Celebrating Earth Day: Building a Greener Future through Creative Engagement 

Climate scientist Alistair Ford standing next to Hotspur Primary school students who are acting out a scene.

In the quest for environmental sustainability, actions, both big and small, pave the way for a brighter, greener future. At the heart of our efforts lies a commitment to making a tangible difference. On this Earth Day, we’re reflecting on the work we do and also thinking ahead to how we can further contribute. Our mission is not merely to prioritise, but also to educate on the urgent need to safeguard our planet.

Here at Cap-a-Pie, we create shows and workshops with and for our community that are relevant, interesting and thought-provoking. At our core, we specialise in bringing people together for a shared creative journey. Through partnerships with schools, communities, educators, researchers, and scientists, we craft theatre experiences that spark curiosity about the world around us, with environmental sustainability being an important topic we cover.  Each year, during our consultations with young people, their concern for protecting the environment consistently emerges as the top thing they care about. As a result, we ensure their ideas are incorporated into our work.

In 2021 we began collaborating with the Living Deltas Research Hub to create a unique Deltas project exploring Asian mega-deltas and our connection to nature, including places like the Mekong and Ganges deltas – some of the most valuable and vulnerable parts of the world.  Through fun and creative activities, school pupils learn more about how we can protect them from climate change and human impact.

Reflecting on their experiences, one pupil put it simply, “If we don’t respect nature, there will be consequences for humans”. Another pointed out, “When we get water everyday it’s easy but for others it’s not.” And one teacher noticed a big change, “My students’ understanding of human geography overall has drastically increased and their curiosity is such that we seem to always be returning to conversations around sand mining, water and co-existing with wildlife amongst other things.”

Our award-winning Climate Change Catastrophe! filmed theatre show and education programme was created with young people and engineers from Newcastle University, and it was chosen to be shown at COP26 in 2021. Since then, the show has been seen by hundreds of children and adults across the North East. To coincide with Earth Day, we’re making the show available to watch on YouTube from Monday 22 April for a week. Find out more here.

Teachers can also access our Climate Change Catastrophe! resources, which include downloadable lesson plans featuring fun and creative activities tailored for Key Stage 2 learners. 

Young people who took part in the project valued the opportunity to share their thoughts on climate change with a wide audience. A student commented, “I think it’s very good that ‘Climate Change Catastrophe!’ is being shown at COP26, it’s a better chance of kids’ ideas getting out into the world.” Another said, “I feel very angry. It made me want to save the world.”

Our brand-new Marvellous Microbes workshop raises awareness of research into microbes, particularly how this is enabling environmental sustainability. But that’s not all. Our workshop will be entirely transportable by bike, as we plan to transport all necessary materials via this eco-friendly mode of transportation. This not only minimises our reliance on fossil fuels but also sets a precedent for future projects. Through careful evaluation and learning, we aim to refine our approach and inspire others to embrace sustainable practices.

One pivotal step we’re taking is the adoption of the Theatre Green Book across all our productions. The Theatre Green Book, an initiative led by the entire theatre community, aims to promote sustainable practices within the industry. Serving as our compass, is directs us towards eco-friendly practices that reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainability.

Moreover, we’re focusing on local partnerships and venues accessible via cycling, walking, or public transport. By prioritising proximity and sustainable travel methods, we’re not only reducing emissions but also strengthening community ties.

Every action, no matter how small, contributes to the larger movement towards environmental stewardship. Together, let’s continue to champion sustainability and build a more resilient world for generations to come.

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