Oftentimes, the content we work on gets stuck in our head, and occasionally, it changes our thinking or habits for the better. Most recently, the green bug has been spreading around the office-a result of working on a project for an environmental education center. After researching, filming, animating and editing for months, we asked our team:
Has there been a change in your daily habits that affect the environment?
I’d say that I’ve become much more conscious about recycling everything I can. In the past, I used to make an exception here or there if I needed to throw away something plastic. Now I make a point to recycle absolutely everything that can be recycled. Our recycling at home fills up very quickly!
Animator, Motion Graphic Artist
|James Carlsen (l) Eric Carlsen (r)|
Working on this project has definitely expanded my water worldview. Apart from attaining a fairly in-depth understanding of various aspects of the water treatment process, one big takeaway for me has been the idea that you should sweep your driveway and not hose it down, because hosing it down actually ends up sending a lot of trash and debris out into lakes, rivers and oceans. It’s just something that I’d never thought twice about and often see people doing, and apparently it’s a big no-no!
Motion Graphics, Animation Designer
I’ve always been pretty conscious about recycling, water conservation, composting, etc., and it’s been gratifying to work on a project that focuses on those issues. And I’ve certainly learned some new things. I’ve been working on an animation that illustrates how much water can be contaminated by various discarded hazardous household items, including a fluorescent lightbulb. A few days after I did the initial animation I broke a fluorescent bulb at home, and pulled up the EPA’s guidelines for disposing of it right away, keenly aware of the potential dangers. Otherwise I’d probably have just swept all that broken glass and mercury under the rug.
Director of Photography
One topic that arose when working on this project was water conservation while brushing your teeth. Since it first came up, I’ve tried to remind myself every day (especially when I’m brushing my teeth), to be sure to turn the faucet off when I’m not using any water. It’s a simple thing that unfortunately not everyone does, but I’m doing my best to be more conscious of the water I use.
I think I now go through my day with an awareness of when I am wasting water or sending plastics out into the environment. I used to feel a tug of guilt and figure that one day I would do something about it, but now I have some daily practices- shutting off the water when I’m brushing my teeth, thinking twice before throwing a product in the garbage, collecting batteries and electronics for safe disposal. I think the strength of this project is its focus on the small acts that are easy to do and will make a difference in protecting our environment.
And yes, this project motivated me to set up a box for plastic bags to add to our recycling at NLP. At first, rumor had it that CVS was recycling bags but that turned out to not be the case, at least at the CVS that I went to. So I accumulated a huge pile of Northern Light bags in my car and eventually found out that the local grocery store recycles bags. But since working on this, I don’t think the story ends when I drop the bags off, I now want to know where they are taken, how they are reused or recycled, and what impact that has on the environment.