What have you been watching on Netflix recently? I have heard the new Jeff Dahmer series is a real hit. And hasn’t the new House of Gucci movie hit the online platforms too? Well, if I have to speak for myself, Netflix is literally my stress buster and is always open in the background while I am working and I am sure that is true for a lot of you. What a lot of us don’t know is the amount of energy invested into making these several productions for our entertainment. By energy, I don’t mean the physical and mental investment, but the investment of the environment and atmosphere.
The British Film Institute (BFI) found the need to urgently reduce carbon emissions from media productions as the big blockbusters itself reached a high value of 2840 tonnes of carbon dioxide. To make it worse, there are only 3700 acres of forests that actually absorb all of these emissions, not only harming the plantations and soils but also the remaining just hanging and settling into the air. Apart from the 51% of gases released due to transportation, 34% is let out by main electricity and gases and the diesel generators needed to power the entire shoot covers the remaining 15%. So, this basically means that the environment is being sacrificed for our entertainment.
When COVID hit the world at the end of 2019, it brought tremendous negative impacts on the people inhabiting the planet. However, it did drive the human mind to divulge into a new path of entertainment. Remote production was introduced during the time of lockdown as the entertainment business was one thing that still kept going on, even though at a smaller scale. Several companies brought in remote working for their employees, equipping them with special and professional video monitors, headphones, etc. This is massively reduced the number of people travelling back and forth from offices and shoot sites. In the EU, 30% of the carbon dioxide emissions comes mainly from transportation out of which 72% is mainly due to road transport. Imagine the drastic reduction in the release of these gases when remote production was brought into the picture.
ITV UK aims to reduce its carbon footprint for all its productions and hopes to get the albert certification after completing their Carbon Action Plan. Moreover, Irish broadcasters have now started using Albert certified carbon calculators on all their sites to ensure that their media production doesn’t liberate more greenhouse gases than needed. Planet Mark works with several media businesses to measure and reduce the use of external and extra energy. They have worked with Long Way Up Productions to film a 13,000-mile journey while using an electric motorcycle. Not only did they protect 81 acres of forest during the making of this show but also protected the environment from an otherwise over 100x carbon footprint of the journey.
Going to the cinema and watching movies has its own thrills, I completely agree. However, its time to put the environment’s needs over ours. Netflix, Apple TV, etc aren’t bad platforms to watch shows and movies either. Create a movie like atmosphere at home with popcorn and support the eco-friendly way of producing a new cinema. Let me know what you have chosen to wait and watch on Netflix this week instead of going to the movie theatres!