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Jodi Baldwin ’01

Cleaning Up Their Act

In her eight years in the movie-making business, costumer Jodi Baldwin had grown weary of the dirty dealings of Hollywood.

She’d seen movie sets littered with abandoned water bottles and half-finished crossword puzzles, derelict papers and empty cardboard boxes—the daily detritus of filmmaking.

So last year Baldwin created the Film and Entertainment Recycling Initiative (FaERI), a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization to clean up and green up movie sets. Her service is proving to be invaluable to the local industry. On Disney’s Surrogates, filmed in Boston last year, FaERI recycled over 15,000 pounds of materials in a five-month period.

“I’ve always been into recycling. I recycled on campus before it was available. I was just taking care of my own personal mess,” Baldwin said. “Now it’s hit the mass culture.”

Baldwin, who holds a degree in textiles, fashion merchandising, and design, has worked as a costumer on big-budget films like Underdog, John Adams, and 27 Dresses. In the fall of 2007, she took four months off to launch FaERI and first tested the program out on The Lonely Maiden. By the spring of 2008, she was costumer by day, recycler by night.

Baldwin’s efforts were noted and applauded by such Hollywood glitterati as Cameron Diaz, William H. Macy, and Jason Alexander, all of whom lent their images to her Web site, faeri.org.

FaERI was present through volunteer efforts on Hachiko: A Dog’s Story, starring Richard Gere, and The Clique, both filmed at URI.

Baldwin has put her costuming career on hold yet again to apply for grants and to fundraise for FaERI. She is hoping her work attracts the attention of Hollywood heavyweights like Leonardo DiCaprio, well known for his championing of a cleaner environment. Baldwin says she’s encouraged by the response FaERI’s efforts have received thus far: FaERI has been cited by the Discovery Channel and treehugger.com for its work.

“Everyone’s thrilled about it,” Baldwin said. “But I want to take FaERI to the next level.”

—Marybeth Reilly-McGreen

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