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The Green Sheet - Issue 21 - Fall 2014
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Issue 21 - Fall 2014

Impossible Things Are
Happening Every Day!

By Katherine McNamee

 



In the doldrums of winter this year, a very special project took place amongst the theatres of Broadway.  The ladies of Broadway released their inner Fairy Godmothers in what became the first BGA Cinderella Project. Local One member Annie Miller brought this unique opportunity to the BGA’s attention and it was a match made in fairy tale heaven! Over the course of a few weeks, ladies on both sides of the curtain in multiple theatres combed through their closets and ended

up donating a total of 100 dresses to the Orange Ulster County BOCES Special Education Program, a program which provides dresses and tailoring so teen girls can attend prom in style.

 

Since Broadway is in the business of telling stories, and these dresses all had stories of their own, the BGA created “story cards” to be filled out by each gown’s owner, regaling tales of galas, opening nights, concerts, red carpets, Tony Awards and so much more!

  
Annie Miller tirelessly retrieved gowns from up and down Broadway for weeks, and delivered them in time for the gowns to be presented for the lovely girls to walk through a dream closet and pick whatever style and color made them feel as happy and pretty as every girl should at their prom.


The BGA also collected 
dress shoes and purses to make a complete prom package.

The BGA hopes to make this an annual event, expanding to include men’s suits as well.  Beginning after the holidays each year, through early spring, keep your eyes open, and maybe you can be some lucky teen’s very own personal Fairy Godmother
or Godfather!


(Right: Kelly Grant, Annie Miller, and Green Captain Satomi Hofmann backstage at THE PHANTOM OF
THE OPERA)

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E-Waste Recycling Drive - Sept 17th:


Join us from 10am-2pm in Duffy Square and recycle your e-waste! Click our flyer for more information!
 

SDC GREEN ADVOCACY
 


On July 14, 2014, SDC’s Executive Board voted unanimously to endorse the following statement in support of environmental advocacy:

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society supports the important work of the Broadway Green Alliance and recommends that all SDC directors and choreographers, as leaders in the theatrical community, create an environment that welcomes and encourages the use of sustainable practices in their productions nationwide. A list of recommended green practices can be found at www.broadwaygreen.com. Our efforts can have a powerful impact on public awareness and acceptance of this important issue.

Broadway.com Goes Green
 

This spring we heard from BGA member Malia Brown about the greening efforts underway at Broadway.com.  Malia explains, “During the first quarter of 2014, Broadway.com and Broadway Across America’s New York office has taken steps to engage our workforce to live greener at work and at home.”

They began with a campaign to phase out paper cup use by providing employees with reusable coffee mugs (see picture). They are expecting this one change to eliminate roughly 800 paper cups each month.  

 

They then increased the number of mixed paper and metal/glass/plastic recycling bins throughout the office.  This is a great way to encourage more recycling in your office. Many commercial trash haulers will help you in your efforts by providing bins and signs since they make more money selling the higher-quality recycled materials that 

good pre-collection sorting can yield. Used but clean white paper has a high value as a recycled material, and if you are not separating it out at your office, you should be.


Broadway.com also switched to post-consumer recycled copy paper and environmentally friendly cleaning products.  These simple and easy-to-accomplish changes have set them on a much greener path. Malia adds, “Building on these accomplishments, we look to continue our green initiative by reducing paper plate and napkin use, and providing both biodegradable and stainless steel kitchen utensils. And we will continue to receive efficiency consultations from a dedicated Office Depot representative.”  We wish Malia and her office well in their greening efforts.

If you would like to help your office get greener start with the BGA’s list of Top Ten Ways to Green Your Office available here.  
 

Sustainability at
THE BLUE MAN GROUP

By Marisha Thakker

 


The Blue Man Group has been an example of sustainable success in the off-Broadway community. This month, the BGA interviewed Lory Henning, the production stage manager of their NYC show, to find out exactly how the cast and crew are going green. 

One of the most successful green initiatives at the Blue Man Group is its extensive recycling and composting program. Many consumable items (like bananas and cream cheese) are used during every production, so by investing in compost bins, the Blue Man Group is able to reduce the production’s food waste as well as saving on the cost of garbage disposal. 



Furthermore, the Blue Man Group has many green backstage practices. A whiteboard is used as a sign-in sheet to conserve paper, rechargeable batteries for microphones replace disposable ones, compact fluorescent lights are used in the dressing rooms, costumes are donated or recycled after use, and many of the instruments that the Blue Man Group uses are made from recycled materials. Another very clever project is the Take-A-Bag/Leave-A-Bag program, where employees bring in their reusable bags so that others can take one for free instead of using brand new ones. While these initiatives may seem small-scale, Henning said the most important part of the change has been support from the team and a necessity to do the right thing without compromising artistic freedom.

Meet a BGA Supporter:  
ERNEST WINZER CLEANERS
 


Have you ever wondered how all of those Broadway costumes stay so clean after eight performances a week?  Well, since way back in 1908, most of Broadway’s costumes have been cleaned by one family-owned company in the Bronx.  In fact the story goes that old Ernest Winzer handled the costumes worn by George M. Cohan, Helen Hayes, Laurette Taylor, Billie Burke, and the Barrymores.  Today, Winzer still cleans 85% of Broadway’s costumes.  Winzer has been a supporter of the Broadway Green Alliance since its beginning and they even talk a bit about green on their website:

“From day one, Winzer has been doing professional wet cleaning and recycling! Family folklore has it that we used the manure from our early horse drawn delivery carriages in Grandpa Al’s garden! While we’re not sure how true that is, we are proud to say that we were recycling, conserving and wet cleaning many items long before it became eco-fashionable.”
 

Bruce Barish, the third generation of his family to run Winzer, is always up to date on the latest research about dry cleaning in the greenest way.  Winzer has invested in an IPURA cleaning system which calls itself the most energy efficient and gentle cleaning system on the market. They also have an ozone chamber for getting odors out of clothing that cannot be washed.  Mr. Barish points out that the EPA’s Design for the Environment Program favors professional wet cleaning as an environmentally friendly cleaning process. Winzer offers professional wet cleaning for those items suitable for the process though for general dry cleaning they use a hydrocarbon solvent in their IPURA system.  Mr. Barish points out that getting theatrical make-up out of delicate costumes usually requires much more than wet cleaning can accomplish.
 
Other ways that Winzer gets greener is by using re-usable dry cleaning bags (many also sport the BGA logo—see picture) to help cut down on the use of film plastic bags. And the film plastic that they do use is called “Eco-Green” and is degradable in some environments.  They also take back all hangers for reuse and recycling and they even use shows’ stuffer slips for note taking and labelling their deliveries.  Now we know where to send the slips that we don’t make into note pads! In hopes of getting even greener, they are investigating the use of hybrid cars and trucks for their pick-ups and deliveries.  Winzer Cleaners has been recognized for their efforts toward achieving environmental sustainability in the dry cleaning industry by the Green Cleaners Council, and has been certified by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as an ‘environmental dry cleaner.’

Since there is no government or official definition of ‘organic’ or ‘green’ dry cleaning it is encumbent on the consumer to investigate the cleaning methods of any dry cleaners, especially ones that call themselves “green.”  The NRDC offers tips for consumers here

We recently took a trip up to the Bronx to see the Winzer plant where the office is decorated with window cards and a big Al Hirshfeld drawing hangs over Mr. Barish’s desk.  As Mr. Barish led us around the place it was clear that he and Sarah Barish take a great amount of pride in what they do.  They are happy to keep their long run on Broadway going and the BGA is delighted to have them as supporters. 

Copyright © 2014 Broadway Green Alliance, All rights reserved.


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