How Are US Conservators Going Green? Results of Polling AIC Members

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Silence, Patricia;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 55, Number 3, p.159-163 (2010)


In August 2008, the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) established a Green Task Force (GTF) to help conservators approach their work with environmental sustainability in mind. Their charge was 'to investigate implementing green practices for our AIC parent organization and encourage green practices for the conservation profession'. The GTF was asked to evaluate US conservators' current awareness of sustainability and how they are working towards more appropriate practices in museums and private businesses. This paper describes the results of a survey sent out to the AIC membership. The survey addressed five areas pertaining to sustainable practices: recycling, energy consumption, waste, improved sustainability through products and procedures, and education. Generally, responses included comments regarding economic impact and sustainable practice, confirming that if cost savings could also be realized, then 'going green' was easy. Conservators were interested in minimizing waste (of materials and energy); using less toxic chemical and material alternatives; and re-evaluating the necessity for tight environmental control. The findings presented in this paper describe how conservators were thinking and carrying out their responsibility to 'go green' in late 2008.