By Larraine Roulston :
When movie producers create a film, they design and set each scene to ensure that everything visible is relative to that period. During my lifetime of movie going, seeing a character toss paper, food or flowers into the garbage hasn’t changed; yet our understanding of what is waste versus a resource has.
For over 30 years, we have experienced that reusing, recycling and composting have a new part to play. The mainstream media’s finally bringing climate change to the forefront during this decade should be a signal for filmmakers to recognize their responsibility to upgrade props that reflect our need to protect the planet and to mirror modern values in their characters. “Green-proofing” in film as well as advertising will help lead society towards a cleaner future.
Repeatedly witnessing actors carrying disposable coffee cups and trashing recyclables reinforces a subconscious “throw-it-away” mentality. To reach zero waste, background props in movies and advertisements need a little help. Even when we realize that footage has been created graphically, the crafted picture of dropping an outdated television set off a building, for example, reinforces this belief. Until those who produce films and stage productions, and those who create advertisements adopt green values that should be central to all of us, viewers need to mobilize a grassroots “Green-Proofing Detective’’ movement to urge them forward. If we identify common wasteful practices that we see featured and then reveal our discoveries, it is possible to create change — simple things such as eliminating drinking straws, encouraging the replacement of disposable cups with reusable ones, including building backdrops that have rooftop gardens and solar panels, ensuring that fashionable millennials (not just hippie or crunchy granola characters) use compost and recycling bins, holding a baby wearing a cloth diaper; and incorporating environmentally friendly ways to demonstrate celebrations rather than setting off toxic fireworks or releasing balloons into the air.
In the world of forward thinkers, there are great opportunities to be modern and to partner with environmental efforts by placing stage props and messages that will have a positive effect for our future. Who better than society’s artists to take a leading role towards sustainability through their medium. Unfortunately, one legacy that today’s entertainment and advertising industries will leave is that our generations were enormously wasteful. Keen-eyed “Green-Proofing Detectives” can contact production companies and friends or family who work in this field, and request green props and sound environmental images. They can also share their sleuthing discoveries on the Internet.
Since President-elect Trump denies climate change, then it becomes incumbent upon those on Madison Avenue, Broadway, Hollywood and corporate event video creators to take up some of the slack. Together, with every global citizen, we will set a new stage.
Larraine authors children’s books on composting and pollinating at www.castlecompost.com