A few handy hints on making the Fringe as environmentally friendly as possible

As the single greatest celebration of arts and culture on the planet, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe carries with it a sizeable environmental impact. As custodian of the Fringe, the Fringe Society is always looking for ways to reduce that impact, including:

  • ensuring our tickets are fully recyclable
  • steadily decreasing the number of programmes we print annually
  • encouraging performers to think about sustainability, and providing a Fringe Swap Shop for recycling old props and materials, plus a paper recycling drop-off for unused flyers and promotional materials.

We’re continuously on the hunt for more ways to help though, one of which is spreading the green message among the millions of Fringe performers and visitors every year. So, if you’re environmentally savvy and want to lend us (and the planet) a hand, here are some ways you could help.

Share the love – and your programme

This year’s official Fringe Programme comes with a brand-new recommendations section on page one. The idea is, once you’ve seen something spectacular, you write it down on that page, then pass the programme on to someone else. A friend, a colleague, some random in the queue in front of you; heck, just leave it on your picnic table for the next person to find. (Obviously, we’re not endorsing littering. Be sensible.)

And if you still need a programme (and, for whatever reason, can’t bring yourself to use our fantastic Fringe App and edfringe website), good news – the circle completes itself when you pick up someone else’s programme and skip to the first page to find their top tip. Nifty, eh?

Check out #QuickFlyer Fridays

Flyering, while a tried-and-true method of promoting a show, is also very paper-heavy, and thus bad for the environment. A digital equivalent of that whole business is #QuickFlyer Fridays, our weekly call-out for Twitter pitches during the festival. Just search the hashtag and peruse the digital versions that have been tweeted that day – it’s like a focused flyer-collecting session but without having to go out and stuff your handbag.

Go re-useable with your drinks

We won’t judge anyone who’s feeling parched and needs to buy a bottle of water from the shops, but it’s much kinder to the environment – not to mention your purse and/or wallet – if you carry a refillable receptacle with you. There are drinking water refill stations all over Edinburgh, including in Waverley train station and in many Old Town businesses (download the Refill app to find the nearest one), and many coffee shops will offer a discount if you provide your own KeepCup to fill. And wouldn’t you know it, we have a range of branded KeepCups and aluminium water bottles for sale in our Fringe Shop.

Use recycling bins

We can’t promise there will always be a recycling bin nearby when you need one, but if you can hold onto your rubbish until you find one, it’d be a massive help. Failing that, please make sure any rubbish you have ends up in a bin of some description.

Walk between shows

We know it’s not an option for everybody, but if you’re able to, we’d recommend walking between show venues rather than getting a taxi. Aside from being a much cheaper alternative (especially compared to peak-time rates), there’s a good chance it’ll work out just as fast to walk, if not faster – Edinburgh’s roads get mighty congested during festival time, and pedestrians can access a good many shortcuts that cars can’t.