Getting to Work: Green Practices in Theatre Part 3
Information compiled and written by Veronica Flesher
There are different ways of getting to work for your production that can have a positive environmental impact as well as improving the health of your cast and crew.
BIKING AND WALKING
By encouraging your cast and crew to walk or bike to work, your production can help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, which benefits the environment, the health of your community, and the health of theatregoers, cast, and crew members. Bicycling also helps encourage your cast and crew to lead a healthier lifestyle with additional exercise.
Tips to promote bicycling:
- Ask the theatre to provide free, secure, and conveniently located bicycle racks.
- Ask the theatre to provide shower facilities and lockers for staff who bike there.
- Ask the theatre to provide safe pedestrian walkways to the facility from nearby transit options.
- Explain bicycling options in theatre staff orientation and show first calls.
- Prominently display and distribute pedestrian and bike maps in common areas, on callboards, and in online bulletins.
- Offer incentives for walking and biking to the venue.
- Arrange discounts at local bicycling shops or bike sharing programs for staff.
- Disseminate information concerning bike routes and bicycle-friendly public transportation connections to theatre staff, cast, and crew members via internal websites or newsletters.
- Encourage staff cycling groups and events to promote organization-wide embrace of biking.
Public transportation is often cheaper than travel by car, and increased use of buses, trains, and subways reduces the need for onsite staff or guest parking facilities. Review the ideas and resources below for more information on how encourage production and theatre staff to commute by public transportation.
Tips to encourage public transit:
- Pay or subsidize the cost of employee public transportation passes.
- Provide other incentives for employees who take public transportation wherever possible.
- Enter riders of public transportation into show raffles, which can provide opportunities for sponsor involvement.
- Provide information on your website and in publicity materials on public transit options, including park and ride sites.
Carpooling can save your employees money by reducing the amount of gas they buy and money they spend on auto-related upkeep. It also has significant environmental benefits, reducing the emission of harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds. Consider the tips and resources below for information on how to increase carpooling to your production.
- Provide discounted and preferential parking for staff who carpool.
- Actively match employees with those who live nearby.
- Circulate tips for effective and enjoyable carpools on your internal website and in newsletters, and use to coordinate carpooling.
- Offer other incentives for carpoolers.
- Use your organization’s internal website and/or theatre bulletin boards to coordinate carpooling or recommend another existing carpooling website to help employees efficiently organize a regular carpool in their area.
INCENTIVES FOR HYBRIDS/ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Hybrid and electric vehicles can save money and reduce emissions of harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Consider providing preferential and/or discounted parking for cast and crew who commute in a hybrid or electric vehicle.
Also consider working with sponsors or local businesses to partner on other incentives for cast and crew who drive hybrid and electric vehicles. You may also want to consider installing electric charging stations at your venue for employees with plug-in vehicles. Even better, partner with sponsors to install solar systems to power electric-charging stations.
There are also state and federal incentives, tax credits, and insurance discounts available for hybrid drivers. Visit the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Hybrid Center and the US Department of Energy’s Fuel Efficient Vehicle Tax Incentive Information Center for a list of state and federal hybrid incentives.
The transportation sector is one of the main sources of smog, carbon monoxide, global warming, and harmful particles that can cause respiratory illnesses and other health problems. Walking and bicycling helps reduce all of these impacts, saves money, and is a healthy way to begin and end the day. Carpooling and using public transportation reduces the total amount of cars on the road, which in turn reduces the many forms of pollution associated with the transportation sector.
In addition, many forms of public transportation use environmentally preferable fuels such as natural gas, electricity, and fuel cells. Using public transportation therefore reduces the transportation sector’s emissions of harmful compounds such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulates. This reduces emissions that can cause smog, global warming, acid rain, and negative health effects.