In the last years we often reported on new sustainable applications being developed, as inspiration or perhaps to use on set in the future. As a filmmaker you are naturally mostly concerned with when these will be available for use, but in practice development often takes years. That’s why we decided to follow up on various ‘Greenspirations’ from the 2015/2016 period and see wether they are already for sale or rent. Or if the dream is over…
Rollable solar panels: Fast Fold
British company Renovagen had a prototype of the Roll Array in 2016; a battery system with rollable solar panels to work anywhere off-grid with power up to 100kW. The 50-meter long Roll Array can be deployed in minutes and transported to its destination on a trailer.
Now 4 years later, the company has 2 versions operational and a 3rd in development. The small Fast Fold, with its 5 meters, seems best for on set. You can simply transport the system in a van or car. The developers are coming to the Netherlands this month and a demonstration for Green Film Making is planned, which we will report in detail in the next newsletter!
In 2015, construction company VolkerWessels wanted to build sustainable roads from recycled plastic and developed the concept for the Plasticroad with KWS Infra. The first prototype of a plastic bicycle path in The Netherlands opened in September 2018 in Zwolle, followed quickly by a second in Giethoorn in November 2018. These two paths will be monitored until 2023, while at the same time opportunities are being explored to market the concept. Both bicycle paths consist of modular reusable parts made from recycled plastic equivalent to 218,000 plastic cups or 500,000 plastic caps. If it is possible with a bicycle path, it should also be possible with set pieces!
Ecological city distribution
Belgian initiative Bubble Post had started with efficient and sustainable urban distribution by means of electric cargo bicycles and vehicles back in 2013. By distributing from a large warehouse on the outskirts of a city, they prevented suppliers from driving into the city with their own vehicles. In 2015 Bubble Post hoped to expand to the Netherlands, which also briefly happened in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam. However, in 2017 Bubble Post was bought by Bpost, the Belgian postal services. They would continue the idea under the name City Depot, but were forced to close several branches over the course of 2018 due to a lack of interest. In the Netherlands however, the trend is still alive and even available in a number of cities through City Hub (Amsterdam, The Hague, Roermond, Utrecht) and SimplyMile (Amsterdam, Amersfoort, The Hague, Groningen, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Tilburg, Utrecht and Zwolle ).
Last year during the Green Film Making consultancy at the Prinsengracht concert, Els made the Pulitzer Hotel aware that food transport can also take place by water. And now it has been made public that catering wholesaler Bidfood, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Hotel Amsterdam and Zoev City, has actually carried out a pilot for distribution over water. An order of non-refrigerated foods sailed from the distribution center on the Jan van Galenstraat in Amsterdam-West to the Pulitzer Hotel in the city center with a fully electrical ship. Zoev City developed the ship, including the electric loading crane. Hopefully it was not just a pilot!
LED lights on the film set with energy from plants?
In 2015, scientists in Peru developed the Plantalámpara, a lamp that gets its nutrition from bacteria from the soil. When organic substances oxidize, they secrete electrons, which are collected by the lamp. Ideal for off-grid locations, such as the Amazon. The Peruvian concept does not seem to have come much further than a pilot. However, closer to home in Wageningen, other scientists are working on a similar technique: Plant-E. They already have small modules that can power LED lights for sale and at the end of 2019 opened a park in Rotterdam that is illuminated by plants. We like!
WEPod will never drive in Gelderland
Back in 2016 we were enthusiastic about the WEPod, a self-driving electric van. Developed at the request of the province of Gelderland, the WEPod would commute between the Ede-Wageningen train station and Wageningen University & Research Center. Special parking spaces and traffic lights were constructed, but it never came to pass. The Province and the municipality concluded that safety couldn’t be guaranteed. But not to worry, the EU continued the test and the WEPods are now cruising around the German airport Weeze.
Afval loont (Waste Pays)
In February 2017 we discovered the beautiful initiative Afval Loont in the province of South Holland, where you were able to bring your sorted waste in exchange for money. Either to put in your wallet, or to donate to a good cause. ‘Were able’ indeed, unfortunately the project has been stopped since January 1, 2020. It was forced to close when the municipalities of Rotterdam and Barendrecht discontinued their subsidies. The concept was profitable, but the desired growth in the different branches and municipalities failed to materialize. In 9 years a total of € 1 million and 15 million kilos of raw materials were collected by participants. Also, more than 20 people with as we say in Dutch ‘a distance to the job market’ had a paid position at Afval Loont and many local charities were supported with the proceeds. It’s such a pity it stopped! Hopefully this trend will continue in another way.