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EDINBURGH FRINGE 2019: SUSTAINABILITY DEBRIEF

So all in all the fringe is NOT a sustainable, environmentally friendly place. The floodloads of flyers; the supurfulous abundance of plastic cups/bottles/food items; the litter which huddles in puddles within every pavement crease...IT IS ENORMOUS, ENDLESS AND EVER SO UPSETTING. Yes, that deserves CAPS LOCK.


Regardless of this though, I persevere and still make an effort to come up for the formidable fringe. I pack my reusables and remind myself that it will be more tricky to remain eco-friendly during my time there. The very nature of the fringe does not really allow for ethical lifestyles, the tickets, the convenience items available as well as the sheer pace of the month does not permit you time or energy to keep up your sustainable habits.




Indeed, it is hard though that be no real excuse to throw in the towel. Plus there are great systems and teams working now to undo this festivals damage to the environment. Groups like Staging Change work to promote ethical behaviour in theatre life and routinely take their own pieces to the fringe, demonstrating that it can be done!


Venues are becoming more accommodating too. With the rise in users of the keep cups, bars and cafes were offering the obligatory discount to drinks, standard. Yet this year I saw many of the big ones (The udderbellys, pleasance hubs and assembly sites) have a general waste, recycling AND food waste bin ! VERY happy to see that...almost impressed, even.



ALSO! I saw there was a little nook dedicated to 'Sustainability at the Fringe. Which I was deeply hearten by. They were hosting daily workshops and talks on what audiences, performers and players could do in making more conscientious decisions thought there time there. I believe I also saw a handy water bottle refill station too, a perfect remedy to the STUPID amount of plastic water bottles people STILL seem to be going through.



Making my way round the city streets I was even more delighted to find many more zero waste shops crop into sight. I went inside the Refillery, near the Meadows, which has a wonderful selection of absolutely EVERYTHING you would seem to need. In Leith, they had a lovely little independent one too -'Weigh to Go'. This one had an amazing selection of products; including the biodegradable chewing gum Chewsy (try the lemon flavour - you won't regret it) in addition to a selection of natural, organic, vegan friendly bathroom products. I was smelling this shampoo bar for far too many minutes.



So its not all bleak and madness...there is some hope on the horizon, which is promising and good to see. I only hope they will take the plunge and go completely paper and plastic-less next year! That would be the dream, obvs.

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Drop Jess and Ellie at United Agents a line if you are interested in speaking more (they are very friendly!)

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Illustrations by the marvellous Mary