Eco Vocab: Carbon Footprint

Carbon footprint: A measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions that a product, service or lifestyle produces, all of which contribute to global warming.

Want to know how much carbon you and/or your household is emitting? Click on The Nature Conservancy’s carbon footprint calculator to measure your impact on our climate.

The carbon footprint calculator estimates how many tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases your choices create each year. Continue reading

Going Green on “Premium Rush”

As part of its commitment to environmental awareness and activism, Sony Pictures encourages its productions to follow green practices during filming, helping to create a much smaller overall carbon footprint.

One recent production that exemplified these efforts was Columbia Pictures’ action film Premium Rush. Produced by Gavin Polone, directed by David Koepp and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the film was shot in the summer and early fall of 2010 entirely in New York City. Given the scope of the project, the team was able to isolate attainable goals, inspire the cast and crew and set up a successful plan to maximize sustainable practices.

During its 97-day shoot, the cast and crew followed many practices that are becoming more prevalent in production offices, such as renting (rather than purchasing) office furniture. They also dropped off the office’s organic compost at a local farmer’s market. Over 550 gallons of food scraps were ultimately delivered to the Lower East Side Ecology Center’s stand to be used in community gardens throughout New York City. Plus, the production recycled #5 plastics (which New York City currently does not recycle) through Preserve’s Gimme 5 program at a local grocery chain.

As an alternative to simply throwing things away at the end of the production, Premium Rush made a particular push to give as many items as possible a second life, including donating wardrobe pieces to Housing Works, set dressing pieces were sent to the Angel Street Thrift Shop, and leftover fabric and towel scraps were sewn into dog beds and donated to St. Bernard Parish Animal Services in Chalmette, Louisiana.

In addition, 38 healthy trees and plants were donated to the New York Restoration Project for replanting, and funding was provided for its MillionTreesNYC program to plant 97 trees (one for each day of shooting) throughout the neighborhoods in which the film was shot.

Click here to watch a behind-the-scenes video on being green on the set.

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