The series From There To Here, set in the aftermath of the IRA's Manchester bomb blast, also used charities to source props for the production, which were then returned after filming.
A new series of Springwatch will use generators powered by waste vegetable oil and solar power as part of a range of measures to help the BBC improve its sustainability levels.
Programmes which meet higher environmental standards are being given a new certification - the "Albert+" badge - which will be displayed during the programme credits for both From There To Here and Springwatch. They will be the first recipients to display their awards on British TV.
The BBC's director of television, Danny Cohen, has called on the broadcasting industry to make the certification the "expected standard for all productions" as the corporation works with Bafta to make the TV industry greener.
The badge will be seen on TV tomorrow night when From There To Here launches.
Its achievements include almost three-quarters of staff being local to the production base, a huge reduction in paper use and cuts in travel emissions due to vehicle sharing and the use of low-emission taxis. The team also used an online system to share work in progress rather than sending DVDs by courier.
Measures on Springwatch - which begins on Monday at RSPB Minsmere - include using cleaner technology to avoid diesel generators, on-set recycling and using local suppliers.
To gain an Albert+ certificate, senior staff on programmes have taken the lead on sustainability, measured their carbon footprint and adopted low-carbon production techniques to address the environmental impact.
Autumnwatch and children's dramas All At Sea and The 4 O'Clock Club have already met the criteria but the badges have not been shown on screen until now.
Mr Cohen said: "The BBC is proud to be an industry pioneer in tackling an issue our audiences care about. We encourage the industry to get on board to make Albert+ the expected standard for all productions."
Alison Barnett, head of production at Kudos which made From There To Here, said: "To display the stamp on the end card is a signal of our commitment to sustainable production both now, and in the future."