Greening the Arts at Wolf Trap

Guest post by Alison Drucker

The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts has a unique opportunity to be a leader in environmental education. In addition to operating some of the D.C. area’s premier performance venues, it’s also a national park.

They’ve risen to the challenge with an ambitious Go Green program, which in its first two years has resulted in a 23 percent reduction in energy use, a 20 percent lower carbon footprint, and a 50 percent decrease in landfill waste.

To get there, the Foundation’s actions have ranged from the traditional (energy-efficient lighting and heating/cooling) to the creative (a carpool incentive program, growing fresh herbs for its catering business, and composting). LEED certification is in process for one of their facilities.

In addition to improving its own operations, Wolf Trap leverages its venues to inspire audiences to do their part with new sustainability-themed performances, including The Sun Road (a dance reflection on melting glaciers in Glacier National Park). The “Start Early for the Earth” program gets kids in on the action, too, with The Junkyard Pirates – a puppet show about recycling that has been presented to more than 7,000 children, parents, and teachers.

All these efforts recently earned the Foundation the 2010 Sustainability Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ National Capitol Section, along with three consecutive outstanding EPA ratings for effective recycling. And given their place at the unique crossroads of the arts and the national park system, they’ve also been recognized by the National Park Service’s Climate Friendly Parks Program.

Along with the likes of Willie Nelson, Guster, and the Roots, the Wolf Trap Foundation is a founding member of the Green Music Group – becoming part of a broader group of high-profile performing arts entities committed to environmental leadership.

Poste, Wolftrap, Kiehls Celebrate Earth Day

The events just keep rolling in for Earth Day. Here are a few that you may want to check out:

Garden Party at Poste

Wednesday evening, get a taste of spring and support FRESHFARM Markets. For a measly $5, you’ll enjoy cheese tastings from Cowgirl Creamery, wine samples from local vineyards, and more. The fun starts at 5 on Poste’s patio.

Kiehl's Argan LotionKiehls and Potomac Riverkeeper Event

Drop by the Kiehl’s store in Georgetown on Wednesday from 6-8 for the unveiling of the uber-skincare line’s limited edition Argan Body Lotion featuring labels designed by Adrien Grenier, Erykah Badu, Kelly Slater, and a team of students from Parsons.
Potomac Riverkeeper will benefit from the proceeds raised from this Limited Edition Series.

Computer and electronics recycling at Wolf Trap

Serious about spring cleaning and recycling? On Saturday April 25th you can drop off obsolete computers, audio and stereo equipment, DVD players, telephones, cell phones, televisions, and more at Wolf Trap’s Center for Education. Find out more here.

Art & Environmental Festival at Wolf Trap

No plans for the weekend? Shame on you. But not to worry, we’ve got a suggestion. Head to Wolf Trap’s National Arts and Environment Summit, July 13 and 14. It’s part of the Foundation’s year-old “Go Green with Wolf Trap” initiative to raise awareness of environmental issues within the performing arts community.

The two-day event kicks off on Sunday, July 13, with an eco-friendly public performance headlined by Hootie & The Blowfish. Reverb (a seriously cool environmental non-profit started by Adam Gardner of Guster fame and his wife Lauren Sullivan) will be on hand to help educate and engage fans in environmental sustainability.

For its part, Wolf Trap promotes on-site recycling, paper-less ticketing, and public transportation to the venue, and its ultimate goal is to “eventually [position] Wolf Trap as an environmental model and resource for arts presenters across the country.”

On Monday, a group of the nation’s foremost environmental and arts experts, along with government, community, and business leaders, will convene at Booz Allen Hamilton headquarters in McLean, VA, to talk about strategies and solutions for engaging performing artists and performing arts presenters in environmental stewardship. The final portion of the summit will be open to the public for comment and participation via the Internet.