Are you a museum professional? If so, we need your opinion!
Whether its the government, your board, your staff, or your visitors – people are increasingly demanding and expecting museums, zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens to adopt baseline environmental measures and we want to know what you think it would take you to achieve these goals.
Green Living Consulting is in the process of compiling market research information on sustainable practices in museums and zoos in order to understand how widespread sustainability is in this type of institution and what challenges these types of organizations face in implementing sustainable practices.
We would really appreciate it if you would take 5 minutes or less to fill out our survey and give us your perspective. We want to make sure that museums are receiving the tailored help and support they need when it comes to their sustainability initiatives.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!
Any and all information is appreciated. Feel free to comment liberally!
A year ago I spent a week on a service project in New Orleans which acts as an alternative spring break for those passionate about sustainability and historic preservation. Historic Green runs a yearly service project in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans. Historic Green and the historic Holy Cross neighbourhood want to tread the path to ‘sustainable preservation’ by rebuilding and renovating the New Orleans traditional craftsman neighbourhood entirely carbon neutrally with an aim to eventually be climate neutral.
I arrived in New Orleans (which is incredibly beautiful, I suggest a visit if you have the chance) on tuesday evening with only a few days left before the end of the project (blame it on having to present on ‘Green Museum Practices’ at the VAM conference on sunday.) Although well in the final stretch of what had obviously been a hard-worked, exhausting two weeks, all the volunteers were in amazing spirits. Some volunteers were tourists who had come in for the day to help with the project, some were college students willing to dedicate their well-earned Spring Break to a good cause, and some were environmentally conscious professionals who had been involved from the beginning. Hailing from New England, Texas, California, New York, Eureka, literally all across the country (and, for awhile, from Rome, Italy) on first glance the volunteers would appear to have nothing in common. Diverse backgrounds, ages, professions, geographic locations, but all pitching in their free time to help a project with which few had had a direct personal relationship before those days of service.
Any absence of a personal connection was shattered during the orientation presentation, in which ‘Smitty’ told his story, that of Katrina and the beginnings of Historic Green. Born and raised in the Lower 9th Ward, Smitty had always been surrounded by a strong, local community, also born and raised in the neighbourhood, some residents never having left the city. When the flood and subsequently the Hurricane hit, most residents were displaced, to the extent that to this day, five years later, they have not returned. Smitty originally bought a warehouse in his neighbourhood with the dream of restoring antique cars, but he soon realised that his community desperately needed safe community space in which to bond. For three weeks of the year Smitty opens his warehouse doors to the Historic Green zoo and welcomes one and all to a project that is so close to his heart. Hearing his story, turned a volunteer into a community member.
HG works on a variety of sustainable projects, from weatherization, to renovation to green building from the ground up. Peppered in between the service projects are more formal lectures, after all, many of the volunteers and organisers are authorities in their fields, professional experts giving their time to be involved, and in addition, they volunteer their knowledge in a series of talks and events.
On wednesday afternoon I attended the groundbreaking of a long-awaited rebuilding project at 5200 Dauphine. Sponsored both by The Preservation Resource Center and Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, this building, originally a commercial drugstore, was razed to the ground because its structure was so dangerous due to the effects of the flood. Newly redesigned to be a community centre, the architects of the sustainable design, and the contractors for the project spoke at the groundbreaking, and it was clear that although they worked for different organisations, this project had made of them a closeknit team.
New Orleans is quickly becoming a poster-child for sustainable initiatives, and yet with its badly affected infrastructure, the city still doesn’t even have glass recycling capabilities. So, if you’re thinking about joining the green building, green schooling, green living movement, consider New Orleans, because it has huge potential, and I have a feeling it’s going to be the Next Big Thing.
The project kicks off again this year on wednesday the 16th of March (today) and goes for the next two weeks, so if you’re in New Orleans, head over for some rewarding and educational service work, I’ll see you there on saturday.