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Greening the Museum

The Brick Store Museum is proud to support the We Are Still In Coalition. Museum Trustees and staff recognize the indivisible links between past, present and future. Our work of presenting and interpreting the history of today inspires visitors of all ages to create a better tomorrow. To preserve that to-be-created future, the Museum recognizes the need to take a leadership role in climate sustainability through our operations and our programming.

While museums have been significant energy consumers (in gallery lights, heat and air-conditioning, dehumidifiers, security systems, interactive screens, computers and scanners, etc.); generate thousands of printed pages per year (in journals, newsletters, annual fund solicitations, return envelopes, thank you letters, program and exhibit invitations, to name a few); and consume gallons of water (in public restrooms, outdoor gardens, fountains), and gas in mail trucks, we can no longer deny the importance of sustainability in either our practices or our mission.

Since 2014, the Brick Store Museum has committed itself to inward and outward work toward climate sustainability through reduced emissions from energy use and travel. This includes:

  • installing energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems
  • small updates to our historic buildings to prevent heat loss without altering the historic character
  • prioritizing local vendors to reduce travel and waste
  • raising funds for facility upkeep, including solar panel installation before 2020 to achieve 100% solar electricity for the Museum’s operations.

The staff and board of the Brick Store Museum believe that museums are places to gather, places to collect and share ideas, and places to learn about our common humanity and our shared world. While “climate change” can be a large, vague idea to many, it is our Museum’s job (and every museum’s) to make it more personal. Small, local museums like the Brick Store Museum have individual, trusted relationships with their communities.

As public educators, our work is to explore challenging topics in an understandable way. This means we must apply larger climate change issues to our local community’s specific model through exhibitions and programs relating to local climate topics. This is why we developed the exhibit “The Beaches Region of Maine” with the input and help of local universities and scientists. It explores the impacts of sea level rise, severe winter storms, and natural river habitats, on the coastlines so dear to residents and visitors alike.