As the event producer you play the key role in educating everyone involved in your event about green principles. If your event is large enough to facilitate a production team, you want to try and set the same example with them as you do with the other components of your event (i.e. artists, food and beverage vendors, venue, sponsors, etc.). Design is the starting point to greening the set. Fortunately, the aesthetic integrity of the set design does not need to be sacrificed for the sake of the environment. There are numerous ways to incorporate sustainable design without limiting visual appeal. Designers can include local goods, art, natural resources such as plants or sunlight, or even garbage that can be used for a higher purpose. Set, stage and lighting design are critical production components, and sustainability can either be designed in or added as a subsequent step. Some recommendations for greening your production include:
- Have your concert during the day – scheduling outside concerts during the day does not cost extra, and it is the easiest way to reduce electricity use (if you do have your event indoors, use as much natural light as you can and be sure to test the light level multiple times to avoid over lighting. Also incorporate efficient light technologies such as LED light bulbs and low-wattage fixtures where you can).
- Use stages that are built to be reused or design for disassembly.
- Incorporate recycled materials such as old automobile tires, oil drums, hubcaps, tea sacks, and aluminum cans into the set and stage design (if recycled materials cannot be used, then make every effort to use sustainable materials such as bamboo, non-PVC (polyvinyl chloride or "vinyl”), natural textiles, or reclaimed materials, cork flooring, sisal area rugs, and salvaged wood).
- Use water-based paints instead of solvent-based paints to minimize toxic emissions (water-soluble latex paints typically contain fewer volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”), which are chemical compounds that harm the environment & humans), and if paint removal is required, use plant-based paint strippers.
- Source products locally to eliminate the need for harmful emissions from airlines and trucks (if there is a need for transport, try and find contractors that run their trucks on sustainable bio-diesel).
- For all wood purchases, use Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC) or Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) sustainably harvested wood.
- Reuse and donate material to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. Local schools/educational programs are often able to employ leftover material in their projects. Remember: One person’s waste is another’s treasure.
- Finalize plans with set designer and work with the venue committee to prepare the stage/ area
- Double check that the band/ entertainment has everything they need for the event
- Carry out a sound check with the appropriate equipment
- Make sure that leftover material is either reused or donated to local organization.