How to Get Your Arts Organisation Green

Inspired by the Theatre Forum conference, we’ve been thinking about “Greening Ticketsolve” a lot - how do we go green in a way that is still financially doable. Well, I am happy to share with you, that as an organisation, we are about to embark on an all-encompassing green strategy. And as we have discovered, a green program doesn't have to cost a fortune for a small organisation.

Start Small For Big Wins

Our first step to a greener Ticketsolve was to sit down as a group and really understand what we wanted to achieve. We quickly realised that the answer was in two parts: 1. Make green thinking more pervasive in Ticketsolve and 2. Small changes would mean big wins for us as an organisation trying to be more green.

Below are the simple steps we are taking to kick off our sustainability programme and can help you on your journey to a more green organisation.

Make green thinking a part of your organisation culture

This might be an obvious first step, but getting the team together, sharing input and ideas is a great way to kick off green thinking and embedding in your organisation. Allowing the team to be a part of the creation of efficiency goals is not only empowering but also mean people take ownership of your organisation's green goals. Be sure to make it fun and inclusive and celebrate your successes. Think about how you can measure your savings and how your green mission can enhance your community or better serve your customers.

Change light bulbs

Swapping to LED lighting is definitely worth the investment. LEDs use far less energy and don’t contain mercury and other toxic gases contained in incandescent and fluorescent lights. They are pricey up front but will last about five times longer than other bulbs.

Eliminate plastic bottles

With the release of Blue Planet II, came a groundswell of change regards plastic bottles. It is no wonder, after bringing heartbreaking scenes of the impact of plastic pollution on marine life into the nation’s living rooms, the Sir David Attenborough-fronted show undoubtedly changed our views on plastics use in our everyday lives.

In its wake came a raft of highly publicised measures to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution, including the recent announcement of a bottle deposit return scheme and the government’s pledge to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

But you can do more right now with a water cooler. Installing a water filtration or cooler system in the office provides fresh, clean water and avoids the packaged water habit (not to mention the cost savings of water filters/coolers over bottled water).

Marketing Bonus: If your budget can stretch to it, you could even consider branded, reusable water bottles. These would be great giveaways for your members and donors as well.

Do business with green vendors

If you use a printer, ask if they use recycled paper or use other green techniques in their printing. Look for companies that use energy efficient vehicles and manufacturing plants that have practices in place to reduce their carbon footprint.

Marketing Bonus: If you do partner with a green company, maybe look at ways you can promote each other on your websites or social media channels.

Conserve human energy

Healthy, energetic people are more creative and productive. Create a healthy, safe, non-toxic work environment with reusable crockery and sustainable brain food. Meetings and work kitchens stocked with nuts, organic fruits and vegetables, and even dark chocolate all play a role in maintaining mental acuity. Be on the lookout for:

  1. Products made with sustainable farming methods

  2. Products made without palm oil

  3. Companies that donate a portion of profits to environmental charities/causes

  4. Food that is unpackaged or has limited/recyclable packaging

Green Bonus: Do you buy fruit for your staff regularly? Why not try a box delivery service like OddBox they deliver locally grown, “wonky fruit” that don’t meet supermarket strict specs. Buying wonky, unpackaged fruit and veg is a great way to help reduce food waste! (It is cheaper than other box delivery services too)!

Host a fundraising event

Cause-driven programs are excellent for your image and public relations, and it feels good to support something that is meaningful and far-reaching. Why not adopt a green cause and do an annual fundraising event? There are all sorts of conservation campaigns you can participate in, from planting trees to raising funds for environmental studies scholarships. Find one that’s close to your heart and involve your online and local communities.

Recycle and reuse

How often do you toss old papers and used glass and plastics into the bin? Come on, admit it! Look into your community’s recycling program and enlist the support of your team to meet recycling goals. Don’t forget to purchase recycled paper products and ink cartridges, often they are cheaper anyway. Check before you buy - even certain furniture and other big-ticket items contain recycled goods.

Marketing Bonus: If you send out brochures or member information, be sure to use recycled materials and add this information on your mailers (check your local council for info as well).

Use green cleaning products

Do you love the smell of a nice, clean office or auditorium? Guess what -many of those familiar scents are toxic to your body and to the environment. Replace window cleaners, dish and hand soaps, and bathroom cleaners with green brands. Some of them may seem pricey but many are concentrated and will save money in the end.

The benefits include improved health, increased clarity, a reduction in allergic reactions, and a healthier planet - really can we afford not to switch?

Marketing Bonus: Definitely be sure to post somewhere visible that your venue uses green cleaning products and hand soap. This will be very welcome news to your patrons who have allergies or autoimmune conditions.

Share your stories

Sustainability cannot be achieved in a vacuum. Everyone must participate and engage. Share your ideas and stories with others to spread the knowledge, and demonstrate your leadership and commitment to a healthy, safe future by joining the ranks of leaders who make sustainable choices.

Share your ideas here!