Submitted by Rose Daly on
This is the first time the IIC Roundtable has been at the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic works (AIC) annual meeting. It is fitting seeing that both organizations are researching green solutions for conservation challenges.
This morning there was a lecture during the General Session by Patricia Silence from Colonial Williamsburg who is also the Chair of the AIC Green Task Force. She spoke about the research the task force has been performing about ways in which conservators can have more green practices: using less polluting solvents, producing less trash, and using less energy. She recommended looking at the "Solvent Solver" which is a software program that uses the Teas diagram to allow conservators to find other solvent mixtures they could use instead of the highly toxic solvents. I was recently introduced to a version of 'less toxic toluene' by a colleague of mine, which was a mixture of heptane, acetone, and ethanol that had the same solubility properties of toluene. Patricia Silence also touched on topics about lighting, environmental controls, using less waste for packaging and shipping, and recycling everything from paper to vitrines.
If you have additional tips for green conservation practice you can e-mail them to green[at]conservation-us.org
The meeting has become more green as well. The meeting bag is made of recyclable materials and the holders for the badges will be collected so they can be re-used and one lucky recycler will win a free registration for next year's meeting.