Watt's the problem?

Carien Overdijk Energy, Venue 11 April 2016

Theatres and concert halls burn a lot of Watt during gigs or performances. The theatre spotlights alone are real energy-guzzlers. So potential savings on lighting, heating and other electric appliances are huge when it comes to this sector.

Leiden theatres are doing one better. That's what the public want too. A successful crowdfunding movement by a little local theatre, Ins Blau, is the proof.

Green key

The big venues in Leiden are good at sustainable innovation. The Stadsschouwburg and the Stadsgehoorzaal have been certified for a number of years already with a Green Key for their energy and water-saving policies.

And Leidens prime popmusic stage, De Nobel, uses green energy, has complete thermal insulation and is currently renovating in order to bring in much more solar energy.

A little brother among the Leiden theatre venues, Ins Blau at the Haagweg, is even more ambitious. They want to become the first energy-neutral theatre in the Netherlands. Their crowdfunding movement, aimed at this goal (check out voordekunst.nl), runs till the 17th of April. They’ve already raised the money for the solar panels, now they still need to fund a heat recovery system. And yes, their regular spotlights burn 2000 Watt each on an average stage night. But they’re hoping to reduce that number by 70 percent when they switch to LED lighting.


Across the board, Ins Blau is environmentally aware. Their backdrops and decorsets have been pieced together from second hand shops and recycled materials. The theatre seats were acquired as part of a buy-out. The random seat numbers don’t matter, there’s free seating.

Food and waste

At Ins Blaus bar, coffee and tea are organic. Their other beverage is still regular, but ordering a glass of tap water is always an option. They use coffee milk produced by cows that have grazed outdoors.

If there’s a dinner deal (delivered by a caterer) the staff take home the leftovers, and any remaining waste is separated into different bins. Ilja Stroeve from Ins Blau: ‘Anyone who donates 500 euros to our crowd-funding movement can enjoy a no-waste dinner after a show. If it proves popular, we’ll be doing this a lot more!’

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Enough wasted, here comes the doggy bag

Door Anne Gotink 10 April 2016

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