One of the key challenges of today is how unhealthy our planet is, and cultural institutions have a role to play in this. There has never been a more important or pressing need for museums to become more environmentally friendly.
It currently needs to be noticed the need for sustainability across all industries due to the continual news updates, ferocious discussions, frequent strikes, and ominous warnings all focused on the environment. Also included are the arts and culture.
Museums have a responsibility to conduct their operations in a more environmentally sensitive manner, much like enterprises, stores, organizations, and, of course, private individuals. However, it might be challenging to know how to do this, particularly if your time and resources are restricted.
Thankfully, achieving sustainability doesn’t necessitate complete overhauls or radical changes to a museum’s operations or facilities. Institutions wishing to do their part for environmentalism might choose to start with some easy initiatives.
Design Sustainable Exhibits
The fact that the majority of exhibition stands are now made to survive may be the largest shift of all. In the past, it was usual for businesses to create custom exhibits that were just intended for a single event. After the show, everything would be dumped in a skip.
Thankfully, companies have shifted towards eco-friendly exhibits. Custom-built items are still available, but modular stands are far more prevalent. Even individuals who employ specially created designs tend to keep them and reuse them again rather than discarding them after a single use.
Not only are modular stand systems more environmentally friendly, but they can also be simpler and less expensive to store and move. Modular exhibits have advanced significantly. In the past, they were viewed as boxy and unimaginative. They now offer unique features and are far more modern and sleek in design.
Exhibitions are rapidly becoming more sustainable thanks to the efforts of forward-thinking venues and stand design firms. However, this wasn’t always the case, as exhibitions have historically been wasteful.
The volume of waste will strike you immediately when you visit a large venue before or after a show. In the past, everything in the packaging, including bubble wrap and cardboard, was dumped in a skip for general waste. Facilities for recycling various materials are now available in venues.
One other huge change in venues is that it is more likely that you’ll find a recyclable carpet in the exhibitions. Venues earlier used a form of cord carpet that was designed to be used for a short period of time before being thrown away. It turned out that carpets were taking up a lot of space in the landfill.
With exhibitions and shows happening often, it is not eco-friendly to throw the carpets every time and get a new one. Hence, people realized that carpets could also be recycled. The change not only benefits the environment but is also a very affordable choice for organizers. Additionally, some venues have painted the concrete floor instead of keeping carpets at all.
Reduce The Use Of Printed Materials
As the need for sustainability has grown, marketing strategies have also evolved. Businesses no longer create and distribute countless leaflets to be handed to every visitor, whether they are interested or not.
Today, it is more common to utilize a straightforward marketing flyer that includes a link to your website, possibly one that can be scanned by a QR code, or to ask for a prospective client’s email address so you can send them pertinent marketing materials electronically.
Digital transformation from paper to QR codes has the potential to save over 170,000 pounds of single-use paper from ending up in landfills.
Instead of handing out brochures randomly, knowing that the majority will end up in landfills, businesses that do have brochures frequently post them to potential customers who expressed interest after the show.
The Emergence of Green Museums
The idea of a “green museum” has gained popularity recently. Although there are no strict guidelines for this designation, it often refers to a museum that incorporates sustainability principles into its operations and programming.
Many of these establishments organize events, exhibitions, and other programs with the goal of educating visitors about the environment using their collections. They work to raise people’s awareness of their surroundings.
The first children’s museum to receive LEED certification was The Children’s Discovery Museum in Illinois, which is where the green museum movement truly got its start. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Boston Children’s Museum, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and numerous other museums have since done the same.
Museums combating global warming can start small. For museums, sustainability need not entail a complete makeover. It could entail making modest but considerable efforts to lead a greener lifestyle through both daily actions and public displays and activities.
However, the environmental debate does present a chance for museums to support the ongoing battle against climate change enthusiastically. The need for greater knowledge and opportunities for physical activity is widespread, and museums should be well-positioned to provide these needs.