EPA and Wexford Festival Opera Roll out the GREEN carpet - Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Opera goers encouraged to wear a touch of green to symbolise how even small changes can help protect the environment!

The Green Carpet will be laid out for patrons attending Wexford Festival Opera on Wednesday, 30 October as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comes together once again with Wexford Festival Opera to go ‘Green’ on the night to highlight how even small individual changes can have a big positive impact on the environment. This initiative which was introduced four years ago, has been met with an overwhelming response from the audience, staff and volunteers and the momentum has continued to grow. 

The initiative invites opera-goers on the night to make a small, symbolic change to their attire, signifying a commitment to making ‘small changes’ in their lives to help the environment.   People are encouraged to make a small change to their opera-wear that evening, such as a green bow-tie, a green piece of jewellery, a green pocket square, green shoes, green nail varnish; the possibilities are endless! Patrons will also enter that night via a green carpet at the front entrance of the National Opera House, which will be bathed in green light. The message is that small changes can make a great difference. 

Laura Burke, Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency said, “It is up to us – as individuals – to take ownership of environmental issues and take action, both in our personal and business lives. Actions on a personal level to reduce carbon consumption have the associated benefits of healthier lives, better air quality and more local connection and engagement.

“By promoting the importance of the environment at Wexford Festival Opera we can remind patrons that all of us have a responsibility to take some small steps to protect and improve it, be this in your home, your workplace or in your community. We can then begin to imagine a better future for ourselves, our children and generations to come.”

The EPA’s headquarters is based in Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford and the agency has been part of the local community for the last 25 years. It has worked with Wexford Festival Opera for many years through various EPA-led initiatives to raise awareness on a variety of environmental issues such as how we can all make choices about how we heat our homes; how we consume water and how we manage our wastes.

Chief Executive of Wexford Festival Opera, David McLoughlin said, “Greening the National Opera House, on one of main performance nights of this year’s Festival, symbolically underlines Wexford Opera’s support of the EPA’s great work in fostering best environmental awareness and good practice. This environmental and climate-change awareness initiative is even more timely and relevant than heretofore. We thank and applaud the EPA, the Festival’s long established community and environmental partner, as well as our patrons and performers for their enthusiastic involvement in this novel initiative, which reinforces their individual commitment to making changes which result in positive environmental impacts.


Some of the small changes the EPA asks people to commit to making include the following:

Take an active role in positively influencing behaviours that will result in improved health and environmental outcomes in your home, business and community. Visit the EPA website www.epa.ie for more information on living sustainably.

Stop Food Waste: Research shows that people waste food because they buy too much of it or they don’t use it on time. Writing a shopping list reduces food waste.  Other tips that help include: don’t go shopping when you are hungry, you’ll buy more than you need.  Better still, buy your groceries online as you won’t get distracted. Visit www.stopfoodwaste.ie for further advice and tips.

See It, Say It!:  Download the See It? Say It! app to your phone and report environmental pollution if you see it.

Save Energy: If your washing machine, dishwasher or dryer has an economy button/reduced time–temperature, then use it whenever you can.

It is best to always keep the fridge and freezer as full as is reasonably possible.

Appliances on standby can use up to 20 per cent of the energy that they would use if switched on, so make sure they are fully switched off, e.g., TVs, PCs, DVDs, VCRs, printers, games consoles, satellite boxes/players/recorders and kitchen appliances etc.

If your hot water is being heated by the central-heating boiler and your hot-water cylinder has a thermostat, you should set the thermostat to 65 °C. 

For more energy saving tips visit www.seai.ie.

Save Water: Find out how to protect your drinking water supply and conserve water at home at http://www.epa.ie/water/

When considering purchasing something new ask yourself… Do I really need it? Can I produce it myself? Do I need a new one? Can I use a repair and restoration service such as that provided by, for example, the Rediscovery Centre:  http://www.rediscoverycentre.ie/

The 68th Wexford Festival Opera runs from 22 October to 3 November, 2019.  For more details see www.wexfordopera.com