The Fox drama “24” announced in March, 2009 that they were to become the first carbon neutral television series. The series started to gradually become greener after its fourth season. For their eighth season, which premieres this Sunday night, they made it a priority. While there is no way to be truly carbon neutral in a series that prides itself on car chases and explosions, they bought 1,291 tons of carbon credits to offset the carbon from the action scenes. That is enough to offset the carbon emissions for half of the season. The difficult part was trying to determine how much greenhouse gas was being emitted. Fox hired consultants to measure the carbon output. They evaluated every component of the series, not just the scenes being shot. This included, the cars used to deliver scripts, memos and schedules and airplanes used by executives and the actors.
Once they pinpointed the biggest offenders, they made cut backs to increase their energy efficiency. 95% of the emissions came from the electricity used on set and in the offices and fuel used for transportation, special effects and generators. To reduce fuel consumption, the cast and crew started sending scripts, memos and schedules electronically, instead of delivering them and if transportation was necessary, drove in hybrid vehicles. The fuel used in the trucks and generators were 20% biodiesel. These improvements eliminated over 1,300 gallons of gasoline, the same amount used to drive cross country 10 times!
Electricity conservation was another energy efficient upgrade implemented by turning off all electrical equipment when it is not being used. Additionally, motion detectors were installed in bathrooms, and kitchens and they switched the light bulbs to compact fluorescent. While not all lighting used is energy efficient, namely the set as it would compromise the quality of the filming, the show uses renewable power (solar, wind & hydroelectric) whenever possible. They also pay more for utility fees to aid California is buying wind and solar power.
24 was awarded the Environmental Media Association’s Green Seal Award. This award was created to promote sustainable practices in the entertainment industry.
If the show 24 inspired you to “go green”, Moonworks carries many green products including, Renewal by Andersen windows & doors, the Repower Home Solar Thermal Energy System, Solaris Shingles and Cool Colors Shingles.
Photo Credit: Flickr user Claire Beardsley.