Green theatre comes to Berkeley

If you take a look at the current season for Berkeley’s Aurora Theatre Company, none of the plays should strike you as particularly “green.” Yet on September 29, Aurora became the first professional residential theater company in the Bay Area to be certified as a green business by the Alameda County Green Business Program and the Bay Area Green Business Program. The Company accomplished this not by staging plays on climate change and recycling, but by implementing some major changes in operations, including:

  • in-house recycling and composting;
  • switching to green cleaning products;
  • installation of water-saving devices in restrooms;
  • upgrading lighting to Title 24 standards; and
  • using certified green building materials in the construction of a new wing.

These changes have already resulted in lower carbon and waste footprints; the Company hopes audience members appreciate the opportunity to lower the impact of their theatre-going experience, also. Let’s hope it rubs off, and patrons start carpooling or taking public transportation to the theatre… I’d guess that visitor transportation is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases and other pollutants for this kind of business.

Still, great steps forward! Know of other artistic companies integrating green practices into their operations? Let us know below…


Image credit: stevendamron at Flickr under a Creative Commons license