Sustainable Context

This page works at mapping the larger sustainable field outside of the context of my project. Firstly the wider sustainable theatre context and secondly the non-theatrical sustainable context.

Theatrical

Theatre Green Book

The Theatre Green Book, an independent theatre initiative, aims to set a sustainable standard for theatres all around the country. It is based on the principles of the Theatre Yellow Book (that covers all the protocols and guidelines for theatres in regards to tech) in that it sets up one single aim and standard that all theatres must follow. Therefore, as freelancers in the industry move around, all theatre makers will immediately know how to work sustainably in each new theatre or show. The TGB is still in its early stages (the second beta trial copy is now available) and relies on theatre makers and organisations bringing their own green ideas forward to help the TGB create one coherent system.

The National Theatre

The National Theatre, arguably the leading voice of British theatre, has recently stated its environmental achievements and policies. At the South Bank building they have reduced their energy carbon impact by 25%. And they have a target to make sure that, by 2022, 75% of non-production waste is recycled (they are already at 67%). They are also linked with The Theatre Green Book and have stated their commitment to working in line with the structures within the guidebook.

Ecoscenography

Ecoscenography aims to rethink all aspects of design within theatre to ensure that it is as sustainable as possible. Tanja Beer, a designer at the forefront of the movement, has created a website and Facebook page alongside her academic work. Both the website and the Facebook page act as a hub for scenographers to discuss and read about ecological focussed work within their field. This is particularly apparent on the Facebook page as it has the opportunity for any member to open discussions about their practice and allows sustainable focussed dialogues to be created between scenographers from all over the world.

Useful Resources

There are various resources now available for theatre makers to access alongside the TGB. Julie’s Bicycle aims to create sustainable change, in response to climate change, within theatre. Their website hosts a range of useful resources for the arts and culture industry to take ideas and aid from. Another useful resource is The Set Exchange which promotes reusability within the theatre, tv and media industry. It encourages artists to recycle their sets and products when a show is finished to ensure that nothing ever has to go to waste or landfill. With more of these resources becoming available it is making the path to a sustainable theatre easier.

Non-Theatrical

Fashion

The fashion industry holds a great influence on consumer behaviours and also happens to have one of the biggest negative impacts on our planet. Fast fashion has become the preferred shopping style but it causes mass amounts of fabric and water wastage. Now, as the climate crisis is becoming more important to consumers, the fashion industry is implementing great change. Vintage and charity shopping is becoming a popular way of shopping. High street brands are also implementing long term changes such as H&M, Monki, ASOS, and others all implementing sustainable processes. And designer brand Prada have set up a group dedicated to creating sustainable change within the fashion industry. 

Travel Schemes

Within the travel industry there is a large shift happening towards electric and sustainable systems. The UK government, to encourage more sustainable forms of travel, have set up a unique cycle to work grant. In regards to cars, there is a shift towards more eclectic and hybrid vehicles. There are also now more electric vehicle charging points in the UK than petrol stations. 

Government Policy

The UK government environmental policy relates to long term sustainable change within all factors; education, travel, waste and energy. The government made a 25 year plan and so far, though change is happening slowly, the UK achieved one of its biggest goals. After years of relying on fossil fuels, the UK finally went coal free! Though this is only a minor step there are positive smaller schemes happening nationwide such as raising the price for single waste bags, banning microbeads and plastic straws, and fighting for cleaner air and water. There is still a lot to be done and there is much debate on whether the policies implemented will reverse the negative change in time.

Renewable Energy

One of the biggest positive changes we can make towards a greener planet is the shift to renewable energy. The damage fossil fuels do to our planet is now common knowledge and many countries are setting up schemes to cut down the use of this wasteful energy and switch to renewable sources instead. Fossil fuels are expensive, wasteful and cause global pollution. Meanwhile, renewable energy is cost efficient, environmentally friendly and continues to provide energy for as long as we need it. Wind and solar farms are becoming more common and many individuals are making the decision to offset their own energy usage by implementing renewable energy processes into their households and businesses.