General Tips


At the office

Employee Encouragement

  • Encourage the use of public transit through TransitChek or other programs.
  • Where public transit is unavailable, encourage carpools by sending an email to staff members.
  • Investigate a paperless direct deposit system for your employees.
  • Give your employees mugs or reusable water bottles with the company logo for their first day, a holiday or any occasion.


  • Start buying 100% post-consumer recycled paper for your office.
  • If you provide lunch at your office, consider purchasing locally grown organic foods.
  • When you can’t buy office supplies and equipment locally, buy in bulk to reduce shipping pollution and packaging waste.
  • Reuse shipping boxes whenever possible.
  • When replacing appliances around the office, look to replacements with Energy Star ratings.
  • When purchasing company vehicles or using a car service, consider electrics or hybrids.
  • Consider consulting green architects, designers, and construction companies for any renovations.
  • Evaluate HVAC systems and upgrade for greater efficiency if necessary.
  • Inquire with your energy provider about buying into an energy portfolio consisting of energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydro.
  • Consider investing in high quality alternative energy carbon offsets.

Office Initiatives

  • Use washable plates and silverware instead of paper plates and plastic utensils.
  • Designate a place where employees can leave their paycheck envelopes for reuse.
  • Arrange for a company to pick up your paper, metal, and plastic recycling.
  • Set thermostats to turn down (or off) when the office is closed.
  • Mandate double-sided printing and explore paperless options.
  • Utilize video conferencing systems instead of traveling to a meeting.
  • Mandate that all computers and printers be turned off at the end of the work day.


  • Establish a green policy for the office.
  • Develop an internal Green Team to develop green initiatives and goals.

AT home

  • Avoid plastic water bottles by keeping a reusable one with you.
  • Use your own coffee mug or tumbler and save hundreds of paper cups!
  • Carry a reusable bag with you (they’re a perfect fit in a purse or bag) to avoid plastic bags – many stores also offer discounts if you use your own.
  • Plug your major electronics into power strips that you can switch off to avoid phantom energy.
  • Load up the dishwasher instead of washing by hand to conserve water.
  • Choose Energy Star appliances, they use 10 to 50 percent less energy.
  • Screen savers use energy, set your computer to sleep after 20 minutes.
  • Whenever you’re buying paper products, look for the highest percentage post-consumer recycled paper.
  • Shop at your local farmers’ market for locally grown organic foods.
  • Ask to receive and pay bills online, it saves time and paper.

attending the theatre

  • Print your tickets at home – and on recycled paper of course!
  • To stay informed about your theatre, subscribe to an e-newsletter instead of printed brochures.
  • Take public transportation to the theatre, or carpool and make it an evening out with friends!
  • Share the show’s program and only take one. And if you’re not going to keep it as a memento of your evening, be sure to recycle it at the theatre in the proper receptacle.
  • Looking at souvenirs? See if they have organic cotton shirts, reusable water bottles, reusable bags or other green options.
  • Inform an usher if you find a leaky faucet in the restroom; they can arrange to get it fixed.
  • If you purchase refreshments in a bottle or can, don’t forget to find a recycling container – there’s probably one right in the lobby!

Industry Tips


PRE- AND Post-Production


  • Establish a greening policy and implement green practices for your shop.
  • Put someone in your operation in charge of green procedures as a resource for all your employees and clients.
  • Utilize recycled and reusable materials when possible.
  • Utilize a local waste management company that is committed to recycling.
  • Adopt construction methods that reduce the amount of material used.
  • Use non-toxic, biodegradable materials in the construction and maintenance of costumes and sets.
  • Use local vendors who use green practices in their product development and deployment.
  • Develop special effects (e.g., fog, fire) with environmentally responsible materials.
  • Utilize LED lighting when possible.
  • Use rechargeable batteries in battery-operated devices and recycle any non-rechargeable batteries.
  • Offer designers ways to re-purpose sets and costumes from previous productions.
  • Partner with local material donation organizations to facilitate the reuse of sets, costumes, and props.
  • Maintain facilities for the storage of sets, costumes, and props for reuse.
  • Encourage producers and general managers to recycle sets and costumes upon the closing of a show.


  • Design for the environment by designing scenery that reduces the amount of material used in its construction.
  • Design with LED lighting (or another energy efficient alternative) when possible.
  • Reuse sets or costumes from previous productions when designing a new show.
  • Encourage scenic, costume, and prop shops to use recycled materials.
  • Utilize vendors who provide recycled materials and reduce their own company’s emission of greenhouse gases.
  • Utilize local vendors as opposed to having products shipped across the country or from overseas.
  • Implement green practices in your office.
  • Ensure that any waste produced is sent to a local recycling facility.

Company Awareness & Implementation

  • Beginning with the first call to the actors and staff regarding schedule and location of rehearsals, let them know that greener practices will be incorporated into the production.
  • On the first day of rehearsal, point out the ways that the production will be working to implement better green practices.
  • Offer cast and staff reusable bottles instead of disposable, plastic water bottles (branded with show logo – they make great first rehearsal gifts).
  • Provide mugs to use instead of disposable cups. Ensure that cast and staff have labels for water bottles and mugs, as well as access to natural/organic dishwashing solution.
  • Explain that recycling is mandatory and make the recycling containers easily accessible.
  • In rooms without motion sensing light switches, post notices by all light switches (especially in bathrooms) reminding people to turn off the lights when leaving a room.
  • Point out that the paperwork the company is given, if any, has been printed on either post-consumer content recycled paper or reused scrap paper, and print on both sides where possible.
  • Remind colleagues, company members, and outside parties that they will receive their notices by email instead of hard copies, unless requested otherwise.
  • Use tissues made with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content in the rehearsal hall.
  • Encourage the company to recycle their payroll envelopes – offer a place for company members to return their envelopes to company management.
  • Use power strips and turn off all computers, printers, sound systems, and any other electronic equipment in rehearsal room at the end of the day.
  • Use only the air conditioning that you need for rehearsal, and make sure any A/C units are turned off at the end of the day.
  • Utilize energy-efficient light bulbs wherever possible.

Continuing Awareness

  • When a production moves into the performance space, remind the cast that most of the better green practices will continue in their new space.
  • Point out recycling receptacles during initial backstage tours.
  • Make sure the cast knows where their mugs and water bottles are located.
  • Post strategically placed reminders in dressing rooms, reminding cast members to turn off lights and electronics.

Reducing Paper Waste

  • Keep minimum advance storage of program inserts or print inserts on an as-needed basis.
  • If you must store inserts, print 6 per page instead of 4 per page.
  • If you can print your own stuffers, compile all listings on one half-sheet page.
  • Use only 100% recycled paper, with a goal of minimum post-consumer content of 30%.
  • Print on the back of scrap paper whenever possible.
  • Use old inserts and stuffers as note pads/scratch pads.
  • Utilize both sides of the paper on spiral notebooks or legal pads.

Departmental Efforts

  • Wardrobe:
    • Use eco-friendly detergents.
    • Wash clothes in cold water.
    • Air-dry clothes when possible.
    • Reuse old t-shirts as rags.
  • Sound:
    • Use rechargeable batteries whenever possible.
    • Recycle partially used batteries.
  • Carpentry/Props:
    • Consider environmentally-sound versions paints, glues, solvents, etc.
    • Properly dispose of hazardous liquids, such as paint, paint thinners, glues, etc.
  • Hair and Make-Up:
    • Use environmentally friendly hair and makeup products and collect and recycle all containers.
    • Make sure that hairspray and other cosmetics do not have toxic ingredients.
    • Consider looking up all products that you plan to use on the EWG Database to make sure that the products have been tested for various chemicals.

Long-Running Shows

  • Meet with the entire company to discuss the implementation of these better practices, and point out all recycling areas in the building.
  • Post reminders for the company throughout the building.
  • Make a “green package” to hand out to new company members along with their welcome package and give them a list of the ways that the company is trying to reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Point out recycling centers to new company members on their tour of the theatre.



Energy Efficiency

  • 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 bulbs.
  • 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 and/or 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 appliances like washers and dryers in the wardrobe departments.

Waste Management

  • Commit to a more aggressive recycling policy, including waste and refuse from production staff, concessions, maintenance crew, and patrons.
  • Ensure proper recycling of bulbs, especially lamps containing mercury. 
  • Ensure proper recycling of rechargeable batteries.
  • 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. 
  • Collect and save all old, replaced, or re-usable electronics. 


  • Convert to green cleaning products.
  • 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.

Water Conservation

  • 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.




  • Communicate in advance with shows and personnel appearing at your venue your greening practices and requirements.
  • Have appropriate signage and communications on site to make it easy for temporary users of your venue to recycle and follow your other greening practices.
  • Implement a green rider to contracts that sets out requirements for greener conduct in your venue.
  • Utilize standard materials across productions to facilitate reuse and greener production runs.
  • Transition subscribers to digital communications and subscriptions.

Pre- and Post-Production

  • Design and produce touring sets and equipment to minimize energy usage for operating and transporting the show.
  • Work with organizations that use recycled material for other causes.
  • Identify other channels for reuse or recycling of materials left over after productions depart.


  • Train production team in application of greener practices for multiple venues.


  • Implement electronic processing of contracts, using PDFs rather than mail, where possible.
  • Develop an efficient tour schedule and packing plan.
  • Use trucking and bus companies committed to greener practices, such as proper tire inflation and reduction of idling.
  • Invest in wind power and other high quality programs to offset the remaining impact of transportation.
  • Utilize standard materials across venues to facilitate reuse and economical greener production runs.
  • Have press agents let local media know in advance about your greening efforts.



Audience Communications

  • Communicate about your greening actions - greening actions are contagious!
  • If using eco-friendly paper products in bathrooms, let people know. If not, consider switching to them or air dryers. Remind people to use only what they need.
  • If you have eco-friendly merchandise or concession options, help guide and encourage people to those choices.
  • If you’re separating recyclables in your theatre, make those signs clear and noticeable.
  • Display your BGA membership where patrons can see it and learn more.
  • Communicate about greening actions in multiple ways:
    • Include in Playbills or other programs.
    • Post signs in lobbies, restrooms, and other areas.
    • Mention in electronic and other marketing communications and, when possible, announce from the stage.
  • Communicate about what audience members can do at home and at work.
  • Communicate with your audience via email, reducing the need for paper and mailing.
  • Print flyers, inserts, and other paper products on recycled paper and/or FSC certified paper – include information on the type of paper used, such as “printed on 30% recycled paper.”
  • Use mobile campaigns in theatre to reduce paper use.
  • Put an environmentally-aware signature line on your emails, such as “please consider the environment before printing this e-mail”.
  • Create green promotions like discount tickets for carpooling or people cycling to the theatre. Encourage the use of public transit or biking/walking.
  • Create dialogues about the issue between casts and audiences.


  • Buy 100% post-consumer recycled paper for your office.
  • Utilize vendors who are committed to green practices.
  • Speak to your printers about using eco-friendly inks and paper.
  • Mandate double-sided printing and explore paperless options.
  • Replace program inserts with signage or announcements when possible – otherwise, use best efforts to combine multiple inserts into single inserts.
  • Choose organic & eco-friendly alternatives when selecting merchandise for promotional purposes.
  • Look into eco-friendly alternatives to plastic for CD covers & inserts.
  • Buy office supplies and equipment locally.
  • Buy in bulk to reduce shipping pollution and packaging waste.
  • Reuse shipping boxes whenever possible.
  • Consider electrics or hybrids when using a car service for celebrities or press events.
  • Maintain facilities for the storage of signage for reuse.
  • Consider PowerPoint presentations and emailed charts or figures instead of multiple lengthy handouts at marketing meetings.