Great Green Things to do in Edinburgh this August

As the busiest time of the Edinburgh Festivals calendar gets underway, our friends at Creative Carbon Scotland have put together this great guide to enjoying a particularly eco-friendly August.

CCS green events 2016 image 1 975x400

The Festival season is picking up speed and the array of events offered can be quite overwhelming. So at CCS we've compiled a handy list of things about environmental sustainability to do at the various festivals around Edinburgh this August. Plus, for weekly updates on which green Fringe shows you should see, follow #GreenFests on social media and on our blog.

We hope you enjoy these suggestions and have a fantastic festival experience!

Changing the Culture: Festivals Working for a Sustainable Future

11 August, 16:00-17:30, Fringe Central @ Infirmary Street (Venue 2)
Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Firstly, CCS is delighted to present our own event for Fringe participants, Changing the Culture. We're hosting Paul Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of Imaginate, and Amanda Tyndall, Creative Director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, to discuss how they have been tackling the issue of sustainability in the arts.

Richard Watson: Get Ready for Tomorrow

13 August, 12:30-13:30, Garden Theatre, Charlotte Square Gardens
Part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival

This year’s Book Festival programme includes the theme A Changing Society, with speakers from many disciplines. In this talk, global trends analyst Richard Watson speaks about the influence of our rapidly evolving technology on our society. What should technology do for us, beyond much-shared cat videos? In Digital vs Human, Watson predicts the areas of life that could genuinely be improved for the better.

Mark Kurlansky: Does Paper have a Future?

17 August, 12:30-13:30, Garden Theatre, Charlotte Square Gardens
Part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival

For centuries we thought of paper as a wonderful and indispensable invention. Yet in recent years, we seem to have been striving towards a paperless society, suggesting it now has negative connotations. For his book Paper: Paging Through History, Mark Kurlansky, New York Times bestselling author of Cod and Salt, traces paper back to its origins and follows its path towards the digital age.

Barbara Rae: Return Journey

1-31 August, 10:00-18:00, Open Eye Gallery, Abercromby Place
Part of Edinburgh Art Festival

The Art Festival returns this year with a wide variety of artists to showcase. One of them is artist and printmaker Barbara Rae, whose collection of art pieces encompasses locations from around the world, studying human habitation by ancient and modern societies that live off and work on the land. She works and exhibits here a variety of media, sometimes semi-abstract, often abstract, depicting the ruggedness of life’s daily struggle.

Walking Institute – Deveron Arts: Tours

Various Days and times
Part of Edinburgh Art Festival

Part of the Art Festival programme are a series of guided walks and discussions about travel organised by Walking Institute, Deveron Arts and the Forst Fringe.

  • There is Walking Women, where artist’s walks and talks will run alongside a Wikipedia edit-a-thon of women walking artists, an open mic pecha-kucha, a ‘walkie-talkie’ mobile workshop, and a library of walking women books.
  • How Humans adapt looks at how the simple process of walking can become an experimental artistic performance.
  • All Roads lead to Venice/Ugly Walk is a combination of a guided walk, looking to explore the ugly landscapes of industrial estates, countering the expectations that a beautiful walk is tied to natural landscapes, and a series of discussions concerning artists undertaking long distance journeys.

P + P

20-26 August, 11:00-16:00, Pack and Send, Elm Row
Part of Edinburgh Art Festival

P+P explores the issues of waste and recycling in today’s consumerist society. Ten artists from around the world have been sent a 30 x 30 x 30 cardboard box and asked to use it as the basis for creating or sending a new art work. Expect a mix of installation, animation, painting and object-making by artists exploring ideas around the figure, the fantastical and spontaneity.

Mogwai & Mark Cousins – Atomic: Living In Dread and Promise

27-28 August, 21:00, Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place
Part of the Edinburgh International Festival

The Edinburgh International Festival collects once again big names in Edinburgh this August, including this collaboration between filmmaker Mark Cousins and musicians Mogwai. With images of protest marches, Cold War confrontation, Chernobyl and Fukushima, Cousins’ impressionistic film is a kaleidoscope of the appalling destructive power of the atomic bomb, and also the beauty and benefits of x-rays and MRI scans. Mogwai’s compelling soundtrack encapsulates the nightmare of the nuclear age, but also its dreamlike beauty.

Yann Tiersen

21-22 August, 19:30, The Hub, Castlehill
Part of the Edinburgh International Festival

French composer and multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen is best known for his quirky score to Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 film Amélie. But that only scratches the surface of his enormously rich, magical musical output. After touring the globe for nearly a decade in planes and buses, Tiersen is now slowly cycling around the world, stopping for performances both in traditional venues and in the wilderness.

ANOHNI: Hopelessness

17 August, 20:00, Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place
Part of the Edinburgh International Festival

Working with groundbreaking producers Oneohtrix Point Never and Hudson Mohawke, Hopelessness collides an uncompromising electronic dance soundtrack with ANOHNI’s soulful, uplifting vocals. Hopelessness is a scream of fury against the evils of today’s world: mass surveillance, drone warfare, ecocide. Delivered in infectious, unforgettable pop. This is the electronic dance anthem as visceral protest song.

To find out more about Creative Carbon Scotland please visit

A version of this article originally appeared on the CCS website

Image of an envelope. Click here to go to our eNewsletter signup page

Want news and features about Edinburgh's 12 major festivals delivered straight to your inbox? 
Sign up for our regular enewsletters!

This story originally appeared on 27 March 2016.

Share this article

Jump to sign up form

Keep Up to Date

Sign up for Festival Updates
  • Scottish Government
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • Creative Scotland
  • Event Scotland
  • Scottish Enterprise
  • British Council Scotland
Back to top ↑