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ECO PIONEERS


from the museum’s facility operations to its goals of educating visitors – but not in a comprehensive way.” The museum is visited by around one million people a year, so there was a real opportunity to help people under- stand critical issues for the planet. “One of the primary goals we’ve set is to become a key educational resource on topics like sustainability, energy technology and earth systems science,” says Stockner. “We’ve also set ourselves a goal to serve as a hub for the public to learn about sus- tainable solutions and the cutting edge research that’s going on both in Oregon and beyond.” The museum’s new Energy and


Environment Initiative aims to offer a public platform for scientists working to create sustainable solutions and act


as a bridge between indus- try and public education. A range of new exhib- its and programmes are being introduced as part of this initiative. The muse- um’s new Earth Lab, which launched in April, features fun, hands-on exhibits and demonstrations aimed at teaching visitors about core earth science concepts such as density, plate tectonics, renewable energy and ice cores.


" I WANTED TO PROVIDE A LEGITIMATELY GREEN ALTERNATIVE TO TRADITIONAL FITNESS FACILITIES. I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A CHALLENGE." Adam Boesel, Green Microgym


technology, events and transit signage. A permanent, hands-on exhibit


The Sustainability Museum Exhibit will launch in September, aimed at encouraging visitors to think about how their personal choices can help create a healthier planet. An accompa- nying outreach programme will work to spread the message via mobile phone


on renewable energy will launch in December 2012, focusing on the unique energy mix of the Pacifi c Northwest, including emerging technol- ogies in solar, wind and wave energy. A related classroom outreach pro- gramme will allow students to design and test their own wind turbine and will look at how families can reduce energy consumption. OMSI is also hoping to infl uence other museums to become more sus- tainable, and has developed a green exhibition checklist. This provides guidelines on how to use recycled, locally-sourced materials in exhibitions and how to offset the impact of carbon emissions from the energy used. Other green measures include new chillers within the museum, which will reduce the museum’s electricity use by around 20 per cent, the introduc- tion of a comprehensive composting programme and the use of a rainwater management system which redirects rainwater into vegetation and soil rather than into the sewer system. “Our most important successes


are when people walk away from the museum or one of our programs with new knowledge or an expanded sense of possibilities,” says Stockner. “Recently we had an event in connec- tion with the Planet under Pressure conference. At the end of the day the museum was closed and we had kids still asking questions and doing the activities. They didn’t want to leave.”


HARNESSING HUMAN POWER


At Portland's Green Microgym, members generate electricity to power the gym as they work out


52 Read Leisure Management online leisuremanagement.co.uk/digital


The Green Microgym has three gyms, all in Portland. Energy-saving meas- ures include the use of solar power, member-controlled lights and televi- sions which are only turned on when needed, treadmills that use 30 per


ISSUE 3 2012 © cybertrek 2012


PHOTO: BARBIE HULL


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