Earth Day’s 50th anniversary is right around the corner, and as we all practice social distancing to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are forced to seek creative ways to engage in social solidarity to celebrate this milestone in new, virtual ways. The Broadway Green Alliance is gearing up to do just that by providing learning opportunities aimed at facilitating a Green Quarantine. For the past 50 years, people from around the world have come together on April 22 to raise public awareness about environmental issues and shine a light on the actions that contribute to a healthier planet. Actions typically include planting a tree, picking up trash in the community or even hosting a recycling drive. Even though public Earth Day events have been canceled, many are quickly adapting to the new status quo in order to bring people together online this year.
Since our mission at the Broadway Green Alliance is to educate, motivate and inspire the entire theatre community and its patrons to adopt environmentally friendlier practices, we remain committed to serving as the theatre industry’s green anchor amidst this challenging time. This global health crisis — like the climate crisis — forces us to think about the resilience, community and hope needed in the face of a global challenge. We encourage you to get involved in the rapidly evolving online community of changemakers — like www.earthdayinitiative.org — which are hosting virtual Earth Day events. Additionally, the BGA is offering free virtual sessions aimed at harnessing creative ways to remain connected to each other and the earth. We will host weekly #GreenQuarantine virtual classroom sessions on Zoom covering a wide range of green topics and sustainable crafts. All sessions will be hosted by members of the theatre and environmental community and are open to the public. To register, visit www.broadwaygreen.com/greenquarantine.
The Broadway Green Alliance community is made up of musicians, actors, stage managers, students, patrons and many others affiliated with theatre and the arts. We work with volunteer “Green Captains” in productions, theatres and schools across the country who are leading the way for green theatre. A Green Captain can be anyone on the production who may facilitate in-house recycling collections, send out green-themed newsletters filled with eco-tips and industry best practices, or even pledge to a single-use plastic-free production, like Beth Malone and Transport Group did for their production of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” The Broadway Green Alliance supports all of our Green Captains as they navigate the possibilities for implementing these greener practices.
The Green Captain at “Hamilton” is Local 802 member Erin Benim Mayland, pictured on this page. Erin is incredibly engaged in green initiatives at her show. As a mother of a toddler, she draws inspiration from Greta Thunberg and other young activists.
“I am relatively new to all of this, but I have found that picking one small action and incorporating it into my life has kept me inspired to add new green habits in sort of a positive feedback loop,” Erin told us.
She added, “Things that I thought would be a pain, like composting, turned out to be not a big deal, and that was also true for ditching paper towels. Even with a toddler and a full time job, it feels doable, much to my surprise!”
Erin also spearheaded our participation in the D’Addario String Recycling Program with TerraCycle. Anyone from Local 802 — or any musician at all — can recycle any type of instrument string (including orchestral strings) at the Broadway Green Alliance office (165 West 46th Street, Suite 1312, between Sixth and Seventh Ave.) or at participating show dropoff points. For more information, visit www.broadwaygreen.com.
At the Broadway Green Alliance, we encourage our community to commit to being greener and doing better each day. As climate change does not result from one large negative action but rather from the cumulative effect of billions of small actions, progress comes when we pledge to adopt sustainable practices and find more ways to decrease our carbon footprint. What actions will you take this Earth Day? Whether you join us for a #GreenQuarantine virtual learning or crafting session, make a plan to recycle your used instrument strings, go a day without single-use plastic, or get inspired by what others in the community are doing, the Broadway Green Alliance supports you wherever you may be on your green journey.
Krissy Linacre is the assistant director of the Broadway Green Alliance. For more info, see www.broadwaygreen.com.