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July 2014
Issue: February 1, 2011

Editor's Letter: Embracing Green

By: Randi Altman
You don’t have to be a large corporation to make a difference when it comes to protecting the environment. Nobody knows that better than Amber Isham, a production coordinator/manager working on commercials and music videos. “It’s been my own personal mission to bring recycling on-set and create awareness,” she says.

On any production she’s working on, Isham brings what she has named “The Happy Can” — a trash can divided into sections — for recycling or basic trash. Isham doesn’t run a company and isn’t hired by the production to recycle. It’s just something she feels strongly about. “I do it on my own, taking the can back to my house and recycling it.”

She sees first hand the kind of waste produced on set. “It’s my job to make sure people get to the set, that there is enough parking and bathrooms, and I am bringing drinks and stuff as well, so I know there is a certain amount of recyclables that are definitely coming off these sets.”

Isham realizes that unless it’s in people’s faces, they might not think twice about how they dispose of trash. “If you create a dialogue and have a conversation, they are going to make the right choices, especially if you make it easy for them. If it’s in front of your face, you are going to recycle,” she believes. 

“We are in a very excessive industry; we have a lot of things at our fingertips. I think people have an idea of this green lifestyle, but I also know we are lazy in general, so if there is no recycling can or trash can, they might just throw it in what’s closest to them or just leave it on the floor.”

Isham is sort of at a crossroads at the moment with where where The Happy Can goes next. “It works. I know it does, but I am at a point now where I don’t really know where to go with it. Personally, it’s a messy job dealing with all these recyclables.” But she has no intention to stop her efforts.

“We are at a really pivotal place right now — people can make a real shift in their lifestyle. We can’t be so excessive as far as the film industry. There is so much waste, and so much gets thrown out at the end of the day. Any little bit helps.”

If anyone wants to connect with Isham, reach out via email at amberisham@me.com.
And keep recycling!