Sometimes just starting the conversation about sustainability leads to some quick and simple actions.
Our carbon emissions reduction project has a timeline involving a carbon audit and analysis, staff workshops, an action plan that includes targets and strategies for achieving them, a publicity plan and so on.
We’re still working on targets and strategies, but even before we had the audit done, we started thinking about things we could do – and started doing them.
For example, when Roger (our tech supervisor) did a massive overhaul of our IT operating systems, he set our printer defaults to double-sided. Too easy: now if you want to print single-sided, you have to purposely select it, rather than the other way around. We’ll be able to quantify our paper savings later on.
We’re also trying to do more e-marketing. Although we still print and distribute season brochures, we ask our members to opt-in to hard copy mail-outs if they want them; the default is a link to our e-brochure flip-book. We don’t want anyone to miss out, so we still use the fabulous Arts Angels to help with our mail-outs, but we are saving on a reduced print run and postage. Our marketing manager Thom also recommends that season show producers use some of these methods for their publicity and opening night invitations. We team up with our neighbours at PICA to distribute them, halving the cost and carbon of our distro runs.
And let’s give nanna-wisdom its due. We are harking back to home economies: just turn that switch off already! We’re all more likely now to turn off our computers at the end of the working day. Sure they ‘go to sleep’ after a while if you forget, but they’re still drawing residual current on standby.
In the shared kitchen, we’ve put up a sign asking people to treat the water heater like a kettle, and turn it off at the wall after use. There’s also a hot water heater for the sink; we’ve turned the thermostat down so it doesn’t heat water to dangerously volcanic temperatures.
We’ve had our reusable slapband ‘tickets’ for ages, and now we remind patrons that they don’t have to print out their online ticket purchase – just give your name at the door and save a bunch of toner and paper!
All of these are really easy, quick changes that have happened as a result of simply talking about reducing our carbon footprint.