The days of using a generator to power nothing but a coffee machine are number- ed — at least in New York. Electrical power is a serious issue, especially on location. But the solution most production companies choose is often not the best: “Bring more power than you need”! The Long Island-based company Green Idle is changing up the game. They offer solar-powered food trucks that quietly generate clean energy. “Charge your food truck on a single sunny day and be ready for a weekend of full power no matter what the weather brings”, says Green Idle founder Neil Robbins, who began his career in his father’s company fifty years ago. Galaxie Coffee supplies coffee, machines, food and dining trucks, and craft services for the film industry in the Greater New York City Area.
In collaboration with certified PV Solar Installer Robert Drucker and environmental advocate Bobby Nystrom, Robbins developed several solar-powered food trucks which led to the launch of Green Idle. Thanks to its partnership with the US-based engineering company Lithionics Battery, Green Idle’s trucks are equipped with solar-power systems that capture and dependably store long-lasting power. Each solar panel produces 300 to 400 watts, depend- ing on the hours of available sunlight according to latitude, but the battery has 15,000 of watts storage capacity. “Lithionics Battery gives us the best, safest and most reliable power storage in the industry”, Robbins points out. The batteries we use are so advanced, Underwriters Laboratories created a new safety and reliability scale just to accommodate Lithionics’ capabilities.”
“Working with innovators like Green Idle on reducing productions’ carbon footprints is a perfect fit for our strategy at Earth Angel”, stresses Emellie O’Brien, CEO of the New York-based sustainability consultancy service company. “We know that if we truly want to become a carbon-neutral industry, we have to address the largest source of our carbon emissions — fuel consumption. We hope that more producers begin to favor companies with clean fleets when it comes to hiring a caterer or craft company."
Among the most recent shows that have used solar-powered catering trucks is the Amazon series Hunters, which stars Al Pacino as the leader of a band of Nazi hunters living in 1977 New York City. Filmed mostly on location in New York City over the course of 115 shooting days, catering and craft service had two food trucks that served about 30 actors, 150 crew members, and at times as many as 150 extras.Although the appliances in the food truck consume up to 12,000 watts, there is no need for gas or oil. In total, the solar trucks saved
the production 652 gallons of gasoline.
Green Idle has built or retrofitted dozens of solar-powered food trucks for catering and craft services. “During my fifteen year tenure, I noticed an exorbitant amount of wasteful procedures and this led me to explore greener alternatives in my field,” says Angela Dapice, Proprietor of the catering company Chefs on Fire, which used these solar-powered food trucks on the set of Apple TV’s period comedy-drama series Dickinson. “I love having Green Idle’s solar technology on my truck because there’s no smell or noise from the old generators, not to mention being able to leave food in the refrigerator and freezer overnight and weekends without worrying about a power source.”
“The time for half-measures and climate denial is over. Unless we move quickly away from fossil fuels, we’re going to destroy the air we breathe, the water we drink, the health of our children, grandchildren and future generations. If we’re going to avoid the worst of the impacts, then we’ve just got to act boldly. And we must act immediately."
Actor, Director, Producer, Environmentalist
"The media has a powerful role to play in the fight against climate change. Through films, television, and all media outlets, we must continue to deliver the message that solutions are out there and are happening now. We have to make it attractive for people to take action. Movies like Avatar, The Day After Tomorrow, and documentaries like Years of Living Dangerously, which I was proud to be a part of, have been very popular, reaching and inspiring millions of people. And I believe films in particular can really inspire and make people want to take action. It’s great to see some of my film-industry friends working with climate related organizations to push forward those messages."
„It‘s high time to reorganize film production in Germany in a ‚greener‘ and more sustainable way. So far, I am flabbergasted by how much our industry works in environmentally harmful ways.To this very day, it starts with until today one-sided print-outs of scripts, and then it continues with plastic bottles in production offices and lots of plastic waste with every catered meal, and it doesn‘t stop with the limousines that pull up to a red carpet.
For many years, people have sneered at me when I brought my own cup or I declined to eat cheap meat served on paper or plastic plates with plastic knives and forks. It would be great if the Green Shooting Card could change all that.“
Director (Ben X, Time of My Life)
„It’s absolutely great that filmmakers all over the world are trying to clean up their act, and are trying to film as sustainable as we possibly can. Still, I think we shouldn’t underestimate the incredible power of the moving image to also change the hearts and minds of people.
So, apart from trying to be more environmentally aware in our business, I think the big gain lies in how we might make everyone more environmentally aware. Yes, cinema can change the world.
I think filmmakers should start using the powerful weapon in our hands that is the camera.
Let’s not only try to do ‘less bad’. Let’s try to do right, and help drive the change that we all know needs to arrive.“
“We are living in a time in which we can’t afford to behave irresponsibly towards nature. The more important is it that film productions try to work as environmentally friendly as possible. A film team produces every day tons of garbage. I try to avoid using plastic cups on set, I bring my own cup, use ecofriendly cosmetics and avoid needless single rides.”
Photo ® Maddalena Arosio
Darren Aronofsky, Director, Noah / Jury President, 65th Berlin International Film Festival
“When we did Noah we knew we were making a film about the first steward of the earth, so we wanted to be good stewards ourselves. There’s so much waste on film sets. Because of groups like Earth Angel, we were able to change that a little bit.”
"As a TV and film producer I try to incorporate environmental storylines into my projects as much as possible. But it’s just as important, if not more, to ‚go green‘ behind the scenes! Therefore, I help run the Producers Guild of America’s Green Initiative.
We provide resources such as a Best Practices and a Carbon Calculator to help producers green their productions. We also partnered with all the major studios to create www.greenproductionguide.com which is a free green vendor database with over 2,000 vendors offering sustainable production solutions worldwide!"
Producer, Director and Visual Effects Supervisor (2001: A Space Odysee, Blade Runner)
"Trumbull Studios in Massachusetts is dedicated to being green as much as possible, including the use of LED lighting, solar power, and solar laptops. This is not just because our location has limited amperage and no three-phase, we believe we have a responsibility to our community and our planet to be a clean industry.
We are planning for digital photography in 3D 4K at 120 frames per second from remote and inaccessible locations that will not have available power. Solar is the way to go."
Dieter Kosslick, Director Berlin International Film Festival
„The Berlinale is already actively addressing the sustainability subject since years. We appreciate it very much that a growing number of filmmakers, among them this year‘s jury presiden Darren Aranofsky, is following green guidelines on set.“
Director of Photography (A Most Wanted Man)
‘I never have been told precisely what the rules are for shooting a green movie, but we are trying to do it. This is something new for me. Sometimes people overlight scenes at night. I don’t. If I can see with my own eyes, then it is enough for the film. In that sense I am a green DoP.’
Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons who stars in the Berlinale Competition entry The Night Train To Lisbon is a fan of source segregated recycling. „Especially in Germany you have done a lot for that. You are examplary in the matter of waste separation.“
The Hollywood actor travelled around the world to promote the environmntal documentary feature film Trashed by Candida Brady which deals with the global garbage problem: „We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it“, says Brady. „With Jeremy Irons as our guide, we discover what happens to the billion or so tons of waste that goes unaccounted for each year.“
Since the world premiere at the International Cannes Film Festival in 2012 Trashed picked up various nominations and awards at international festivals.
I just want to know how much is the option a and b and do you supply the food truck as well please I’m interested I just want to know how much money I’m going to spend around.