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  • Writer's pictureDawon (Cherry) Shin

Green Media instead of Green on Media

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Dawon Shin

We are often able to see the range of thriving wildlife to the destruction of the environment in the media. Though the media industry was able to raise lots of awareness towards the environmental impacts we are causing, a lot of people still don’t realize that creating these shows and documentaries also damages our Earth.

When we think of movies, we consider the actors and stories, but never the impacts we are affecting on our biodiversity. Out of all media industries, movie production takes a huge budget and therefore a larger amount of negative impacts on the environment both directly and indirectly. They tend to increase carbon dioxide emissions through transportation, materials, and even onsite generators. A huge amount of props are used in movies, and when the scene is over, most of them are tossed away, creating a huge amount of waste just for our entertainment.

Soundstages are also used in film production which are made from a lightweight plywood called Lauan. Creating and using one soundstage can lead to up to four thousand hectares of deforestation. Each film set that has to be built differently also creates a considerable amount of waste and they are not needed anymore after the movies. For example, “The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” was accused to leave chemical waste in the creek during their film production.

The broadcast industries are not any better. Each hour of television generates 9.2 tons of carbon footprints, drama causing four times higher. This does not only rely on the responsibility of the industries but us who are watching and waiting for each episode to be released, without considering the process and the damage they could’ve caused. Another huge example is electronic waste also known as E-waste, where people throw away phones, laptops, and computers when they purchase new devices. These end up in landfills and release a huge amount of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.

Many industries have made action to try and reduce this impact. For example, the Green Production Guide was created by Hollywood’s influential companies to guide filmmakers to make movies by being green. Organizations such as Earth Angle help reduce waste and recycle materials from film productions. Since 2011, Sony Pictures has also prevented 90% of its waste from reaching landfills. Other efforts have been done to try and use more renewable energy, such as Warner Brother Studios’ 600-kilowatt solar roof and CBS Entertainment’s utilization of fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles to reduce the amount of carbon footprint created through transportation. Companies can also try to use less water and single-use plastics during production which would help keep the biodiversity healthy and reduce waste.

I believe it is unfair for us to ruin and damage the environment for entertainment uses, and more actions should be done so that our surroundings aren’t harmed while media is created. Good examples of these include The Amazing Spiderman 2, and the 21st Century Fox which tracks carbon emissions and finds methods to reduce them. As a student interested in media, I hope more people learn about these topics and study the efforts made or that should be made in the field of media.

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