Guideline to Green Production

Apr 22, 2024
'Forever Is Now' (2020) / Local Studio

What is Green Production?

Green Production is a specific business strategy that practices sustainability on set. Sustainable practices support ecological, human and economic health, and vitality. The Utah Film Commission encourages and supports green production practices in all areas of the filmmaking process, so we’ve put together a guideline for every film department to going green on your next production.

Check out all the local vendors that offer green production services in our Utah Support Services Directory.

Art + Set Decoration

  • Rent or lease larger items such as furniture as an alternative to purchasing
  • Sell or donate unwanted set materials to local theatres, high schools, acting schools or other productions before opting for disposal
  • Support charities that are willing to pick up, recycle and reuse materials


  • Build sets with reused or repurposed materials


  • Select paint and products with environmentally friendly labels
  • Dispose of paints and other hazardous materials in a responsible manner, e.g. returning paints to retailers, or store for future use; contact Clean Harbors for pick-up
  • Do not allow residuals from washing paint down storm drains
  • Use recycled wood from managed forests but be mindful of old growth or endangered species
  • Consider visiting a Habitat for Humanity ReStore for low cost materials or donate to our stores following your production (donations are tax deductible)


  • Unplug video players, monitors and other similar equipment
  • Use digital processes for filming and sound recording if allowed
  • When using film, ensure that suppliers have end of life management programs and remain compliant with local regulations for disposal of photogenic processing chemicals
  • Avoid sending waste film to landfills by asking your supplier about recycling or other eco-friendly options
  • Use environmentally considerate textiles on frames instead of poly-based materials for bounce and filtration
  • Recycle color gels so they can be used for future productions


  • Use hydroelectric based power when possible to avoid emissions from generators
  • Replace flickering, dim, and burned out lamps
  • Replace light bulbs with lower-wattage, longer life, or energy- efficient alternatives, such as fluorescents

Catering + Craft Services

Catering and craft services are needed daily. Here are a few ways to improve waste and encourage recycling on set.

  • Buy organic and locally grown food to offset greenhouse gas emissions
  • Dispose of liquid wastes at approved disposal sites; do not use storm drains
  • Have recycling bins for plastic, glass, cans and metals near craft services and catering trucks
  • Create easy to read signage that details proper practices, post information for cast and crew to remember good environmental practices
  • Use reusable plates, cups, utensils and linens whenever you can instead of using disposables
  • Avoid using Styrofoam and plastics as much as possible
  • If paper products are unavoidable, look for ones with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content
  • Encourage cast and crew to use personal travel mugs
  • Consider using a food rescue service for leftover craft services and catering

If you are looking for local catering vendors, see our Utah Support Services Directory.

Eco Management

Ensure that the production office, stage facilities and shops are set up to encourage waste reduction and promote conservation.

  • Purchase reusable water bottles for cast and crew
  • Rent portable water dispensers
  • Rent recycling and waste receptacles
  • Reduce paper use

Production Office

These seven suggestions will assist the production office in becoming more eco-friendly and aware.

  • Use applications and paperless script solutions to reduce your paper use or go paperless altogether
  • Think before you print
  • Rent or lease larger items such as furniture, computers or printers as an alternative to purchasing
  • Set up compost, garbage, recycling stations according to your hauling company’s waste separation guidelines
  • Have the same compost, garbage, recycle plan in the office as on set
  • Create easy to read signage that details proper practices for composting and recycling
  • Turn off non-essential lighting, computers, monitors, printers, etc. when not in use or not in the office

If you are looking for local equipment rental vendors, see our Utah Support Services Directory.


  • Plan ahead. Take only trucks and technical equipment needed for the day/location
  • Plan travel to avoid peak traffic periods, roadwork and getting lost
  • Use alternative fuel vehicles and purchase the cleanest fuel available
  • Monitor fuel efficiency, maintain appropriate tire pressure, and reduce unnecessary travel
  • Create a no-idling policy. Idling for an hour wastes one gallon of gas  it is bad for your health, and it is illegal in many cities, including in Salt Lake City and Park City
  • Avoid short journeys in the car, try walking, riding bikes, or use public transportation when you have the options
  • Whenever possible, power down any generator that is not in use

Hair + Make-up

When it comes to hair and make-up, a few changes can go a long way when it comes to being eco-friendly.

  • Use brands that minimize packaging, as well as those that are committed to avoiding animal testing and use of ingredients that cause adverse health effects
  • Use refills to avoid disposing of non-recyclable make-up containers, avoid the use of aerosols containing ozone-depleting substances
  • Have recycle bins ready for staff use


  • Rent or buy secondhand clothing
  • Use reusable shopping bags when making purchases
  • Avoid dry cleaning whenever possible
  • Sell or donate unwanted wardrobe materials to local theatres, high schools, acting schools or other productions before opting for disposal

If you are looking for local wardrobe vendors, see our Utah Support Services Directory.

Check out the Green Production Guide (GPG), developed by film industry leaders with environmental expertise, for more information about how to reduce the environmental impact of your production.

The Environmental Media Association also has some great ideas for sustainability on set. Productions can even obtain the EMA Green Seal to recognize the sustainability efforts you made on set. You have the potential to be among other prestigious made-in-Utah productions that have earned the award like Westworld, 127 Hours, and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. 

Student productions can practice sustainability, too! Be sure to check out the Green Film School Alliance for more tips and submit the PEACHy, a version of the GPG’s best practices Production Environmental Actions Checklist (PEACH), adapted for student productions.