Seven steps to sustainability

Seven steps to a sustainable future:

1. Sustainability Plan: Establish your priorities and the areas you want to focus on.

2. Switch on to switching off – Energy Efficiency: Increase awareness and reduce the use of lighting, heating and technology.

3. Waste and Recycling: Prevent waste and encourage recycling.

4. Travel: Reduce your driving costs and carbon emissions.

5. Food, water, health and well-being: Often neglected areas in the sustainability agenda, find out more in our previous blog post 1,200 litres of water to make a loaf of bread!?

6. Procurement: Where possible make the easy changes that will reduce costs and improve your sustainability.

7. Communicate your success: Tell your visitors about your achievements, encourage them to support you and make their own changes.

You don’t have to achieve all of these steps at once. Many of our Green Museums have already made fantastic progress just focussing on one or two of these areas.

Case study: M4C

M4C logo

Sustainability specialists M4C (who are joining us at the next Green Knowledge Cafe) are participating in the programme as part of their own sustainability improvements. They decided to use one of the suggestions – creating a notice board – to track sustainability targets and achievements.

One of their targets is to reduce the number of shop bought lunches. They created a table to monitor who is bringing their own lunch in. If you have a homemade lunch you blu-tack a smiley face to the table for that day. If you buy your lunch you use a sad face instead. At the end of the week they note the percentage of homemade lunches for each person.

Without reward or incentive this has given us the kick we needed to change our behaviour. Suddenly we’re all bringing our lunch in from home.

So is this all that surprising? Not really.

That little table ticks so many communications boxes – it is clear and simple, it’s placed where we see it every day (above our ‘jobs board’), it provides continuous feedback on how we’re doing and there is an element of competition (I’m losing at the moment).

There are of course the benefits it provides to us, the audience in this case. Homemade lunches are cheaper, tastier and offer more choice – but we knew about those last week and still didn’t bother.

So while flashy, clever and witty may make you feel like you’re ‘really’ doing something. Don’t forget about the small, simple and – most importantly – effective things you can be doing too

Alex McKay, Project Delivery Manager, M4C

For more brilliant ideas and case studies from M4C (along with advice from many other experts and suppliers too) join us on 19th September at Coventry Transport Museum by booking your place here Green Museums Knowledge Cafe #2.


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