4 Easy Ways Dancers Can Help Protect The Environment

Happy Earth Day! Though there’s only one date a year dedicated to formally showing our planet a little love, the Earth Day Network works all year long to find solutions to climate change, lessen plastic pollution, and protect the environment and our animals - and so should we. Think one person can’t make a difference? If one million people pitch in one dollar, you raise a million dollars. So if one million people don’t purchase one water bottle, that’s one million plastic bottles less in our oceans. Here are some ways that you can incorporate eco-friendly products into your everyday routine.

4 Easy Ways Dancers Can Help Protect The Environment: Reusable Bottles

1. Reusable Water Bottles

Many dancers have already adapted to this eco-friendly trend, but I still see plenty of plastic bottles at the studio, so it’s worth mentioning here. So much plastic ends up in our oceans, putting our ecosystem and our planet’s animals at risk. Reusable water bottles are a super easy and convenient way to cut down on the amount of plastic we consume (not to mention the chemicals you ingest with each sip from a plastic bottle!) Investing in one will actually save you money in the long run as well. The most common options are stainless steel, BPA-free plastic, and glass (take your recycling to the next level and re-purpose a spaghetti sauce or mason jar). I personally like to use simple stainless steel; they come in multiple colors and are easy to wash! If you own a studio or space, instead of selling plastic water bottles, you can install a filtered water fountain, where dancers can fill up their reusable water bottle.

4 Easy Ways Dancers Can Help Protect The Environment: Recycled Costumes

2. Recycled Costumes

Have you ever considered researching recycled costumes for your next performance? Turns out there are a number of resources available to make your used costumes brand new for another dancer. Encore Costume Couture and reCREATE are two websites where you can buy and sell previously worn costumes. There’s also Traveling Tutus, which is a non-profit organization who takes donated costumes and gives them to needy children around the world. Recycling and spreading joy? What could be better!?

4 Easy Ways Dancers Can Help Protect The Environment: Eco-Friendly Make-Up

3. Zero-Waste Makeup

If you perform a lot, chances are that you go through a solid amount of makeup. That’s a lot of makeup, and a lot of empty containers. Luckily, there are a number of cosmetic brands that have made a commitment to prioritize sustainability, and by purchasing them, you can also help protect the environment!

One such line is Elate Beauty, which you can purchase online. Elate’s makeup is vegan and cruelty-free, and use eco-friendly natural bamboo packaging. The company also offers refills, so once you run out of mascara you can send the tube back, they’ll recycle it and send you more of your favorite product. Each refill is wrapped in bamboo seed paper, which means you can actually plant it and grow your own bamboo! Another brand is Lush, home of the original bath bomb (and who doesn’t love a nice relaxing bath after a show??).  Unlike Elate, they have quite a few stores around the country, so this may be more convenient for you! They have a number of options for natural makeup that can be used onstage or in everyday life, as well as other eco-friendly products, such as soap and deodorant. One super cool thing about the British label is that over 30% of their products can be purchased without packaging, which helps conserve our limited resources!

4 Easy Ways Dancers Can Help Protect The Environment: Transportation

4. Transportation

Using one gallon of gas creates about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. One way to mitigate this is to take public transit; not only is this eco-friendly, but you can browse the internet or get some work done instead of dealing with crazy drivers! Depending on where you live, this may or may not be an option for you. If you live in a city with convenient public transport options, this is probably already part of your daily routine. If you don’t, think outside the box! Consider riding a bike or scooter; if you don’t own one, your city may offer some commuter options - for example, you can rent bicycles in New York with CityBike or in Los Angeles with Metro Bike Share; as far as scooters, many companies such as Bird, Lime, or Scoot have expanded internationally. Not a fan of the 2-wheeler? Ok, then how about carpooling to classes or auditions with a friend that lives nearby. Another option would be to use ride share services, such as Uber Pool or Lyft Line. Though it may cost you a few bucks, think of how much you could save on gas (not to mention how grateful our environment will be!).

Hopefully we’ve inspired you to consider making a few simple changes into your dance routine that can help us preserve our planet. After all - it’s the only one we’re ever going to get!

About the author

Anne Luben has performed works by notable choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Bill T. Jones, Jiri Kylian, Idan Cohen, Alex Ketley, and Summer Lee Rhatigan, among others.