Lindsay Wildlife Museum teaches children and adults about nature and the environment. As part of our goal, the organization works towards reducing its own impact on the environment. The museum was certified as a green business by the Bay Area Green Business Program in 2004.
In order to further reduce our impact on the environment, we formed a green committee in April 2008. The purpose of this committee, comprised of volunteers and staff, is to reduce the carbon footprint of the museum by instituting additional sustainable business practices. Task forces were formed to focus on energy, materials, water and waste. In a short period of time the museum has made measurable improvements and identified additional projects to reduce our carbon footprint.
The City of Walnut Creek has joined ICLEI, an organization of local governments for sustainability and commitment to sustainable development. The city's commitment is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% below the baseline year of 2005. The museum met with the city and is joining in their commitment.
Projects already completed
- Lighting retrofit with new energy efficient lighting. The Smart Lights Program (funded by the California Public Utility Commission) funded 44% of the retrofit, with the museums 56% cost share funded by the Lindsay Wildlife Museum Alliance.
- A new water and energy efficient dishwasher was installed in the kitchen used to prepare animal diets. It uses less water and has a significantly shorter wash cycle, saving water, gas and electricity. The dry cycle is not used, further reducing energy usage.
- Acquired reusable plates, glasses and flatware instead of using disposables.
- No plastic bags are being used in the museum store and customers are asked if they need a paper bag for their purchases.
- Donated letterhead or paper that is already printed on one side is used for printing internally. Double sided printing is done whenever possible.
- More visible recycling containers are strategically placed in the lobby.
- The first phase of an expanded composting system is in place. Three bio-stacks are filled with coffee grounds, garden clippings, fruit and vegetable kitchen waste and other composting material. The resulting organic product will be distributed throughout the museum gardens.
- Outdoor irrigation has been modified to reduce water consumption.
- The use of clothesline instead of a dryer for laundry used in animal care is encouraged whenever possible.
Projects in research phase
- Solar Power – Estimates have been received from numerous solar power companies. Funding remains an issue.
- Solar Water Heating – We are in the process of measuring our hot water consumption to determine what size system we would need.
- Carpooling – As vehicles contribute over 35% of all greenhouse gas emissions, we are meeting with 511.org to determine how best to encourage volunteers to carpool or use public transportation and what incentives are available.
The museum continues to strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste, find creative ways to reuse material, recycle as much as possible and use water wisely.