The Power to Act: Sharing Climate Pledges
Get inspired to make a difference by reading these climate action pledges from museum workers who attended a recent MGS workshop. Victoria Hawkins, our Museum Development Manager – Accreditation, gives an outline of the workshop and the ideas it generated.
Inspiring climate action
How can museums and galleries amplify the voice of climate action in their communities?
This is the question we posed to the attendees of The power to act – why Status Quo should only be a rock band, a workshop delivered by MGS, Stromness Museum, Wardlaw Museum, and the Scottish Crannog Centre at last week’s Museums Association conference.
The workshop explored climate action within museum contexts and how we can all engage with local organisations to tackle the climate crisis.
First we heard examples from museums across Scotland:
- Katy Firth at Stromness Museum spoke about their excellent work in Orkney setting up climate conversations and engaging local people in marine and coastal habitats.
- Eilidh Lawrence from Wardlaw Museum talked about putting climate at the core of their strategy and their approaches to encouraging behaviour change through their exhibitions Dive In! and For Peatlands Sake.
- The presentations were finished off by Edd Hiden, formerly at The Scottish Crannog Centre, speaking about their roots and branches approach to sustainability, including original thinking around how they are constructing facilities at their new site without the use of concrete foundations.
Attendees were then invited to discuss activity at their museums and make their own climate pledges. Engagement in the workshop was high and we’d like to share some of the fantastic pledges made by participants. Can you take any of these actions at your museum or gallery?
Transport and travel pledges
- Talk to active travel about promoting routes between our heritage sites.
- Travel between museum stores by public transport or bicycle rather than by car.
- Travel by public transport to conference tomorrow.
Engagement and interpretation pledges
- Foreground the voice of climate and ecology in programme.
- Focus on communicating small, positive changes people can make for a better climate.
- Be more sustainable in the materials and equipment we use in our community workshops, encouraging reuse and recycling to prompt sustainability conversations.
- I will find out where the climate stories are in our science collections.
- To download the Design Museum’s toolkit for sustainable exhibition design.
- To take ideas generated today back to our team to enhance plans for our green programme.
Partnership and advocacy pledges
- Seek out local climate action groups as potential partners.
- Next steps – as individuals working in museums learn to constantly platform and amplify projects and work being done in spaces like these – community garden applications.
- Reach out to more grassroots climate groups.
- Integrate this morning’s Scottish museum case studies into updated Museums’ Carbon Literacy training to inspire others!
- To promote and work with local climate action community groups more though our events programming.
- Join a local climate action group!
Sustainable organisation pledges
- Speak to facilities team about approaches to gardening.
- Ensure the climate emergency and working more sustainably is part of every conversation and area of work, not separate.
- To develop a climate action plan within my organisation.
- Remember to ask climate change questions of museums when working on projects with them.
- Look to source props for building my escape rooms locally whenever possible.
- Take workshop’s prompts and resources to facilitate discussion in next management team meeting.
- Make plans to measure behavioural change in our sector support activities relating to sustainability.
- Taking a refillable water bottle with me rather than buying a plastic bottle.
Have you made a climate pledge at your organisation, or taken steps to tackle the climate crisis? Every action – whether big or small – marks an important step towards sustainability.
We’d love to hear your climate pledges! Contact us at email@example.com to share your ideas and ask any questions you may have. You can also check out the resources below for more climate action inspiration.