The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Keep it green on the big screen

The GreenMan | Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To my fellow green people,
Let’s be honest, College GameDay was pretty darn exciting. With showing the SEC what a library looks like, snapping pictures of the back of Vince Vaughn’s head and watching Corso jig around in a leprechaun costume, there was just a whole lot going on.
But I hate to tell you, the majority of you missed the best part … me. Yup, I was there. Recycling with the best of them in all my green glory.
See, ESPN cares about more than just sports. They, like me, love the environment. It’s a mutual passion. Every week they set up a sorting game to educate fans about what’s recyclable, what’s compostable and what must sadly go to the landfill.
So it’s basically like Harry Potter, just a little different. Right answers and nice tosses earn you points, which then translate into some pretty exciting ESPN merchandise.
Their efforts go way beyond GameDay festivities though. For example, all new construction and renovations must be LEED compliant, the 2009 ESPY Awards were virtually waste-free and carbon-neutral and they buy only compostable containers, cutlery and napkins for their cafeteria.  
ESPN isn’t the only media company trying to make a green difference, and I’m talking about more than just their parent company, Disney.
NBC Universal and Warner Bros. have also been doing their part. The companies finally realized that the Hollywood make-it-happen-at-any-cost attitude wasn’t going to work long-term. They started employing reusable water bottles, upping their recycling efforts, reusing script pages, composting and stream-lining their transportation efforts.
Warner Bros. in particular has recently adopted a strategy for carbon-neutral productions (think “Due Date,” “The Town” and “Green Lantern”). Other big-name films you may have seen, like “Inception,” “Valentine’s Day,” and “Crazy Stupid Love,” – yes, I like chick flicks, get over it – used solar energy to power their base camps.
It goes beyond the production though. You may have seen the commercials for NBC’s “Green is Universal” campaign before. Basically NBC set up this division to get its consumers to become more aware of the environment and how they can make a huge impact.
Then there are the things they don’t really tell you – like in “27 Dresses” when Katherine Heigl’s character uses 7th Generation cleaning supplies awaiting her sister’s return home from stealing the love of her life, or in “The Proposal” when the dad sneaks in a little ad of sorts for eco-friendly, deteriorate in water, golf balls.
Have you noticed that actors seem to be using more and more reusable coffee mugs and shopping bags? Ahem, “Pretty Little Liars,” – yes, I watch that too. Once you start looking for these types of things, you can find them everywhere. And the oddest part is, you start following suit without even realizing it. It’s bloody brilliant if you ask me.
Anyways, next week, as you watch College GameDay broadcasting from dreary, awkward Norman, Okla., regardless of who Corso picks to win, just be thinking about how green and wonderful ESPN is and try to spot me in the pit.
Email your predicaments to The GreenMan at
[email protected] and let him answer you with a sustainable twist. The GreenMan will be here every other week to provide you with insights you never knew you were missing out on until now.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.