Touring Green: Green Practices in Theatre Part 6
Information compiled and written by Veronica Flesher
Touring entertainment productions travel millions of miles every year. The trucks moving much of the equipment for these productions burn diesel fuel, emitting thousands of tons of carbon dioxide, a leading contributor to the climate crisis. However, touring green is still possible if you take these steps.
TOURING GREEN INITIATIVE
The Touring Green Initiative brings together Clark Transfer, NativeEnergy, and leading Broadway shows, orchestras, and ballet companies in a program to offset the carbon impact of moving theatrical scenery, equipment and instruments around the country.
To use Clark Transfer to bring your show on the road in a greener manner, click here.
The BGA’s popular Green Captain program seeks to find a BGA liaison at each and every Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring show or venue. An important first step in the rehearsal process of a touring show is to elect a “Green Captain” from your cast or crew to help manage the green efforts on your tour throughout its entire run. See the Green Captains section of the BGA website for more information.
These liaisons sent a welcome kit with information on how to help their production get greener. The kit lists ways to help green the production backstage, allows Green Captains to find out details about the recycling programs at their theatres, and helps them to swap ideas and get helpful hints from those serving on other productions.
Use power strips, and post signs in dressing rooms reminding cast members to turn off lights, air conditioning, and electronics when they are not in use. You can save and reuse your signs at each theatre you travel to. Encourage staff to unplug electronics, like hair dryers and fans, when they’re not in use.
When you arrive at a new theater, work with venue staff to learn about what items are recycled in the building, how they should be sorted, and where to recycle them. Explain mandatory recycling policies to all cast and crew. Clearly mark recycling bins with pictures of the items they accept, make sure they are in convenient locations, and point them out during initial backstage tours. Consider using NRDC’s Paper Recycling Signage (PDF) as a model for your paper recycling signs. You can reuse these signs and repost them at each new theatre you arrive at. If the venue has a composting program, explain mandatory composting policies to all cast and crew, identify clearly marked composting bins, and ensure they are used correctly by production staff members.
Instead of providing bottled water backstage or during travels, supply reusable bottles and water fountains or filtered tap water stations for cast and crew to carry around on tour. Consider branding bottles and coffee mugs with your show logo and giving them out during the first rehearsal. Make sure that cast and crew know where bottles and mugs are stored and where they can be washed at each theater you go to. Consider providing labels to help staff identify their items. Discourage staff from purchasing or requesting single-serving bottles of water whenever possible.