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Thursday, December 10, 2009

FLMNH Enthusiastic For Sustainability

The Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) is dedicated to understanding, preserving and interpreting Florida’s biological diversity and cultural heritage. Research published by museum faculty, staff, and students working in Dickinson and McGuire Halls, as well as the public exhibits in McGuire and Powell Halls that interpret these works, aim to communicate the value of natural systems to policymakers and the public alike.

In line with its institutional purpose and the desire to serve as a model for sustainability practices, the FLMNH and its Green Team strive to implement best sustainability practices into the daily rhythms of museum life. The FLMNH Green Team is conscious of their resource consumption, with approximately 200,000 ft² of campus building space and nearly 500 staff and students.

Frequent reminders of ways in which staff and students can reduce their consumption of natural resources occur periodically via e-mail and staff meeting presentations. A number of initiatives are underway to reduce the impact of the museum and educate students, staff, and visitors. Early successes include:

• Reducing demand for printed campus and community phone directories by over 95%

• Partnership with the Physical Plant Recycling program for scheduled pickups of clean, glass specimen containers too large for standard campus bins

• High annual level of participation in the annual One Less Car alternative transportation campaign—this year, 76 team members avoided 22,642 miles of driving

• Responsible material usage by the graphic design department including a commitment to FSC certified materials and reusable event signage

• Eco-minded gift presentations at the museum’s annual holiday party in order to promote awareness

• Installation of towel bars and reusable towels near high-traffic sinks (in a nod to the UF International Center Green Team)

The Florida Museum has adopted Office of Sustainability Programs into our year-round operations, including “Think Before You Ink,” “Chomp Down on Energy,” and the “One Less Car” campaign.

Much work remains to be done and a number of great things are planned for 2010. Stay tuned!