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ASAM are looking for ways to develop sustainability within the industry and are currently involved in the Theatre Green Book:

"Groups and individuals across theatre have been talking for some time about how to make theatre more sustainable and working on blueprints to promote change. The Theatre Green Book aims to bring that thinking together into one place, and develop it as straightforward, practical advice on the first steps everyone should be taking to make productions, theatre buildings and front-of-house operations sustainable.

This ‘Green Book’ of guidance for sustainable theatre will focus on first steps: what everyone can and should be doing to change their practice now, but it will also map out paths ahead, indicating what further steps might be needed to reach a sustainable future quickly."

- See for more information.

What can we do?

Suggestions for scenics

The following advice is from The Green Book:


• Use 3 bucket system (pre washing brushes and trays before they are cleaned in    the sink, so less material goes down the drain)
• Reuse paints.
• Reuse (or recycle) metal tins.
• Use eco roller trays and brushes.
• Use water-based paints with lowest possible carbon footprint.
• Shop locally.
• Avoid using chemicals wherever possible.
• See Scenic Art Guild of America ( water- and time-effective guidance on cleaning roller sleeves.
• Nails and Tacks are reusable fixings as opposed to staples and brads. Where appropriate can nails and tac be used and reused. Products
• Use natural varnishes, dyes and lacquers, raw oils, petroleum-free wax, PVA adhesives, bio paints with low VOC content, biodegradable or paper-based tapes and chalk.
• Try eco clay paints (though they are expensive). Makers include: - Lakeland : - Celtic Sustainables : - Eico :
• Bristol Paint ( has a lower carbon footprint as a UK company than ROSCO, which is USA based.
• Bristol Paint make a range of eco brushes and roller trays : • Explore traditional & natural size and powder paint.
• Explore flour and water solution for indoor use on papier-mâché which dries 'rock hard'.

• PVA (polyvinyl acetate) paints, chemical glazes and two-part fillers.
• Glitter
• Harmful plastics and chemicals, including aerosols, parabens, triclosan and PVC.

Click below to view notes ASAM Zoom talk with Hilary-Vernon Smith.

Head of Scenic Art at the National Theatre for over 20 years, Hilary hosted this talk with our members to chat about the potential of bringing back some old-school scenic methods and why some of our current practices are harmful to the environment. 


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We are always looking for more people and voices to get involved in sustainability talks.


Email to get involved.

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