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Announcement Winner for the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award



Announcement Winner for the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award

Creative Carbon Scotland along with The Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts have this morning released the winner for the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre.

In a ceremony hosted by celebrated comedian Holly Burn, VOU Fiji Dance was presented with the award for their 2016 production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Are We Stronger Than Winston? The company received a hand-crafted award piece made from sustainable materials by local artist Coral Mallow at the ceremony, which was attended by many Fringe participants, as well as art industry and sustainability sector professionals. They will also be featured in the Center for Sustainable Practice’s Quarterly magazine.

With more applications than ever before, the judges agreed to shortlist 24 productions and choose 7 finalists. This unusually large selection reflected the high quality of the productions as well as their scope across all areas of sustainability. Judges assessed shows based on their artistic quality, their engagement with themes relating to social, economic and environmental sustainability, and their thoughtfulness around decisions relating to sustainable practice.

Director of the Centre of Sustainable Practice in the Arts, Ian Garrett, said:

“I’m thrilled and gratified to see how the award has been growing since its establishment in 2011 and how high the quality of the applying productions has been this year.”

The award winner, VOU Fiji Dance’s production of Are We Stronger Than Winston?, was created in response to the cyclone Winston, which devastated the South Pacific Islands in February this year. The dance piece depicts the horrors of the natural disaster, as well as the locals’ resilience in dealing with the strongly-felt impacts of climate change. They convinced the judges with this direct approach to the theme of sustainability in its form of human adaptation to a changing environment, as well as their excellent and moving performance. Moreover, they are conscious of their carbon emissions through travel and aimed to offset this by planting trees in their homeland. The company concluded their spring European Tour with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe run, appearing at Greenside @ Nicolson Square from August 5th to August 13th.

During the ceremony, Philip Brady, director of carbon-neutral printing company PR Print and Design and key supporter of the award, announced the finalists, with each runner up company recognised for their sustainability choices:

· Bird, Sita Pieraccini in association with Feral

For expressing the fragility of life in a dangerous environment through consistently expressive physical movement, sound and high production values. Engages by provoking questions rather than providing answers.

· Eden, Less Theatre

For its intentional and considered use of found objects in a way that transforms them into magical characters and for making a strong connection with the environment and waste as exhibited in material choices.

· Generation Zero, Lamphouse Theatre

For its exploration of a future where climate change has restricted our travel and lives, and the emotional impact of such a societal shift. A production where the ramifications of living unsustainably were at the heart of the plot.

· The Story of Mr B, Shake Shake Theatre

For using delightful and inventive upcycled puppetry to explore the human role in nature, and the importance of harmony in the world. It created an approachable context for children to understand the cycles of nature, and our need for it.

· World Without Us, Ontroerend Goed, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Vooruit, Richard Jordan Productions

For a purely executed, uncompromising look at human transience and how that manifests in the unsustainability of our built world

· Romeo & Juliet, The HandleBards

Receiving a special commendation for their continued excellence in sustainable practice.


The Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award is a collaboration between its founder, the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA), and Creative Carbon Scotland (CCS), working together with media partner the List magazine and sponsor PR Print & Design, supported by the Arts & Business Scotland’s New Arts Sponsorship Grants programme.

Philip Brady, Director of PR Print and Design said:

“Our business has strived for the last 10 years to highlight the importance of sustainability. We are delighted to be associated with this initiative and look forward to continuing our journey with this sustainable Fringe award and Creative Carbon Scotland.”


We are delighted to be associated with this initiative and look forward to continuing our journey


Arts & Business Scotland Chief Executive David Watt said:

“We’re delighted to be able to support the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award through the New Arts Sponsorship Grants programme as an excellent example of partnership working within the sector with a focus on environmental sustainability.”

Director of Creative Carbon Scotland Ben Twist said:

“The Fringe Sustainable Practice Award celebrates all the things that we are interested in: high quality artistic work that is produced sustainably and engages with themes of sustainability in the widest sense. We’re thrilled to collaborate with all of our partners to shine a low-carbon light on the great work in this field by more and more companies every year.”

Each year the award is given to a production that exhibits high quality artistic integrity and engages the company and audiences with the issues of sustainability in all of its forms. It celebrates different approaches to sustainable practice both in content and in the production of shows, and rewards those that take responsibility for their social, environmental and economic impacts and think creatively about how the arts can help grow a sustainable world.


Will Self-Driving Cars Be Better for the Environment?



self-driving cars for green environment
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Zapp2Photo |

Technologists, engineers, lawmakers, and the general public have been excitedly debating about the merits of self-driving cars for the past several years, as companies like Waymo and Uber race to get the first fully autonomous vehicles on the market. Largely, the concerns have been about safety and ethics; is a self-driving car really capable of eliminating the human errors responsible for the majority of vehicular accidents? And if so, who’s responsible for programming life-or-death decisions, and who’s held liable in the event of an accident?

But while these questions continue being debated, protecting people on an individual level, it’s worth posing a different question: how will self-driving cars impact the environment?

The Big Picture

The Department of Energy attempted to answer this question in clear terms, using scientific research and existing data sets to project the short-term and long-term environmental impact that self-driving vehicles could have. Its findings? The emergence of self-driving vehicles could essentially go either way; it could reduce energy consumption in transportation by as much as 90 percent, or increase it by more than 200 percent.

That’s a margin of error so wide it might as well be a total guess, but there are too many unknown variables to form a solid conclusion. There are many ways autonomous vehicles could influence our energy consumption and environmental impact, and they could go well or poorly, depending on how they’re adopted.

Driver Reduction?

One of the big selling points of autonomous vehicles is their capacity to reduce the total number of vehicles—and human drivers—on the road. If you’re able to carpool to work in a self-driving vehicle, or rely on autonomous public transportation, you’ll spend far less time, money, and energy on your own car. The convenience and efficiency of autonomous vehicles would therefore reduce the total miles driven, and significantly reduce carbon emissions.

There’s a flip side to this argument, however. If autonomous vehicles are far more convenient and less expensive than previous means of travel, it could be an incentive for people to travel more frequently, or drive to more destinations they’d otherwise avoid. In this case, the total miles driven could actually increase with the rise of self-driving cars.

As an added consideration, the increase or decrease in drivers on the road could result in more or fewer vehicle collisions, respectively—especially in the early days of autonomous vehicle adoption, when so many human drivers are still on the road. Car accident injury cases, therefore, would become far more complicated, and the roads could be temporarily less safe.


Deadheading is a term used in trucking and ridesharing to refer to miles driven with an empty load. Assume for a moment that there’s a fleet of self-driving vehicles available to pick people up and carry them to their destinations. It’s a convenient service, but by necessity, these vehicles will spend at least some of their time driving without passengers, whether it’s spent waiting to pick someone up or en route to their location. The increase in miles from deadheading could nullify the potential benefits of people driving fewer total miles, or add to the damage done by their increased mileage.

Make and Model of Car

Much will also depend on the types of cars equipped to be self-driving. For example, Waymo recently launched a wave of self-driving hybrid minivans, capable of getting far better mileage than a gas-only vehicle. If the majority of self-driving cars are electric or hybrids, the environmental impact will be much lower than if they’re converted from existing vehicles. Good emissions ratings are also important here.

On the other hand, the increased demand for autonomous vehicles could put more pressure on factory production, and make older cars obsolete. In that case, the gas mileage savings could be counteracted by the increased environmental impact of factory production.

The Bottom Line

Right now, there are too many unanswered questions to make a confident determination whether self-driving vehicles will help or harm the environment. Will we start driving more, or less? How will they handle dead time? What kind of models are going to be on the road?

Engineers and the general public are in complete control of how this develops in the near future. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see all the safety benefits of having autonomous vehicles on the road, but without any of the extra environmental impact to deal with.

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Road Trip! How to Choose the Greenest Vehicle for Your Growing Family



Greenest Vehicle
Licensed Image by Shutterstock - By Mascha Tace --

When you have a growing family, it often feels like you’re in this weird bubble that exists outside of mainstream society. Whereas everyone else seemingly has stability, your family dynamic is continuously in flux. Having said that, is it even possible to buy an eco-friendly vehicle that’s also practical?

What to Look for in a Green, Family-Friendly Vehicle?

As a single person or young couple without kids, it’s pretty easy to buy a green vehicle. Almost every leading car brand has eco-friendly options these days and you can pick from any number of options. The only problem is that most of these models don’t work if you have kids.

Whether it’s a Prius or Smart car, most green vehicles are impractical for large families. You need to look for options that are spacious, reliable, and comfortable – both for passengers and the driver.

5 Good Options

As you do your research and look for different opportunities, it’s good to have an open mind. Here are some of the greenest options for growing families:

1. 2014 Chrysler Town and Country

Vans are not only popular for the room and comfort they offer growing families, but they’re also becoming known for their fuel efficiency. For example, the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country – which was one of CarMax’s most popular minivans of 2017 – has Flex Fuel compatibility and front wheel drive. With standard features like these, you can’t do much better at this price point.

2. 2017 Chrysler Pacifica

If you’re looking for a newer van and are willing to spend a bit more, you can go with Chrysler’s other model, the Pacifica. One of the coolest features of the 2017 model is the hybrid drivetrain. It allows you to go up to 30 miles on electric, before the vehicle automatically switches over to the V6 gasoline engine. For short trips and errands, there’s nothing more eco-friendly in the minivan category.

3. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Who says you have to buy a minivan when you have a family? Sure, the sliding doors are nice, but there are plenty of other options that are both green and spacious. The new Volkswagen Atlas is a great choice. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient third-row vehicles on the market. The four-cylinder model gets an estimated 26 mpg highway.

4. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

While a minivan or SUV is ideal – and necessary if you have more than two kids – you can get away with a roomy sedan when you still have a small family. And while there are plenty of eco-friendly options in this category, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is arguably the biggest bang for your buck. It gets 38 mpg on the highway and is incredibly affordable.

5. 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel

If money isn’t an object and you’re able to spend any amount to get a good vehicle that’s both comfortable and eco-friendly, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Diesel is your car. Not only does it get 28 mpg highway, but it can also be equipped with a third row of seats and a diesel engine. And did we mention that this car looks sleek?

Putting it All Together

You have a variety of options. Whether you want something new or used, would prefer an SUV or minivan, or want something cheap or luxurious, there are plenty of choices on the market. The key is to do your research, remain patient, and take your time. Don’t get too married to a particular transaction, or you’ll lose your leverage.

You’ll know when the right deal comes along, and you can make a smart choice that’s functional, cost-effective, and eco-friendly.

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