Television soap operas have an important role to play in communicating environmental messages. That was one of the conclusions of an RTS Futures session, “Can TV save the planet?”, which discussed how it is not only the likes of David Attenborough and Chris Packham who can alert audiences to the impact of climate change and other environmental challenges.
An RTS Futures panel discusses the initiatives encouraging production teams to embed sustainability into the programmes you see on screen - from drama, right through to comedy, and of course, high-impact environmental shows. They also offer practical advice about how everyone can play their part in making productions more environmentally friendly, like carbon calculating, sustainable lighting, and meat-free meals.
Television cannot be accused of ignoring the environment. Our destruction of the planet has long been a staple of serious TV documentaries. And in drama, zombies, pandemics and nuclear catastrophe offer stark visions of our future if humanity fails to mend its ways.
According to Richard Curtis, however, environmental programming doesn’t have to be “boring, didactic or terrifying”. The UK’s king of comedy reckoned it can also be “funny, interesting, educational and personal”.
Research commissioned by environmental charity Global Action Plan this summer shows three quarters (77%) of young people in the UK want to see environmental issues included in drama programmes on TV more than they currently are.
Richard will be introducing five new film makers, finalists in Global Action Plan’s Flickers of the Future competition who are already working on visions of a positive sustainable future where people and planet thrive.
The initial episode saw the pair investigate the enormous ‘single use’ plastic crisis and explored how we can help fight against it.
In War on Plastic: The Fight Goes On, Hugh will look at the damaging impact of sandwich packaging, of which the UK eats around six million per day.
As Hugh investigates how much of the plastic-lined packaging is actually recycled, he comes to realise that the industry is hiding some sinister secrets about their waste management.
Here are our top TV picks that will give you a new appreciation for the planet.