The Chicago Green Theatre Alliance was founded in 2014 with a mission to encourage, educate, and motivate theatres and theatre professionals to work together to adopt more environmentally-friendly practices.

Join our Facebook group or follow us on Twitter @ChiGreenTheatre and use the hashtag #chigreentheatre to share your greening efforts.

Green Tip of the Week: Use filtered water or fountains to replace plastic bottled water. Issue show or theatre logo water bottles to all personnel then store them in a pocketed shoe hanging rack. Click to Tweet

Next Chicago Green Theater Alliance Meeting

The CGTA is meeting virtually during covid. Please join the CGTA Facebook group for notifications about future CGTA meetings and events. 

Merritt Awards Idea Exchange Panel Report

On the evening of Monday, December 9, the Merritt Awards Idea Exchange hosted a panel discussion titled Just How Green Are You? sponsored by Schuler Shook Theatre Planners at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre. The panel included Nan Zabriskie, costume designer, educator, and founder of the Chicago Green Theatre Alliance as well as Maggie Fullilove-Nugent, designer and Production Manager at TimeLine Theatre, and Beth Holaday an Energy Efficiency Expert from Verde. Josh Grossman, Partner at Schuler Shook Theatre Planners moderated. The panelists each shared their personal motivations for pursuing sustainability at home and in their artistic practices. Nan shared some of the history of the CGTA and current resources available through the group, reminding attendees that it’s easy to get discouraged in efforts to “Be the Best” at sustainability, but instead to try to always be better and to make small improvements that can add up over time. Maggie encouraged attendees with her mission to spend less money on “things” and more money on people through the reuse and recycling of existing materials instead of always buying new. Beth shared some helpful information about the many resources that are available to nonprofits for free or discounted through organizations like Verde or ComEd. The conversation was then opened up to all of the attendees to ask questions and discuss other ideas. After the panel the conversation continued into the evening at Steppenwolf’s Front Bar. Each of the panelists shared some helpful tips for attendees, which have been compiled here. Attendees are also welcome to become a part of the CGTA and attend our next meeting on Tuesday, March 3 at 5:30 p.m. at Free Street Theater. RSVP Here.

5th Annual CGTA E-Waste/Textile Drive and Costume Exchange Report

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Chicago Green Theatre Alliance’s 5th Annual E-Waste/Textile Drive and Costume Exchange on May 31 – June 2 at Steppenwolf’s Garage Theatre. It was our biggest year yet as we expanded to three full days of collecting electronic waste, textiles, home goods, batteries, corks, CDs, and making costumes and clothes available for reuse at no cost.

More than 300 people participated in the Drive, which was double the number of participants from last year. Approximately 2.5 tons of e-waste were collected and recycled by Garvey’s Office Products, and more than 100 large bags of textiles weighing 1 ton went to Unique Thrift Stores following the event. Thanks to your participation all of the e-waste and textiles will be recycled, reused and kept out of landfills!

Special thanks to our amazing event chair Maggie Fullilove-Nugent from TimeLine Theatre, to our venue hosts Steppenwolf Theatre, all of our volunteers, green community partner organizations Collective Resource and Verde, and to our recycling partners!
E-Waste Recycling provided by Garvey’s Office Products
Textile Recycling provided by FUNDrive powered by Savers
Battery Recycling provided by Battery Solutions

Resources and Tips

Here are some local and national resources that can help with recycling, upcycling, buying greener products or learning more about how to be greener.


Based on research, literature review and the needs and interests expressed by the theatre community, the following provides a guide to theatre greening practices. Organized by shop or department, the tips below represent a range of suggestions and tools to improve a theatre’s environmental performance; the most important thing being to simply get started. One of the barriers to getting started is the overwhelming amount of information contained in three tool kits: Julie’s Bicycle IG Tools, NRDC/BGA Greening Advisor and Mo’olelo toolkit. What follows is a compilation of some of the most easily implemented tips culled from all three toolkits.


Connect With Us:
Send this to a friend