On screen

On screen is the most visible side to New Zealandís screen production industry. The information presented on screen has the potential to influence millions of people. There are a number of opportunities for this influence to have a positive effect on the environment; from a character placing a drink can in a recycling bin to a storyline with an environmental message. The suggestions below were developed to assist writers and producers in assessing when and how environmental messages can be incorporated in productions. Several countries, including New Zealand, organise environmental film festivals to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote environmental responsibility.

On Set

Where appropriate incorporate the visible use of recycling bins and composting bins.
Use reputable environmentally friendly products such as appliances and cleaning products.
Use cloth shopping bags instead of plastic ones.
Use waste office paper for paper requirements on set.


Where it is appropriate within the storyline, environmentally responsible products can be used on set. This can be a subtle way of promoting good environmental practice and decision making even where environmental messages are not part of the storyline. It also reflects the growing awareness of environmental issues in the general public and expected responses e.g. most people now use recycling bins at home and at work.

Environmentally Responsible Activities on Set

The Simpsons take out the recycling box.

A hybrid car is conspicuously parked outside the Friends coffee house.

The drama series Interrogation required large amounts of paper to fill filing cabinets used on set. Staff collected used paper from their offices to fill the cabinets. Although this initiative was not obvious to viewers, it demonstrates how recycled props can help to reduce consumption of resources on set.
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