USA: ‘Greening Advisor’ to all American theatres

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

In 2009, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that “Broadway was turning green”. Now the Natural Resources Defense Council has teamed up with the Broadway Green Alliance and created the ‘NRDC Theatre Greening Advisor’ – a guide to help theatres across the country implement similar eco-intelligent practices as the Broadway theatres successfully have been implementing.


“If you had the pleasure of taking in a Broadway performance in the past five years, you also witnessed sustainability taking center stage,” wrote Brandon Baker in Ecowatch as the Broadway Green Alliance celebrated five years of greening productions in January 2014.

They used the occation to launch an initiative to bring sustainable practices to theaters across the country. In collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the alliance says its new online Theatre Greening Advisor is the most comprehensive theater greening information database available.

The Greening Advisor provides resources allowing theaters to embrace sustainability at all times.

Greener lighting
The alliance also launched the BGA Greener Lighting Guide, in partnership with the Professional Lighting and Sound Association. This online tool will help designers and technicians alike make greener choices in lighting instruments from some of the biggest brands.

The Broadway Green Alliance helped bring energy efficient lighting throughout the Great White Way and now hopes to do the same at theaters all over the nation.

“Theatre and the environment are inextricably linked. Without clean air, clean water and a healthy climate, our enjoyment of most productions–indoor or outdoor–would not be possible. In fact, nature is the ultimate source of all economic value. No commerce or culture is possible without clean air and water; fertile topsoil; a chemically stable atmosphere; raw materials for food, energy and medicine; or the natural processing of waste by the millions of species inhabiting our soil, water and air.”

“By promoting energy efficiency, recycling programs, waste reduction, water conservation and other smart operations, theatres and productions will help keep our nation’s air and water clean, reduce their contribution to global warming and see cost saving benefits.”
Quote from the guide.

Change cultural assumptions
“The single most important thing we can do to help save the planet is to change cultural assumptions and attitudes about how we should relate to Planet Earth,” Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the NRDC who helped to co-found the Broadway Green Alliance, told Ecowatch:

“By promoting energy efficiency, recycling programs, waste reduction, water conservation and other smart operations, theaters and productions will help keep our nation’s air and water clean, reduce their contribution to global warming and achieve cost saving benefits at the same time.”

From Broadway to the rest of the U.S.
The organisations want to provide environmentally preferable options to producers, theater owners, designers, managers and design shops in the same way that the Broadway Green Alliance brought them to Broadway in New York City.

Here are some of the green achievements made to date on Broadway:

• Broadway theaters have replaced all their marquee and outside lighting with more than 10,000 energy-efficient bulbs, saving about 700 tons of carbon emissions per year.

• Theaters switched to greener cleaning products, appliances, recycling, water filtration and energy efficiency programs.

• Broadway shows now have a BGA liaison, or ‘Green Captain’, at nearly all shows, bringing greener practices backstage.  Green Captains come from all aspects of productions, and sometimes even the star of the show participates in this important role. Bryan Cranston, Alan Cumming, Hugh Dancy, Montego Glover, Harriet Harris and Carol Kane have all served as Green Captains.

• Shows are saving money through reduced waste. Many now use rechargeable batteries in microphones and flashlights, keeping thousands of toxic disposable batteries from the waste stream every month. Wicked went from using 38 batteries every performance to using only 96 rechargeable batteries in a year.   Many shows also print their own cast-change stuffers on recycled paper, saving reams of paper as well as money.

• Over the last five years, the Broadway Green Alliance has collected over 15 tons or 31,000 pounds of e-waste and nearly 10,000 pounds of textiles.

Broadway Green Alliance has also participated in outreach programs with colleges, off-Broadway and regional and touring venues.

The guide provides information for all six of the Broadway Green Alliance’s committees: Pre/Post Production, Production, Venues, Touring, Education and Outreach.

Each of the sections in this menu bar, starting with “Why Be Green”, includes a variety of subsections that appear in the lower turquoise menu bar. Use your cursor to explore the dropdown menus of content available for these subsections and click items to open pages on the different topics to learn more.

» Explore NRDC Theatre Greening Advisor

Ecowatch – 28 January 2014:
Broadway Expands Its Green Practices to Theaters Across the U.S.

By Brandon Baker


Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

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