The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is committed to excelling in environmental sustainability, and in supporting all Fringe artists in running greener shows.
It is imperative that we explore all options to find the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly ways of performing on the Fringe. Our climate is changing and we are consuming natural resources and changing our world at an increasingly alarming rate.
How you can help
Here are some simple ideas that can really make huge strides for sustainability during your Fringe run.
Get a Green Champion
Having a dedicated individual or team helps drive the environment work forward. If you’re a staffed organisation, write the role into a job description. Your Green Champion will be someone who already takes an interest in green issues and has the capacity to spark interest in others. They can lead on making your show greener, but provide them with support, so their work is seen as positive and important by the whole team.
Join the Green Arts Portal
The Green Arts Portal is a free database of ideas and resources to help you become a greener arts organisation, developed by Creative Carbon Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh.
Use greener publicity
Printing on recycled paper shouldn’t come at an extra cost, just ask your printer. Can you come up with innovative ways of publicising your show that allow for smaller, cheaper print runs? What about using ink stamps, or smartphone taps, or clever social media tactics?
Design reusable sets
The ideal is to make everything reusable – not only for extra dates for your show, but in the future. Build sets and use furniture that can have a future life. When reuse isn’t possible, use materials that are recyclable and low impact, like wood and card over polystyrenes.
Start to measure the carbon impact of your travel – the first step to improving your carbon footprint is knowing what it is. If you are not transporting a large amount of set and props to Edinburgh, try to travel by rail, bus or other low-carbon means. If you know you need to travel by road to bring your show, do you have other local Fringe-going shows or audiences you could split travel with?
While looking at accommodation in Edinburgh, think about the distance between the place you stay and where you would like to spend most of your time, and whether you could get to know our compact city more on foot or bike, as well as our cheap and extensive bus network.
- For more information about aviation and flying, you could have a look at Stay Grounded
- Visit the Walk It website for walking routes
- Visit the CycleStreets website for cycle routes
Food and drink
Your approach to eating and drinking while in Edinburgh can significantly impact your carbon footprint. Try vegan or vegetarian meals instead of meat; avoid unnecessary food packaging where possible; bring your own reusable cup; avoid single-use plastic; and opt for seasonal, local and organic food as much as possible. Edinburgh has no shortage of locally sourced and healthy food options - give them a try!
Apply for the Sustainable Practice Award
The Fringe Sustainable Practice Award celebrates the best in sustainability on the Edinburgh Fringe. It rewards productions that engage audiences with sustainability, take responsibility for their environmental impacts, and think big about how the arts can help to grow a sustainable world. All Fringe productions can apply, whatever stage they're at.
Fringe Society Sustainability toolkit
This toolkit is designed to provide ideas and guidance for how performing companies can increase their social, economic and environmental sustainability at the Fringe and to promote wider sustainable practice by sharing examples of how it can be
achieved in a festival environment.
Creative Carbon Scotland
A partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. They support organisations in changing their own behaviour, communicating with their audiences and engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas. They also run the hugely valuable Green Arts Portal, full of useful tools and resources for greener shows.
The Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts
The Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts is a think tank for sustainability in the arts and culture. They publish news, reports and resources about arts and sustainability, and also co-run the annual Fringe Sustainable Practice Award that all Fringe companies working for sustainability are eligible for.
Julie’s Bicycle is a sustainability consultancy charity for the cultural sector. Their website is packed with resources and support to help you become a greener organisation.
Move on Wood Recycling
Move On Wood is a recycling service that collect waste wood from venues and companies. They then re-use and recycle it in community DIY projects.