Minimise your Footprint

How to make your Wakakirri story sustainable

Below are some guidelines of what it means to be sustainable when creating a Wakakirri production. As you will see, it’s not about using bottles and cans and plastic bags to make props.

REDUCE

Reducing the amount of materials you buy is an excellent practice in sustainability.

  • Reduce the number of sets, props and costumes you decide to use

The first step towards making your Wakakirri story more sustainable is to make decisions about what kind and how many props and costumes you need to use in your production. An extravagant production might seem like a good idea to begin with but when you are faced with making hundreds of props and costumes it soon can become a long and costly task. It can also cause stress! You want your Wakakirri experience to be fun. Why not create a few special pieces of set rather than a whole stage full? Remember – less can be more. Devising a creative way to reduce the number of sets and props you use whilst still creating an imaginative and colourful production is an excellent sustainable practice.

  • Reduce the size of your props and sets

“We had so many props and they were so big we had to hire 3 trucks to transport them all to the show”- This is a bad sustainable outcome. Trucks can be expensive to hire, use a lot of petrol and are complicated to coordinate with drivers and loaders. Try making a rule that all props must fit into a single truck or a standard trailer or station wagon.  Reducing your carbon footprint is an excellent sustainable practice.

  • Reduce the weight of your props

Can all your sets and props be lifted safely by students? If not this can cause all kinds of issues. Heavy sets cost more to make, are harder to move and are bad for your back! Light, easy to transport sets and props will make your life easier in many ways. Sustainability can be applied to all parts of our lives and be good for our health.

  • Reduce and manage your paint and glue waste

What kind of glues, paints and other products will you use? Can you get environmentally friendly versions? Where will the waste end up? Consider that when you wash paint or glue down a drain it ends up in waterways. Those same chemicals enter the food chain and can end up in food on our own plates! Is there a better way to dispose of your waste? Reducing and managing waste disposal is an excellent sustainable practice.

  • Reduce your travel pollution

How will you travel to your Wakakirri rehearsals and to your Wakakirri performance? Are you traveling by public transport or car pooling? Is it possible for your Wakakirri School to reduce its travel footprint?

  • Reduce the stress on your teachers!

Keep your effort in perspective. Creating a Wakakirri production can require a lot of effort and resources and the larger your production, the more chance of teacher, student and parent burnout. Experienced Wakakirri schools achieve great productions by appreciating that it’s all about participation and not about perfect sets, props and execution. Be realistic and take a sustainable approach to what you are trying to achieve. You will have more fun and find yourself returning year after year achieving great outcomes for everyone.

REUSE

Reusing materials is a very good practice in sustainability.

  • Reuse old props and costumes

Can you hire or borrow a prop or costume instead of making a new one? Do you have access to objects that could be reused as a prop or costume?  Schools have been creating sets and props for a long time so there are plenty to borrow out there. Reusing props and costumes reduces cost, time, waste and stress. Schools participating in Wakakirri Story-Dance can share and exchange sets, props and costumes via the Wakakirri face book page.

  • Make a prop or costume that can be reused

It is OK to use new materials to make a prop or costume if it will have a long life and be reused many times. A well designed, light and robust backdrop flat is a good example of an item that can be reused by a school in different productions for many years. Ideally the new materials used would be from environmentally friendly sources and suppliers. Costumes and props can also be reused by being hired out.

  • Reuse teachers and parents

Seriously! Teachers who have done Wakakirri before are full of good ideas and experience and can save you a lot of work which is ultimately a great sustainable practice. Sustainability can be applied to every part of our lives.

RECYCLE

Recycling materials is a good practice in sustainability.

When you can no longer reuse materials, sort out the recyclable items and put them into recycling bins for collection – at home or at your school. Making new products from recycled materials helps prevent air and water pollution by using less water and electricity in the manufacturing process. When out shopping purchase products already in recycled containers (like some washing detergents) or choose food in containers that can be reused or recycled (like glass bottles or egg cartons).

Finally…

Improve your understanding of sustainability – working on your Wakakirri production is excellent for your physical (being active) and mental (being creative) health. It also strengthens the school community (making friends, teamwork) the local community (parents, family) and the greater surrounding community. Contributing to the improvement of all these things is an excellent sustainable practice. Fully understanding sustainability ultimately means applying it to all aspects of your life.