Yearly Archives: 2015

#GreenFests Top 10 Things to See in Edinburgh This Week

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland’s presents our 10 sustainable top picks for the week ahead. We have scoured through the programme of each and every festival to find the best and brightest acts engaging with art and sustainability. From shows to exhibitions, talks and discussions to events, I hope you enjoy our list of the sustainability crème de la crème on show in Edinburgh this week.

1.   A Cinema in South Georgia

Edinburgh Festival FringeFringe 1

An exciting, new piece of ensemble theatre written by Jeffrey Mayhew (Swift, Bright is the Ring of Words,) and Susan Wilson (daughter of whaler William Watt). Based entirely on first-hand accounts they bring to life the experiences; bitter, hilarious, rueful and heart-warming, of some of the last men to follow the millennia-old tradition of hunting the whale. It is a celebration, in words and song, of four Eyemouth men, who, at differing points in their lives, in different ways and with differing attitudes and outcomes risked their lives among the Antarctic ice floes.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

2.  Antigone

Edinburgh International FestivalAntigone

Juliette Binoche plays Antigone, a Theban noblewoman whose brother is deemed a traitor after fighting to the death in a vicious civil war. When his body is left unburied beyond the city walls, Antigone defies King Kreon to bury her brother with the honours he deserves.



3.   Bayou Blues

Edinburgh Festival FringeFringe 2

Enter the dream, the drowning dream of a girl named Beauty in the bayou of New Orleans. Dive into her conscious, journey into the waters that flood the bayou. Carrying residue of slavery’s damaging effects on black beauty and identity. This story is filled with the rich history of New Orleans taking the audience through Mardi Gras, Congo Square, bounce music and more. True elements to the poetry world now meet the traditions of monologue and dance. Exploring animation and how it relates or challenges visual projections of the world on stage and in Beauty’s world.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

4.   Frankenstein

Edinburgh Festival FringeFringe 3

Lindel Hart’s thrilling new adaptation of Frankenstein highlights the prescience of Mary Shelley’s classic novel. As we lumber headlong into the myriad manmade crises of our era, Frankenstein asks us to examine the monsters we create, and the ones that live within us. What have we done? And perhaps more importantly, what do we do now? Can we transform our story from dominance over nature to a new interconnectedness? Can the human race learn to thrive in respectful relationship with the planet? Three actors portray six central characters as they spiral through the interface between science and humanity.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

5.   Garden

Edinburgh Festival FringeFringe 4

‘I stick my tongue out a tiny bit. Just a tiny bit. To see what the soil, the ground, the earth tastes like…’ At Insignia Asset Management Lucy is in charge of the photocopier, printer, scanner, shredder and binder. She’s starting to wonder how this fits into The Grand Scheme Of Things. One day Lucy rescues the abused office pot plant and her world alters. Inside her flat 24 floors up, she starts to plant, cultivate, nurture her own personal wilderness. Written and performed by Lucy Grace, Garden tells of one city dweller’s journey into the natural world.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

6.   Photosynthesis

Edinburgh Festival FringeFringe 5

The first exhibition in Scotland by artists from the Dutch art collective Tropism. Featuring photographs of plants taken with unusual, often scientific, visualisation techniques, the exhibition provides a surprising and spectacularly different view on plants. Botanical installations located around the Garden will fuse art, poetry and science and combine audio, video and classic museum displays. The Tropists are a group of artists that work with phenomena occurring at the edge of perception: events that are hardly noticed, but which lead to a reaction similar to the manner in which a plant responds to light.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

7.   Sing For Your Life

Edinburgh Festival FringeFringe 6

Notorious taxidermy artist Charlie Tuesday Gates has scraped up roadkill, bought deceased dogs on Gumtree and revived her family pet to bring you this five-star, death-defying and hilariously unsettling musical comedy… starring real dead animal puppets. Hold on to your conscience – it’s the greatest show that ever died. ‘A powerful howl of injustice with a distinctive creativity and grotesque charm all of its own.’ ***** (C of E Newspaper). ‘A mass of contradictions … incongruously clever. A sordid, sardonic Sesame Street’ **** (Londonist).

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

8.   To Space

Edinburgh Festival Fringeringe 7

To Space is your telescope into a future and capsule that will preserve the past. Scientist and performer Dr Niamh Shaw has dreamed of space travel from the age of eight. After a year of interviewing astronauts, astrophysicists, space industries and potential future colonists of Mars, she’s discovered that what was once her childhood dream may soon become a reality. In a multimedia immersive performance that buzzes with new technologies, she explores the beauty, darkness and humanity of Space. What is our attraction to Space? What are we chasing – or escaping from?

Shortlisted for the 2015 Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

9.   Tree No. 5 (from the Jadindagadendar) – Charles Avery

Edinburgh Art FestivalTree No. 5

Charles Avery’s The Islanders is an evolving lifelong project, dedicated to describing the inhabitants, flora and fauna of a fictional island. At the heart of the island is Onomatopoiea, whose municipal park is called the Jadindagadendar, and is filled, not with living botanical specimens, but with artificial trees, flowers and shrubs, an expression of the islanders’ refutation of nature. For the Improbable City, the theme for this year’s Art Festival Commissions, Avery will realize a tree from the Jadindagadendar. Over five metres tall and ripe with strange fruit, it is cast in bronze, and draws entirely on mathematical equations (including the square root of 2 as well as the Fibonacci sequence) for its design.  Part plant, part sculpture, part temple, Avery’s tree sits within our world and outside it, offering a meeting point, or a place for momentary escape and contemplation.

10.  UN at its best?

Just FestivalSustainable development

Supporters claim the Millennium Development Goals galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest people; critics say there’s been very uneven implementation of the goals by topic, country or world region. Will the Sustainable Development Goals be any different?

Chair: Andrew Bevan I Speakers: Joanna Keating, Gillian Wilson, May East, Prof. Pamela Abbott

[Top Image courtesy of Visit Scotland]

The post #GreenFests Top 10 Things to See in Edinburgh This Week appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Edinburgh Fringe Swap Shop

Unwanted props, usable furniture, gorgeous costumes, venue and set construction materials – we want them all! 

On the final days of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Creative Carbon Scotland is co-hosting the Fringe Swap Shop (previously known as the Fringe Reuse and Recycle Days). We are inviting companies and individuals participating in the festival to bring good quality props, costumes and set materials to be reused by other productions or members of the local community.

Participants can also bring their excess print materials, including posters and flyers, to be recycled.

Dropping off of items is limited to companies and individuals participating in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe only. The collecting and reusing of items from the Swap Shop is open to anyone; those looking to pick up donated items can drop in at any point over the three days!

The Swap Shops will take place on the 30th and 31st August, and the 1st September, 11am – 6pm.

Contact for more details of what they can accept or speak to Fringe Central staff.

A report detailing kinds of materials donated in 2014 was produced by Creative Carbon Scotland.

For more information on sustainability at the Edinburgh Fringe please have a look at The Fringe Guide to Sustainability.

If you’re interested in recycling production materials outside of the August Edinburgh Festival Fringe, there are lots of other reuse and recycling opportunities for the artistic community. Please see our webpage on the Swap Shop for more information.

Julie’s Bicycle Fit for the Future Guide: Investing in Environmentally Sustainable Buildings

A guide for directors and managers of arts organisations developing capital projects.

This guide will help you to integrate environmental sustainability in capital projects from conception through to completion. It focuses mainly on larger capital projects and redevelopment of existing buildings and infrastructure, but is also relevant to smaller capital projects and new builds. Case studies cover a range of capital projects in terms of scale and type of investment, art form and location, and environmental solutions. It also provides an overview of environmental technologies and of key sources of environmental funding and finance of relevance for capital projects.

It has been developed by Julie’s Bicycle with the support of Arts Council England, whose capital grants programme is a key strategic programme linked to its goal of “arts, museums and libraries which are resilient and environmentally sustainable.

Case studies include Chichester Festival Theatre, Everyman Liverpool, Ikon, Lyric Hammersmith, National Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, SPACE studios, Tate Modern and The Whitworth.

Fit for the Future Guide

  • 35 Pages
  • 6.79MB
  • Language: English
  • Published: 2015

This material was first published in 2015 and the rights in the material are owned by or licensed to Julie’s Bicycle. You may download and share this material free of charge for non-commercial purposes only. Although steps have been taken to ensure the accuracy of these resources, Julie’s Bicycle cannot accept responsibility or be held liable to any person for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with this information being inaccurate, incomplete or misleading. This material may not be used for commercial purposes or to endorse or suggest Julie’s Bicycle’s endorsement of a product or service. If you wish to use this material for any commercial purpose or to reproduce, republish or otherwise use these materials you must request permission from Julie’s Bicycle. If you believe that any information is incorrect or if you would like more information please contact Julie’s

DOWNLOAD the Guide

Creative Carbon Scotland’s Advice for a More Sustainable Fringe

Whether you are a Fringe first-timer or an experienced veteran, there are lots of opportunities to make the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe your greenest yet. Here are just some of the ways to reduce the environmental impact of your Fringe involvement.

Every year, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe hosts hundreds of temporary venues, visiting companies from around the world and thousands of productions, all over the course of a single month. However, even in this fleetingly temporary festival setting, there are many ways of reducing the environmental impact of your show.

Listed below are just some of the initiatives which you can join to operate in a more sustainable way this August:

Advice for Participants and Companies

The Fringe Guide to Sustainability

Produced by the Participant Services team at the Fringe Society, this guide offers accessible advice and practical steps for production companies to make their shows more sustainable. It provides a list of first steps and creative ideas for action, case studies of past sustainable productions and useful resources for sustainable operations, communication and monitoring.

Click here to download the 2015 official Fringe Guide to Sustainability.

The Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

Run by Creative Carbon Scotland and the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, this yearly award celebrates the most sustainable shows appearing at the Fringe. Shortlisted productions are named in The List magazine, and the winner receives a special feature in the CPSA quarterly as well as recognition in a ceremony at Fringe Central.

For more information and to apply, click here. The deadline for 2015 applications is July 24th.

The Fringe Swap Shop

Formerly known as the Fringe Re-use and ReFringecycle Days, the Swap Shop is back for 2015, welcoming companies and individuals participating in the festival to bring good quality props, costumes and set materials to be reused by other productions or members of the local community. The event has grown year on year and is now a popular fixture in the Fringe calendar. This year’s Swap Shop will take place from Sunday 30th August to Tuesday 1st September 2015, 11am – 6pm – details of which can be found on our Events page.

Participants can contact Fringe Central or to find out more about what can be donated.

Top Tips

  • Ask your Fringe venue about their environmental policy, and whether they have energy monitoring systems and recycling options
  • Advertise the most environmentally-friendly way to get to your venue – Edinburgh has excellent public transport and cycling networks – and most city centre locations can easily be reached on foot. Websites and can be used to find new routes and avoid the manic festival traffic.
  • Reduce and re-use your materials by investing in responsibly sourced set items that can be used repeatedly, and commit to efficient waste disposal methods (like the Fringe Swap Shop)
  • Always use recycled and/or recyclable paper. The price difference is often negligible while the environmental benefits are huge. See here to learn more about your paper options.

Advice for Venues

The Green Arts Initiative

Run by Creative Carbon Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh, the GAI is a simple accreditation scheme designed to provide advice, support and tools for venues, companies and organizations to become greener and communicate their efforts to audiences and the public.

In 2014, nearly 70 organizations across the UK were signed up to the GAI, taking proactive steps to reduce their environmental impact across waste, travel and energy areas.

This year, we are offering a free staff induction service for GAI members. The CCS team is available to give a 5 minute sustainability talk to festival volunteers and seasonal staff members to help raise awareness of the small actions that can make a big difference! Please to arrange for one of our staff to come out and meet your team.

We are also offering supplemental branding for those GAI members participating in Scotland’s various summer festivals to assist in making your green achievements that much more visible. to arrange for an additional GAI sticker delivery and social media coverage.

To sign up to the GAI, and to find out which organisations are already members, click here

Case Study Examples

We’ve been putting together case studies of good practice in the arts and cultural industries, constantly adding more to highlight the best efforts of the festivals! Click here to find real-world examples of everything from environmentally-friendly touring and publicity, to sustainable catering and audience engagement.

Top Tips

  • Address the four main areas of environmental impact: energy, water, waste and travel
  • Develop your own environmental policy, set your own targets and create action plans for minimizing your impact
  • Be inventive with your publicity method – paper flyer use can be reduced easily with more efficient targeting of material, a good social network campaign or the use of ink stamps and poster QR codes.
  • Encourage staff members, volunteers and audiences to use the greenest transportation options available. Edinburgh has excellent public transport and cycling networks – and most city centre locations can easily be reached on foot. Websites like and can be used to find efficient routes.
  • Run a simple staff induction addressing environmentally-responsible behaviours and locations of recycling facilities (or, if you are a GAI member, invite us to do this for you!)

Keep up to date with sustainability news and opportunities throughout the Fringe, and Scotland’s other various summer festivals, by following Creative Carbon Scotland on FacebookTwitter and our festival-specific #GreenFests blog.

Register your climate-related event as part of ArtCOP21: The global festival promoting climate-awareness and positive change!

From 30th Nov – 10th December 2015, Paris will host the 21st UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21). These are the crunch talks in negotiating the vital international agreements in the battle against climate change.

ArtCOP21 brings together all cultural and artistic initiatives taking place around (and in the lead up to) COP21 – comprehensively mapping all climate-related events happening across Paris and worldwide. It is a platform for change, and a huge global movement. ArtCOP21 is certified by the Secretariat General of the COP21, the City of Paris and supported by major French and International institutional partners.

As an artist, organisation or collective, you can participate in ArtCOP21 by promoting your own event here for free. Exhibitions, installations, meetings, performances, screenings, concerts, readings, participatory workshops, competitions or any other cultural events that address climate change in an inspiring way will benefit from the huge visibility and impact of this shared platform.

The programme of events will also be promoted widely at our ArtCOP21 Hub at the Lyric Gaîté, Paris (3rd arrondissement), which will be transformed into the essential meeting place for media, environmental and arts cultural professionals for the duration of the festival. Every day the hub will bring its own programme of debates, screenings, concerts, workshops and an interactive resource center open to all, enabling better understanding of the complexity of the climate challenge and offering inspiring solutions for a creative, sustainable future.

A selection panel composed of members of COAL and Cape Farewell will also highlight events as “editors picks” on the website daily. This selection process will be guided by the consideration of artistic value, entertainment and relevance to the issues of climate change and COP21. ArtCOP21 labelled events can take place anytime between September and December 2015.

NB: ArtCOP21 does not participate in the financing and production of associated events, which is the sole responsibility of the organiser.

The programme will be officially launched on the 17th September, so register your event as soon as possible! Go to the registration form HERE

UK car share site launches accolade to foster culture of sustainability

Liftshare_largeBritain’s green car share leader has launched a new culture award to promote positive environmental change in Edinburgh during this year’s Festival Fringe (August 7-31).

Last year, the Fringe helped people from across the world get ‘Unbored’ by offering 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues across Edinburgh. While this culturally diverse mix of acts is to be applauded, approximately 2,183,591 ticket sales triggered another annual rise of traffic, gridlock and higher-than-usual CO2 levels.

The Festival Fringe Liftshare Award aims to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions across the capital this August, by encouraging the public to walk, cycle, liftshare or use public transport around the festival city this summer. Not only will this reduce  emissions, but it will also mean the public will experience firsthand the unique festival vibe in the streets of this historical and beautiful city.

From now until August 21st Liftshare is inviting Fringe acts to submit a video of themselves in a car doing what they do best, be it telling jokes, putting on a show or telling a poem. Acts can also submit jokes or thought-provoking quotes over Twitter if they prefer.

The best act will be chosen by a judging panel, which includes special guests from the world of comedy and some of the biggest names in Scotland’s creative industries. Participating performers will receive promotion on the Liftshare blog and social channels in recognition of their efforts to promote green values throughout the Fringe.

Lex Barber, Community Outreach Manager at Liftshare said of the award, “The Festival Fringe cares deeply about the city of Edinburgh, so when Liftshare pitched them the idea of promoting positive green change across the capital, they were delighted to help us make this project a reality.

“Liftshare’s community removed over 73,000 tonnes of CO2 from UK roads in 2014,” she continued, “We are always searching for new ways to help improve air quality across the country, and we feel the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a golden opportunity to help raise sustainable awareness.”

Active since 1998, is the UK’s largest car sharing site with over 450,000 members, offering everyday people a secure to meet and arrange car shares. Drivers can offer their spare seats to others for a share of the trip’s petrol cost, while those without access to a car can travel for less, and with a lowered impact on the environment.

In 2012, Liftshare was awarded a Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel in 2012, in recognition of its positive impact on Britain’s environment. It continues to collaborate with retailers, businesses, festivals, sports clubs and public communities on a daily basis to improve air quality in the UK.

Please visit the Festival Fringe Liftshare Award site for further information.

Blued Trees

Aviva Rahmani discusses Blued Trees with Judy Eddy of Radio2Women and Linda Leeds of Frackbusters, for the  Radio2Women show, Thursday, July 23 between 1-2 pm on WBCR-LP 97.7 Great Barrington, MA. The broadcast will be archived at:

(search by date). It will include the Blued Trees musical measure for installation, sung by soprano, Debra Vanderlinde.

In Judy Eddy’s radio show, Rahmani explains the moral and legal questions this project addresses and with Leeds describes the inception of the project. She touches on the ideas of ecofeminist pioneers like Donna Haraway, author of Primate Visions, whose work pointed to parallels between the oppression of women, people of color and the exploitation of other species, to the global detriment of all humanity.

Summer Solstice, June 21, 2015, Blued Trees launched as an overture to a public symphonic opera and a site-specific installation. The launch took place within view of a public road in Peekskill, New York, on private land, along a 1/3 mile measure of 50 woodland acres in the path of the proposed high-pressure Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline expansion. AIM’s expansion would transport volatile fracked gas within one hundred five feet of the Indian Point nuclear facility.

A five minute Blued Trees film of the launch will premiere in Europe at “Gaia: Resonant Visions,” an exclusive one day event curated by James Brady at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK, alongside screenings of films by Ursula Biemann, Oliver Ressler, and Basia Irland. The public is invited to view the Blued Trees launch on line now at:

The Blued Trees conceptual symphony and site-specific ecological art project is filing for copyright protection against eminent domain takings by fossil fuel corporations in Peekskill, NY. That filing will include protection for an international Greek Chorus of Blued Trees participants. Crowd-sourcing to raise funds to assert that protection in the judicial system will be announced shortly. It has been estimated that a legal process that may eventually go to the Supreme Court could take six years and cost six million dollars. The full symphony will be performed for the Fall Solstice. Meanwhile, participants may continue to join the Greek Chorus. “Make waves! Paint a tree; make waves in the woods!

Blued Trees initiates a new conversation about public good and morality, earth rights and environmental justice. For the launch, approximately twenty trees were painted along the AIM pipeline corridor over the course of two days. The distribution of notes for the Blued Treesmeasure was composed of designated trees in the landscape painted with a sine wave, beginning at the tree’s roots, and winding up the trunk. The paint was a non-toxic ultramarine blue pigment and buttermilk slurry that could encourage moss growth on the trees. About twenty-six participants from local children and elderly residents to others from as far away as Switzerland joined the event, as well as members of the Earth Guardians. After the painting, participants performed a chorale as they passed through the woodland. When the human performers left, the installation remained with the trees as a permanent work of art. The Greek Chorus launched in simultaneous international locations, including Lisbon, Portugal and Seattle, Washington. It included works by composer Maile Colbert, Deanna Pindell and Jesse Etelson.

Blued Trees asserts the language of the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), for the moral rights of the art over condemnation of private land. In Peekskill, pipeline construction would threaten the rights of Blued Trees. The art cannot be destroyed by moving, or otherwise destroying the trees with which it was created, without infringing on VARA. Protecting Blued Trees as a work of art will test corporate eminent domain takings in the name of “public good” in the judicial system. If that copyright suit is successful, it could impede the proposed AIM expansion.

Help Make Waves!

Any willing landowner may join the “Greek Chorus,” as part of the Blued Trees Symphony, by painting a wave “note” on one or more trees, preferably roadside for visibility. Send a photo of your “blued” tree with GPS coordinates to Aviva Rahmani, who will continue — throughout 2015 — to gather and map the Blued Trees.

Preview comments for Blued Trees overture film:

“It is powerful and beautiful.” – Betsy Damon, ecological artist

Blued Trees is a brave and consequential work. It’s remarkable and compelling in this juxtaposition of luscious aesthetics and desperate ecological threats.” – Carolee Schneemann, media artist

“We need nature – now nature needs us.” – Nancy Vann, property owner

“How exciting to see you walking down the woodland path in defense of a bunch of trees!” – Alison Knowles, Fluxus artist

“The images are beautiful, the camera work excellent, the idea great!” – Anthony Ramos, videographer and painter

“… good and slow enough to get the point without the emotionalism that has sparse content. Simple, common sense. Fast and speedy is what got us into this mess.” – R. Eugene Turner, ecological scientist

“Very cool. Such a soothing artistic video for such an in your face bold type of problem/issue.” – Crystal Day, film student