#GreenFests: Tips & Tricks for Sustainable Festivals

30th July 2015

The festival season is upon us! For performers, productions, venues and all the people who work to make the many festivals happen it is an extremely busy period and it is easy for sustainability to fall by the wayside. Fortunately, we have some simple actions that you can take to majorly reduce your impact with minimal time and expense. If you are one of the people who work behind the scenes, here are our top tips to make your time at the festivals as green as possible.

1. Use your own water bottle and encourage staff and audiences to do the same. Make sure that everyone knows where they can fill them up too.

2. Find out the location of the nearest recycling facilities and actively advocate their usage. Landfill should be a last resort!

3. Opt for sustainable forms of transport – especially cycling and walking. Websites like www.walkit.com and www.edinburgh.cyclestreets.net can be used to find new routes and avoid the manic festival traffic

4. Always use recycled and/or recyclable paper. The price difference is often negligible while the environmental benefits are huge. See here to learn more about your paper options.

5. Use the Fringe Swap Shop. At the end of the festivals, don’t throw everything away! Bring along any good quality props, costumes, and set materials that you no longer want to the Fringe Swap Shop, running 11am-6pm from Sunday 30th August through to Tuesday 1st Here they can be collected and reused by other productions and members of the local community. You might even find something you like for yourselves! Contact participants@edfringe.com for full details.

6. Join the Green Arts Initiative. Members of the GAI commit to helping to grow a sustainable arts sector for Scotland by reducing their environmental impact and sharing their green ambitions with audiences and artists. This is supported by Creative Carbon Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh, and you will join a community of practice of same-minded and mutually supporting organisations.

7. Follow our blog and twitter campaign #GreenFests where we will be posting case-studies of best practice and reviewing and promoting festival shows, especially those involved with the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award.

8. Check out the Fringe Sustainable Practice Guide for further ideas (click here for the guide)

We’d love to know how you get on or if you have any other ideas on how to be green at this summer’s festivals. Let us know via Twitter @CCScotland, our Facebook page or – if social media’s not your thing – email us at info@creativecarbonscotland.com. We will be posting on festival sustainability throughout the summer under #GreenFests so get in touch!

[Image: ‘Dancers on the Royal Mile’ courtesy of Edinburgh Festival City]

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We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.


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Supported by

Edinburgh Festival City Edinburgh Festival City

A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City Federation of Scottish Theatre Scottish Contemporary Art Network