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Energy-Efficient Cold Storage Recent Publications

Our NEH-funded Energy-Efficient Cold Storage study has been picking up a lot of attention at recent professional conferences!  We presented to mixed crowds at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and the American Institute for Conservation (AIC).  In the fall, we plan to publish an article in the International Association for Museum Facility Administrators (IAMFA) journal - Papyrus.  In the meantime, catch up on the materials we have already shared: 


Sustainability General Session at American Institute for Conservation in Miami

Our energy-efficient cold-storage project was presented to a small group of about 40-50 attendees of the American Institute for Conservation Annual Meeting.  This year's meeting theme was "Practical Philosophy or Making Conservation Work." Sustainability was one of three general session tracks along with practical philosophy and Year of Light.  


American Alliance of Museums 2015 Annual Meeting Green Recap

Did you go to AAM Atlanta 2015 this year?  This year’s AAM Annual Meeting theme, “The Social Value of Museums: Inspiring Change,” had an inspirational message about the role of museums in inclusivity and social engagement.  Sustainability has a role in this as well since it is often defined as a holistic approach to social, environmental, and economic issues.   This was well demonstrated with several sessions and events at this year’s AAM event.  Here is a quick recap and report out of the green events and sessions!  


New Book Features Minnesota Historical Society’s Sustainability Program

This past month, the MNHS Sustainability program was featured in Environmental Sustainability at Historic Sites and Museums by Sarah Sutton.  Shengyin Xu and Matt Hill contributed to the mini-case study titled “Minnesota Historical Society, Dynamic Data and Real-Time Sustainability.”  The piece describes the Society’s use of data and metrics for both decision-making and communication and highlights the importance of sustainability for history organizations.  

Some excerpts from the book:


Sharing Economy Gaining Momentum

 

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In an increasingly consumptive world, the sharing economy and collaborative consumption are gaining momentum as ways to live more sustainably.  Also known as peer-to-peer marketplaces, collaborative consumption hinges on networks established to facilitate goods, skills, and services trading amongst neighbors.  Touted as a way to save money, live more sustainably, and strengthen community bonds, these sharing networks are quickly gaining popularity.  


Fossil Free and Fossil Fuel Divestment

Due to increased public awareness and pressure on natural resources, sustainability initiatives are slowly evolving into mainstream priorities for countless institutions, organizations, and even governments.  Groups have adopted sustainability practices, invested in new technologies, and integrated them into their everyday operations.  Recycling bins, energy efficient light fixtures, and efficient building plans are all on the way up.


Five Green New Year's Resolutions for 2015

Even though the ball hasn’t been dropped and the champagne as yet to be popped, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions.  While most resolutions focus on health, relationships, and even finances, choosing “green” resolutions may help both you and the rest of the world across the board.  As we head into 2015, consider the small changes you can make that will lead to a more sustainable and environmentally-conscious year.  Here are five of my favorite resolution ideas:


Christmas Tree Disposal

As the holiday season comes to a close, remember to take the sustainable and proper measures to recycle your Christmas tree.  In Minnesota, it is illegal to put your real Christmas tree or wreath in the garbage.  Thankfully, there are several convenient options for tree, wreath, and yard waste disposal.  While every city and county differs a little, most offer some sort of disposal service.


Campaign Survey Results

Thank you to all who responded to the Go Blue Campaign survey.  Evaluation is a key component to any project or event.  With your feedback, we intend to enhance our upcoming sustainability campaigns and take the next steps forward.  Here are some of the main findings from the survey.


White Bear Lake settlement to divert water from Mississippi River

A settlement was reached in the legal battle between two White Bear Lake groups and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) over plummeting lake water levels.  The settlement centers on a plan to pump water from the Mississippi River to 13 Northern Twin Cities suburbs in order to alleviate groundwater stress and hopefully replenish the shrinking White Bear Lake.