Five TV Shows Taking Action Against Climate Change

10th November 2016

As the cold nights draw in, an evening sat in front of the telly starts to seem like the only plan we'll be sticking to - sorry pals, we'll see you in Spring. But did you know that producing an hour's worth of TV spits out about 12.9 tonnes of CO2?! That's the equivalant of seven return flights from London to New York!

But, fear not channel surfers - no need to resign yourself to endless Friends re-runs quite yet... the industry is on it. Check out these five trailblazing shows leading the way in low carbon leisure time:

  1. Downton Abbey

    You may not expect a historical drama to be front of the pack on new technology, but while Lady Violet grappled with the new-fangled telephone on screen, she was more than likely being lit with ultra-efficient LEDs. Not only did the production team make the switch, but Highclere Castle (the real life Downton Abbey) are replacing their lighting to make their building more energy efficient.

    Cutting carbon and saving cash... we suspect Lord Grantham would have approved.

  2. Eastenders

    Proving carbon cutting isn't the preserve of the upper classes, Eastenders mixes modern day realism with innovative carbon cutting! Having dedicated a sustainability steering group, they have not only introduced low energy lighting rigs, but also solar-charged their toilet blocks! Well, until Martin and Andy sold them off at least... (if you're not familiar with this storyline, look it up. Seriously).

  3. Patagonia

    Documentaries that showcase our awesome planet are an amazing reminder of why we need to keep it safe. Otherwise our kids are going to be reaaaally mad with us.

    But exotic film shoots can mean astronomical carbon footprints, so the crew on BBC 2's Patagonia decided to take action. Instead of flying crew and kit over to glamorous destinations, they recruited locally - not only tapping into phenomenal knowledge, but also saving over 100 tonnes of CO2 on flights in the process! And switching a helicopter for a drone to capture footage of the biggest parrot colony in the world slashed yet another tonne from their total.

  4. The One Show

    Another Matt Baker fronted show (Matt, you had us at waste vegetable oil generators), the One Show features regular low carbon living stories - including this one about the ace Sussex village that went solar in the face of fracking. Plus they practice what they preach. When the team realised that Wales based food presenter, Rick Andalcio, was clocking up a whopping 1500 miles a year travelling to and from the nearest voice over studio, it was time to get innovative. So, with a bit of experimentation, they set up a home recording studio using a mic connected to Ricky's iPad. To soundproof the room, they went for DIY padding and duvets.

    The result: savings of around £2000 and 0.6 tonnes of carbon a year. Plus, Ricky is always back in time for tea.

  5. Countryfile

    British farmers have been amongst the biggest adopters of renewable energy, so it only makes sense that Countryfile have picked up some tips along the way...

    For their 25th anniversary country-fayre-special, the show was powered by waste vegetable oil generators. Whilst growing crops specifically for fuel is certainly problematic, using waste veg oil is both environmentally and economically friendly.

There are loads of other TV shows doing their bit to produce the lowest carbon telly possible, so pull on that onesie and snuggle down. We'll see you when the sun returns...


This It's Happening blog was written by our pals at 10:10