Broadway Theaters Have A Ton Of Lights But They Are More Environmentally Friendly Than You Think

"Young Frankenstein" marquee
(Photo : Reuters) The Broadway Green Alliance has worked five years to make theaters more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Now, it is sharing its methods with theaters all over the U.S. The marquee for the Broadway show "Young Frankenstein" can be seen on a truck bed as it is removed from the theater after ending its run in New York February 4, 2009.

The Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) has been making productions more environmentally friendly for five years. Now, it's expanding to help other theaters throughout the U.S., according to EcoBusiness.

In collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the organizations are hoping to bring sustainable ideas to other theaters and those affiliated with them.

For example, the Broadway Green Alliance helped bring energy efficient lighting to The Great White Way, the stretch of Broadway with the most dense collection of theaters and thousands showy lights. According to BGA the change is saving about 700 tons of carbon emissions each year.

The organization has immersed itself in many ways, besides light bulbs.

Broadway theatres have switched to greener cleaning products, appliances and established recycling programs and water filtration systems.

Shows are also assigned a BGA member to assist in bringing more environmentally friendly practices behind the curtains. The "Green Captains" include all different members of productions and some notables such as Bryan Cranston, Alan Cumming, Hugh Dancy, Montego Glover, Harriet Harris and Carol Kane. 

Another significant change was the implementation of rechargeable batteries versus disposable. "Wicked" was using 38 batteries every performance and now uses 96 rechargeable batteries a year, according to the BGA.

To help bring the greener practices to other theaters, the BGA created a Greener Lighting Guide in partnership with the Professional Lighting and Sound Association. 

It also is encouraging others to adopt their practices such as reusable water bottles, reducing the use of paper and utilizing renewable materials for sets.

"The single most important thing we can do to help save the planet is to change cultural assumptions and attitudes about how we should relate to Planet Earth," Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the NRDC who helped to co-found the BGA, told EcoBusiness. "By promoting energy efficiency, recycling programs, waste reduction, water conservation and other smart operations, theaters and productions will help keep our nation's air and water clean, reduce their contribution to global warming and achieve cost saving benefits at the same time." 

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