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Green at the University

Discussion in 'LDI 2010' started by gafftaper, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    A conference session on green practice in educational theater. With: Paul Bruner, James B McKernen, and Ellen E Jones.

    In many ways our scene shops have been green for decades because of budget reasons but we can do better.

    Consider ways to use MDF, OSB, and other composite sheet material. These composite materials use 95% of the tree! Consider the life cycle assessment of the material. That's the impact of the material from creation to disposal. Nearly all wood substitutes create greater CO2 emissions than wood.

    Determine what you can control. Housekeeping is one of the best starting points. If you can't find and store it you can't reuse it.

    Use, store, and dispose of hazardous waste properly. Most schools have a specific disposal protocol. Find out what it is and follow it.

    Analyze the chemicals in your costume shop. Get rid of all the chemicals you can. Consider green alternatives.

    Contact your local public utility for help analyzing your electric consumption. Their job is to help. There are often grants and matching funds available for energy efficient projects. There are often rebates available from the public utility as well.

    Consider the effect of us all replacing all our house light cans with LED pars. This is something most theaters can do right now.

    Cardboard. Rosco makes a treatment that will make it flame retardant. Cardboard doesn't look good on large pieces as it doesn't take paint well. But it can be used effectively for smaller pieces, returns and masking, and smaller flown pieces.

    York University (Toronto) will soon have a MFA Sustainable Design degree. Their website includes lots of interesting information:
    www.yorku.ca/tags.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2010
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I'm all for it until you mention OSB. My feeling on green theatre has always been build it once and use it for at least 5-10 shows. Flats should last at least 5 shows. A standard 4x8 should last at least 10. A well built triscuit can last for 50 shows. OSB platforms last 3 shows, max. MDF also makes horrid platforms. It puckers when you screw it, does not drill well, and is heavy as hell. By using those materials you are going to have to replace it every year or two or you can just build a triscuit once and it will last 10. You pick.
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I think the point was to look for ways you can use composite wood sheet materials without hurting your design process. Like the idea of using cardboard flats for back masking. Yeah they suck but if they are only in the back to mask the stage they can work just fine.
     
  4. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Coming from a rock and roll touring standpoint ways I could see cutting back:
    Day Sheets, everyone but one tech has a smart phone. Could we just email them instead of printing off 25 copies, they are never taped up in a decent spot anyway.

    Gaff tape- our shows uses about 2 rolls of 1" gaff to mark the stage. If the venue would use some glow in the dark paint to line the edge of the platforms that make up the edge of the stage that would save roughly 120' of gaff. Tie line can be reused on cables E-Tape can not

    Same thing with signs in the venue, if catering is set up in the same room 90% of the time perhaps the venue could mark that permanently. How about white boards on all the dressing room doors?

    More shore power in more venues please. Also bus companies that have two or more buses on a tour should start helping the situation. 50' of cable and one set of plugs is not enough anymore. Many times a venue will have a 200 amp service near the door but the buses generators run because they don't carry anything to tie in with.

    And all those T-shirts given away, who really needs another black swag shirt, tours should start buying rain forest land in name of each local. :) "Thanks everybody, have a good night. No shirts tonight but local 123 you have saved six hecta-acres of the rain-forest"

    Somethings like leaving 80 movers struck for 10 hours won't ever change though.
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Thanks Soundman, that's exactly the point. There are some parts of our industry that we are just stuck. But there are other parts that with a little creativity we can change and have a positive effect.
     

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