Reuse expert: Earth Angel – will you be mine?

It’s time to start touting some excellent companies. Consider this a product and company spotlight piece. So many people are doing astoundingly important work and it continues to be hard to get traction (as evidenced by writing a blog, as well!). I’m hoping even my few (and valued) readers will share and support these gutsy green gurus.

First on my list is Earth Angel.

Earth Angel is a TV and film production assistance company focused on greening media productions.  I met their founder, Emelie O’Brien, at a SPARKS event in NYC at which I was speaking on resiliency. She is passionate, professional and focused, and has taken on the headaches of an industry that can be considered “low hanging fruit” but which is also one of the hardest industries in which to affect systemic change.

Her business focuses on diverting wastes from landfills. This is most successful early in pre-production planning where you can source sets and props through reuse, make arrangements for local foods and for serving that supports easy donation of leftovers, and when you can get the whole production team on board. Because diversion from landfill is NEVER about just recycling.  It’s about avoiding waste at the start, and therefore it is about putting money where it is truly needed. In this way Earth Angel helps the productions to save money while being greener and creating good team energy that helps every creative effort. That’s TBL in the spotlight!

Imagine how wasteful TV and film productions typically are! They are focused on creating a temporary reality and dealing with many actors and staff that are at a location for a short time frame. No permanence makes it uber-tough.  All those balls in the air.  And currently there is very little in our current methodology that makes it easy to make smarter triple bottom line choices for a short term endeavor. Not to discount the work that is being done, I assure you. There is just so much more…

[Enter Earth Angel, in soft lighting]  As an example, pulled from their website, Earth Angel was part of the production team for The Amazing Spider Man 2 (2014) and here are a few of their success points:

  • Diverted 52% of waste stream, a total of 755 TONS
  • Saved the use of 193,000 plastic water bottles
  • Recovered 5,861 meals from leftover food and donated to local shelters
  • Launched social media campaign @spideygoesgreen to publicize green efforts

They are also currently working on the set of Madame Secretary (starring Tea Leoni) in NYC, where they have a production balcony vegetable garden, along with other greening efforts.

And, like all good green companies, they collaborate. Here is A Green Production Guide for you to share with all the film producers YOU know.

So here’s my final instigative thought.  First, so many movies and TV shows are made in NYC and there is such demand to get productions into the city.

Snapshot from NYC Office of Film website

Snapshot from NYC Office of Film website

The NY Mayor’s office has set an aggressive set of goals for GHG emissions reductions and greener, higher performing buildings and operations, (see the OneNYC plan) and there is a strong local foods movement with all of the incredible local markets in pop-ups all over the city. What if every production in the city had to strive for greener practices including (as a base goal) 50% diversion from landfill? Can you see how this would create an entirely ramped-up re-use business culture, with incredible diversity and broad effect? And how, if each production promoted its effort, the mind-set of every media-glued person may start to shift to understanding how valuable it is to reduce reuse and recycle, not as a mantra for kids to chant, but as a daily part of all of our work? [music swells]

Can you see Earth Angel flying out ahead of these accelerating and growing efforts and showing us the way? I can, and it is an awesome sight. [cue end credits]

Jodi

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