Photo: Sadie Fox at the 2020 SKAMpede Festival.

It’s SKAMpede Festival 2020, a summer’s day, and Sadie Fox is on her bike pulling a trailer behind her as she whizzes back and forth between venues. The trailer is stock-full of buckets each with their own purpose from recycling to compost. Sadie is teaching people as she fills them up, giving interesting informational tidbits such as why chip bags are saved for recycling and not garbage (the inner lining can actually be recycled).

“Recycling is economics. Like the stock market, it changes. Think of it as batching,” Sadie says.

We had another year of our SKAMpede Festival that managed to produce minimal waste thanks to the help of Sadie Fox’s sustainability consulting company, The Sustainable Fox. Sadie works with businesses to restructure their spaces so that sustainable actions become the easiest choice. 

Sadie used to be a stage manager and says her background in theatre hugely influences her sustainable business approach.

“[Being a stage manager] is so much about, if we need this thing, what are the steps that have to happen to get us there and what are the steps that have to happen once we’re done with it?”

First, she looks at company inventories, including products and items used daily or at events, and then analyzes where waste can be reduced or where more sustainable options can be used. Her next steps are research, designing a minimal-waste system that works with the company’s goals, and then creating a communication and action plan. 

“The choices that hold the most value are somewhat performative because they’re sharing an idea with people,” Sadie says. She adds that acts like picking up litter can be performative, especially in this age where there are Instagram accounts of people sharing with others the litter they’ve collected. 

Sadie now uses her theatre skills by hosting workshops and doing sustainable consulting through her company. The dream to have her own business grew over years of changing her own habits and culminated when she was at a crossroads professionally in her theatre career.

“I was sitting there ruminating on how much joy the success of these lifestyle changes was bringing me but also this kind of sadness looking around at other people not even knowing that they were missing out on it,” she says. 

Serendipitously, when starting a conversation with SKAM’s Kate Wallace about composting and lack-there-of at a live event, Sadie decided to pitch the idea of working with businesses, leading Theatre SKAM to take her on as consultant for SKAMpede Festival.

What drives her passion in helping others make those shifts is in part due to her knowing how hard it initially is despite the rewards – she confesses she used to eat McDonalds for breakfast everyday in college, and didn’t even own a reusable mug to sip on through rehearsals.

“I have so much sympathy for anyone who struggles to adopt a new lifestyle because it’s hard and takes habit so I try really hard to work with people to make those shifts around values – let’s start where it’s important to you.”

To learn more about Sadie’s services, workshops and more, please visit http://thesustainablefox.com/