• Mariah Freda (Artistic Associate)

#EcoPledge: Island Edition

In April, 2017, we began our initial phase of research and exploration of This Sinking Island. Our focus was on sea level rise and its relationship to human-triggered climate change. We were struck by two places in particular: the disappearing Kiribati Islands and Tangier Island. Both of these places, on almost opposite side of the earth, were (and are) disappearing into the sea.

There was one quote in particular that really struck me when we starting researching them and that was: “Climate change is a global problem with local effects,” meaning: there are very specific places that are suffering due to climate change but the actions and the people who are causing problem could be on very distant shores. The way to stop climate change and its effects is to have global cooperation to make positive change. It immediately started to have an effect on the way that I viewed my personal actions. If, say, I purchased a plastic bottle of water, and even if I was sure to recycle it, there was no guarantee that the same bottle wouldn’t someday resurface on another person’s land.

It gave me pause.

When a few months later, we began rehearsals for The Anthropologists Save the World! (Ice Factory 2017), we were again looking at climate change, but more specifically on the ability - or inability - for humans to change. We have the science, we have lists of helpful solutions, but what will it take to actually put them into practice?

We decided to test this theory, both in the show and in our lives. All of the team members (about 14 of us) made eco pledges. We asked ourselves what we were willing to change to help the environment and we promised to stick to it for the duration of the production.

I decided to take a good, hard look at my relationship to single use plastic, and let me tell you, it’s everywhere.

I gave up accepting plastic shopping bags, invested in reusable straws, only purchased beverages if I had a reusable bottle on me and stopped buying those amazingly convenient food pouches for my 1 year old son. The beautiful thing about making a pledge like this, and doing it alongside of a group of other artists, is that a higher level of mindfulness starts to seep into your everyday. Suddenly, I was making other small changes, like no longer buying paper towels or paper napkins, switching from bottled soap to bar soap and significantly cutting down on meat consumption. I even found these amazing mesh produce bags so that I no longer had to load my string beans or apples into those horrible plastic ones at the grocery store.

It’s been a little over a year and The Anthropologists is launching a tour of This Sinking Island, this time with new teams members and a new resolve. What better way to start off on the right foot that make some new ego pledges?!

Here’s a look at what the new cast and team members will be taking on for the duration of this production and hopefully onward from there.

To take a look at one of the resources that inspired our choices, check out The Drawdown.

Irina (Visual Designer and master of creating magic with reused materiasl!)

My eco pledge is to reduce a fast fashion (such as Zara, H&M, Forever 21, Gap etc) consumption. There are 3 main reasons to stop or buy less of fast fashion brands:

1. textile waste is one of the largest wastes on this planet;

2. sweatshops where fast fashion brand produce their items are usually in a total disrepair;

3. workers (mostly all kinds of women and children) are underpaid, overworked, have been raped or assaulted on the job.

I will try to buy second hand or thrift. I will buy from more Ethical brands or indie brands. To support the effort, go here.

Arden (Ensemble)

I was walking home from the grocery store yesterday with those plastic bags when I had my eco pledge revelation...I’m planning on only using reusable grocery bags. Also, something that I actually started at the beginning of this week - I read an article about how tampons have been such a detriment to the environment, so I purchased a diva cup to try and cut back on feminine hygiene waste! I’m currently trying it out for the first time, and it’s AMAZING so far! I feel a lot better not wasting both plastic and paper!

Kimberly (Ensemble)

As my Eco Pledge, I will be mindful of the ways overuse water. Taking shorter showers, not letting the water run while I brush my teeth, washing dishes quickly, trying to minimize the times I use washing machines, etc.

Katherine (Ensemble)

I will try and compost my compostable food scraps. I have not been successful at this up to now.

Ari (Ensemble)

I've decided to recycle. I have a lot of paper waste, food waste, and plastic waste at home and while we do separate the plastic from the garbage we don't do the same for other things. So my eco-pledge is to start recycling the waste at home properly; plastic, metal, food waste, etc.

Tiffany (Stage Manager)

I’m terrible at conserving energy. I’m that annoying person who forgets to turn off lights, leaves my laptop charger plugged in forever, etc...Sooo...My eco-pledge is to be more mindful of my energy use and conserve as much as possible.

Melissa (Artistic Director / Director)

I’m renewing my past pledges to eat vegetarian (and this time really cut out fish!) and to reduce my plastic consumption AND I'm going to start talking to my favorite neighborhood businesses about reducing their single use waste (e.g. straws, styrofoam containers).

And my pledge?

Mariah (Artistic Associate / Composer)

I will continuing to practice all of the previous changes I made and will push myself to really examine how much food waste I am producing. Those leftovers won’t eat themselves!

Make a pledge today to support art that inspires action! Make a donation of $10 or more in honor of our 10th Season.

Don’t miss This Sinking Island, October 21-31 in six different locations in Washington Heights & Inwood! Reserve your free tickets here: http://bit.ly/IslandUptown

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