedicated person devoted to this task to allow for a completely plastic water bottle free set. One challenge that they had to overcome was when dailies missed the memo about bringing a reusable water bottle to set. To combat this, the EPA started a “water bottle sign-out” where extra bottles could be borrowed for the day if needed, and then be washed and ready for the next morning. This shift has made a significant environmental impact, and it is a visible change that is easily noted by cast and crew. In 57 shoot days, Endlings kept over 6,235 plastic water bottles out of our waste facilities.

Endlings main location was at a rural property in Guelph Eramosa, ON. At least 75% of the show was been shot there. Sinking Ship's EPA set up a 360-litre compost bin, with smaller containers in the lunchroom, and at craft to collect organic waste, which is then taken to the main compost bin. There were concerns that this would create an odour and attract animals, but with proper care (turning regularly to add oxygen and maintaining the right level of moisture) this wasn’t an issue.

Endlings Continued

Shuttle Service/Carpooling:
Being on a rural property in Guelph-Eramosa, with the bulk of the crew coming from Toronto, it was important to implement a shuttle service to reduce our carbon footprint. Tim Clarke, the transportation coordinator, organized this. Each day we had 3 shuttles available, leaving at various points in the morning to align with pre-call, crew call and a late call. This was done informally, and crew members could sign up the night before by contacting Tim. Carpooling between departments was also encouraged, and as an incentive to do so drivers of carpooling vehicles had their gas reimbursed.

Admittedly, this was a much more difficult task than initially expected. The EPA assumed that by putting a recycling bin out, people would use it. It wasn’t that simple. To start, there were multiple recycling bins to separate paper, plastics, aluminum and etc. This is the Wellington County requirement to have recycling picked up. There was signage on the bins and posted on the walls to show what belonged where. To put it simply, it was a disaster. It was too complicated for a busy set and took up a lot of room.
The EAP eventually learned, though, that in Wellington County all recyclables actually can be mixed together. This allowed them to simplify to a basic 2 bin system: waste and recycling. The EPA made new signage to show what was recyclable, using items regularly found on set as examples. They thought this would be the end to the recycling troubles but soon found that all items were still being mixed together and the recycling bins were regularly being used for trash. This resulted in the EPA spending hours at the recycling facility, opening each bag and personally pulling out garbage, and feeling very disheartened.
The EPA was starting to think that maybe people just didn’t care. One day, very frustrated, she decided to sort through the recycling at the farm rather than the recycling facility, in a place that everyone could see. This gave the EPA the opportunity to connect with everyone individually as they walked by and asked what she was doing. This created a connection between the crew and EPA, regarding their waste practices.

In particular, it revealed and challenged the common assumption that even on most sets with recycling bins, the contents all just got thrown in the trash as the end of the day. Once everyone realized things were genuinely being recycled, there was a huge improvement in the crews efforts. On average, the EPA took the recycling to the City of Guelph Waste Resource Innovation Centre every 2 weeks. Each recycling run generally consisted of 3 trips. And from that public sorting day, there was almost no mixed-in garbage to remove from material taken to the recycling facility.