Each month at the Gate, we set ourselves a monthly Green Gate Challenge. Green Gate is what we call our sustainability policy and, for the past couple of months, we’ve embarked on monthly challenges.
The challenges are about changing how we think in the long term (and not just for that month), but we’ve found that giving each month a focus helps us keep sustainability and our Green Gate Policy at the forefront of our thinking as an organisation.
If you’ve ever been to the Gate offices, you’ll know that during the winter months the offices get rather cold, and so with Spring on the horizon, we decided to try to turn off our beloved electric heaters (no central heater at Gate HQ, I’m afraid) and end our turbulent love affair with the energy-absorbing tykes.
On average each heater was using 462.9 watts of energy and costing us £3.66 a day.
It wasn’t easy switching them off, and it wasn’t always possible, but in the Production Office alone we stopped using the heaters between 2-6pm in order to half our consumption of energy.
It’s something we’re going to continue throughout April and beyond!
Here’s how the Gate team found it!
“This month’s Green Gate Challenge was particularly difficult for me as I’m someone who has bad circulation so I’m forever cold. It meant that I had to wear quite a lot of layers which is fine but no one wants to do their work in scarves and gloves! It got better towards the end of the month but it’s been the hardest challenge yet. However, knowing how much money we were saving and how much we were helping our little environment meant that I was able to keep motivated to make a difference.”
Natasha Brown, Marketing and Audience Development Officer
“For me, this challenge wasn’t too tricky. Managing the overheads budget for the theatre meant I was also motivated by seeing the cost per day of the heaters! In particular, March’s challenge really reminded me that being “green” and thinking in a sustainable manner is both good for the planet’s long term ecology but also good for your budgets.”
Chrissy Angus, General Manager
“I loved March’s challenge. The Gate’s basement offices are so poorly insulated and chilly and there’s very little we can do about that in the peak winter months. But now that spring is here, it’s good to trial being a little less reliant on our energy-guzzling heaters. I found myself working in the Production Office with most of the other staff when I could, in order to turn off my office’s heater completely. This way of working was also just way more fun – so win win.”
Clare Slater, Executive Director
“I won’t lie, this month’s challenge wasn’t easy for me. I’m cold pretty much all the time, sometimes even with a hoodie on! Not being a fan of having loads of layers on, I wasn’t thrilled when the heater was turned off. However, I quite like that this month's challenge (and all the challenges we’re doing) was such a small action. I also found myself drinking more tea to keep me warm and hydrated. It reminded me that even the smallest change in our habits can really make a difference both to our planet and to our health.”
Suzy Sancho, Creative Apprentice, Theatre Administrator