Theatres could play a part in reducing our environmental impact

| scritto da |

There are many ways to have an effect on the environment or to tackle climate change. The world of entertainment has tried to create new stories or imagine new societies in order to contribute to the global effort to overcome the climate crisis.

However, theatres could play a role in addressing the climate crisis in a number of ways. For instance, in Germany, the federal ministry of culture has launched a 3 million project called Zero, which provides funding to 25 cultural institutions across the country, such as museums, libraries or theatres, to help them rethink their way of working in order to reduce their environmental impact.

The Zero fund is on a mission to make cultural production and cultural events climate neutral.

This project encourages artistic directors to rethink every aspect of artistic production with the aim of reducing its environmental impact.

The Guardian describes the case of the Potsdam Theatre, which has taken some practical steps, such as switching lightbulbs to LED bulbs or reducing the number of rehearsals to reduce the number of shifts for workers. Furthermore, the costume designer of the theatre has stopped creating new costumes for every performance and started to reuse or adapt the same costumes.

According to statistics from Germany cultural ministry, only a third of German theatres draft a climate impact report. Among the theatres that have produced a report, approximately half of the emissions generated by a theatre originate from the journeys made by audiences to the venue. 

In light of this information, the city of Potsdam has taken the initiative of making theatre tickets valid for public transportation on the evening of the show, with the aim of reducing the number of vehicles on the road associated with the performances.

It is fair to acknowledge that the impact of cultural institutions on the environment is relatively limited when compared to other sectors. However, culture has the potential to influence our collective imagination and encourage the development of new solutions and ideas.

Cultural events often draw on creativity, engaging audiences with stories or representations. The climate crisis represents a significant challenge for our time, and it is clear that the imagination of culture can play a role in reducing human impact on the environment.