Melbourne Based Gay and Lesbian Duo Kick Off The Sustainable Artist PledgeArtists can use this set of simple, environmentally sustainable actions in the creation of art.

Many movements that have created crucial social change were kick-started by everyday people taking simple actions.

“We’re heading into a new world,” said Sustainable Artist Pledge creator Hannah Malarski. “Environmental and social change is unavoidable.”

This need for change led Malarski and co-founder Jack Richardson to create the Sustainable Artist Pledge, an online initiative to promote sustainable practice within the arts community.

The Melbourne-based duo, who create work for theatre and multimedia under the banner of Bagabus Inc, first became aware of the environmental impact of their work during the production of their latest play, The Jacobeans, for the Melbourne Midsumma Festival.

“Our play was a performance about the consequences of personal inaction because of our social environment,” explains Richardson. “In writing and performing it, we closely examined the play’s impact on our audience but neglected to examine its impact on our natural environment – particularly regarding our paper wastage, our use of single-use plastics, electricity, and non-recyclable materials.”

“It surprised and disturbed us,” adds Malarski, “how much waste our play produced. Why did we print so many postcards? Where did those end up? What kind of impact did we have on the environment? How could we do better next time?”

The awareness of the negative environmental impacts of their artistic practice – and the need for change – led the pair to create the Sustainable Artist Pledge: a set of simple environmentally-sustainable actions that artists can use in creating their art.

“From pledging to use sustainably sourced office materials, to offsetting your carbon footprint, to simply purchasing a KeepCup for your daily caffeine fix, the pledge is designed to provide artists with simple sustainability solutions and raise awareness in a fun, achievable way.”

“If making such small changes to our practice could make such a massive difference,” adds Richardson, “imagine what could be achieved if everyone did the same?”

By pledging to make as little as three simple changes in how they produce and realise their art, artists can qualify to be part of the S.A.P. initiative, connect with sustainability organisations via social media platforms, collaborate on ideas, and promote their work – and their dedication to sustainability – among their peers.

“We’ve focused very much on the positive action people can take. People have more power than they often realise,” believes Malarski. “The role of artists has always been to make sense of the world through art. It only makes sense that they help preserve the world while they do it.”

To take the Pledge, click here