The Venues Committee of the BGA deals with all aspects of running a greener theatre, and works to identify and disseminate better practices and to reduce the carbon footprint of all member venues. Helmed by Jennifer Hershey of Jujamcyn Theaters and Dana Amendola of Disney Theatricals, this committee boasts representatives of every major Broadway venue as well as a few other large venues.
Major accomplishments of this committee include the conversion of all Broadway marquee and roof signs to LEDs or CFLs. We calculate that this one change saves over 700 tons of carbon every year. Many venues also now use water filtration systems and reusable bottles backstage, keeping tens of thousands of plastic water bottles out of the waste stream. All member venues have recycling programs both backstage and front-of-house, and collect and responsibly recycle batteries and light bulbs.
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- Seek out a local utility to complete an energy audit, to provide a baseline for energy and cost-saving discoveries.
- Convert all exterior and ancillary lamps (backstage, offices, basements, machinery rooms, grids, back alleys, stairways), where feasible, to energy-efficient LEDs, cathodes or CFLs.
- Turn off lights when not needed. For example, the house lights can be turned off after the cleaning crew and porters have finished in the morning. Lights do not need to stay on for the entire shift while staffers clean other areas in the venue.
- Encourage actors and production staff to turn off window air conditioners and unplug all unnecessary electronics when they are not in use. Place signage to remind people.
- Invest in more energy-efficient HVAC systems as venues are restored/upgraded.
- Investigate the addition of motion-sensor lighting where practical.
- Coat roofs with reflective paint for less heat absorption
- Aggressively insulate all heating pipes for heat retention and energy conservation.
- Install energy-efficient (at least Energy Star) appliances like washer/dryers in the wardrobe departments.
- Commit to a more aggressive recycling policy, including waste and refuse from production staff, concessions, maintenance crew and patrons.
- Ensure proper recycling of bulbs (trash haulers usually will collect these separately) especially lamps containing mercury. These may NOT be thrown away in the garbage.
- Ensure proper recycling of rechargeable batteries (the BGA operates a drop-off bin)
- Utilize greener administrative practices in executive offices, including a commitment to reduced paper usage.
- Collect all textiles including fabric scraps, rags, and items from the Lost & Found for the BGA’s twice-yearly Textile Recycling Collection in Times Square.
- Collect and save all old, replaced, or re-usable electronics for the BGA’s twice-yearly E-Waste Recycling Collection in Times Square.
- Convert to green cleaning products, which alleviate staff and patron environmental health exposures.
- Use dilution centers with environmentally friendly cleaning products.
- Use recycled paper products that contain at least 30% post consumer content.
- Use coreless toilet paper made at least partially with post-consumer recycled paper.
- Use more efficient paper towel dispensers that release single sheets instead of continuous supply
- Make environmentally informed choices during theatre renovations as facility projects arise.
- Become a member of the BGA’s ServCo bulk-purchasing program which offers affordable pricing for a broad range of cleaning and office supplies through Staples.
- Conserve and manage water consumption and sewer waste.
- Encourage water conservation with signage backstage and in the dressing rooms
- Install filtered water systems backstage and use recycled cups or refillable containers
- Examine investment in water-efficient bathroom fixtures, including low-flow sinks and waterless urinals (currently in use in several Broadway houses).
- Establish a greening policy for your operation.
- Implement green practices in administrative offices.
- Work with various light bulb manufacturers to develop warm, smoothly dimming decorative lamps for theatres’ chandeliers and candelabras.
- Replace caustic sodium chloride (“ice-salt”) with Magic Salt, a non-toxic, biodegradable de-icer with a corrosion index lower than distilled water.
- Install bike racks backstage for theatre staff
- Use carpet tiles backstage so that damaged areas can be easily replaced without replacing the entire carpet.
- Always offer filtered water in a glass at meetings rather than bottled water.