If you ever wondered why Love Islanders wear sunglasses first thing after they wake up, it’s not to hide their eye gunk – it’s because the lights are incredibly bright.
And bright lights, air-conditioning that operates 24/7, as well as the 80 hidden cameras around the villa, all add up when it comes to the environmental impact or everyone’s favourite dating show.
In fact, the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the villa over the course of a series is equal to that of more than 20,000 plastic bottles.
According to the energy supplier Bulb, in just two months, the air conditioning alone could produce enough emissions that 602 trees would need to be planted to offset the impact.
Calculations show that just keeping all the contestants cool for two months can produce 1,204kg of carbon dioxide.
Meanwhile the night vision cameras and boiling of kettles equates to the same carbon footprint as more than 5,400 plastic bottles.
So the villa would need the equivalent of 1,659 trees planted to offset its total carbon footprint.
In case you’re wondering, one tree is the equivalent of 2kg of carbon dioxide, while one 500ml plastic bottle has a carbon footprint of 0.0828kg.
But of course, it’s not just Love Island that has a large carbon footprint. In 2011, research commissioned by the BBC found that TV production, for just an hour at the BBC, produced about 8.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide (the BBC annually produces 3,800 hours of TV in-house).
Roughly, this equates to the heating and lighting emissions of two semi-detached houses over a whole year.
By 2020, that figure was 9.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hour which is a 10% drop from 10.2 tonnes in 2017, amid efforts to reduce the impact.
In 2021, carbon dioxide concentration in the earth’s atmosphere will reach 417 parts per million (50% higher than before the industrial revolution) with half of the carbon dioxide increase occurring since 1980.
The TV industry is aware of its impact and says it aims to move towards zero carbon emissions – the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, UKTV, Sky, and Netflix have all committed to using a bespoke calculator which works out the carbon footprint of their production.
But let’s not forget the biggest contributors to global warming – the top 20 companies that contributed to 35% of all energy-related carbon dioxide and methane worldwide, totalling 480 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent since 1965 (including Shell and BP).
How many trees would they need to plant to offset that? (Answer: A lot)