Fringe Sustainable Practice Award and Reuse and Recycle Days
All over the world, people, governments and organisations are trying to tackle climate change and environmental problems in a wide and exciting variety of ways, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is no exception.
The arts are known for finding inspiration in a challenge, and sustainability is certainly providing plenty of prompts for everything from venue policies to performance content.
Since 2010, The Fringe Sustainable Practice Award, a collaboration between Creative Carbon Scotland and Centre For Sustainable Practice In The Arts, has been celebrating this energy, rewarding the best of environmentalism in the Edinburgh Fringe and highlighting the diverse range of exciting approaches productions take to sustainability.
All Fringe productions are invited to apply for the award, whether they're old hacks at environmentalism or just starting to experiment with sustainable practices. The shows that make up this year's shortlist use the form, content and framing of their work to deal with climate change, offering new ideas and innovative ways for the creative industries to engage with sustainability. Shows that made the list come from a variety of genres, styles, and forms ranging from children's shows and dramatic monologues to dance pieces and exhibitions.
As well as their diversity of form, the shortlist of 21 productions covered a huge range of content; issues tackled included biodiversity, sewerage, food, the human-nature relationship, community, activism and human rights. Shakespeare adaptions and coming-of-age stories have also made the shortlist on the strength of their sustainable practice, proving that is possible to run a sustainable show at the Fringe without limiting the artistic scope of a production.
If you're looking for some shows to fill your last days at the Fringe, this list is an excellent place to start - don't miss Dannie Grufferty's First World Problems, a satirical stand-up routine poking fun at 'Gap Year culture', or take A Walk At The Edge Of The World, a meditation on landscape and the constantly shifting border between land and water. If the kids are in tow, head along to The Big Bite-size Plays Factory goes down the Toilet and become a sustainability secret agent helping to save the planet.
The finalists and winner will be announced this afternoon at Fringe Central. Check #greenfests to find out who has won.
Reuse and Recycle Days
Another Creative Carbon Scotland project returning this year to green the festival is the Fringe Reuse and Recycle Days on 25 and 26 August at Fringe Central. On these days, venues and companies that participated in the Fringe can bring unused publicity and production materials as well as used set items, props and costumes, to swap for other items or recycle.
In the past, these days have offered a unique opportunity to monitor the physical implications of festival events, data that has since been used to improve subsequent years. For example, in 2011, 12 tonnes of unused print materials were collected - monitoring the amounts allowed Fringe venues to reduce print runs in following years. It is expected this year will be equally successful and informative.