Even museums in Goa can go the sustainable way

Museums in the state can embrace a host of sustainable practices and become eco-friendly institutions
Museum of Goa
Museum of Goa Photo: Facebook / Museum of Goa

With a rich tapestry of culture and history woven into its sandy shores, Goa has long been a popular destination for tourists and locals, alike. While the sun-kissed beaches and vibrant nightlife often take centre stage, the region's museums play a crucial role in preserving and showcasing its diverse heritage.

Yet, Goa faces an escalating waste crisis, with an estimated 400 tons of waste generated daily, putting immense pressure on its already fragile ecosystem.

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Museums, as cultural institutions, have an opportunity to lead by example and inspire change by embracing sustainable practices.

Here’s how museums in Goa can address the problem, transform themselves into eco-friendly institutions, and spark a sustainability movement for the benefit of future generations.

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One of the primary ways for museums to become sustainable is by reducing their energy consumption. Installing energy-efficient LED lighting, optimising air conditioning systems, and utilising solar panels can greatly reduce a museum's carbon footprint.

These efforts will not only save energy, but also reduce operational costs, making it a win-win situation for both the environment and the museum's budget.

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Water is a precious resource, and its conservation should be a top priority for all establishments, including museums. Installing low-flow faucets, rainwater harvesting systems, and implementing greywater recycling can significantly reduce water usage.

Educating visitors about water conservation through interactive exhibits can also help spread awareness about this vital issue.

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Museums can choose eco-friendly materials for their construction and renovation projects. Using locally sourced materials, recycled materials and green building technologies can reduce the environmental impact of a museum's infrastructure.

Additionally, incorporating energy-efficient architectural designs and green roofs can contribute to the overall sustainability of the building.

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Effective waste management is critical for a sustainable museum. Implementing recycling and composting programs can help reduce the amount of waste generated. Reusable materials, such as exhibition stands and promotional materials, can be repurposed for future events, further minimising waste.

Additionally, providing recycling bins for visitors and encouraging responsible waste disposal can foster sustainable practices among the public.

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Museums can promote sustainability by hosting eco-friendly exhibitions and events. This can be achieved by collaborating with local artists and organisations that advocate for environmental causes.

Using digital displays instead of printed materials can also reduce paper consumption and waste. Furthermore, museums can provide workshops and educational programs centred around sustainability, inspiring visitors to adopt eco-friendly habits in their daily lives.

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Museums can encourage the use of sustainable transport options, such as public transportation, cycling or walking. Providing bicycle parking facilities and partnering with local public transportation providers can incentivize visitors to opt for eco-friendly transportation methods.

Additionally, museums can offer discounted admission rates for those who choose sustainable transport options, further promoting a green lifestyle.

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Involving the local community in sustainable initiatives is crucial for the long-term success of a museum's eco-friendly efforts. Museums can collaborate with local schools, NGOs and community groups to create educational programs, workshops and events centred around sustainability.

Engaging the community not only increases about environmental issues, but also instills a sense of ownership and pride in local residents.

When asked about how Museum of Goa, Pilerne, plays its part in being sustainable, its founder-director, Dr Subodh Kerkar, shares, “A large percentage of the works displayed at the Museum of Goa are created using recycled materials and it is our mission to do a campaign against littering. One of the installations is made using 50,000 recycled plastic bottles, where students who visit the museum take an oath not to litter.”

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