The Children’s Museum of Phoenix’s “Common Sense Green” environmental initiative provides an over-arching roadmap for creating a museum that lives and breathes healthful choices.
While many definitions of “green” or “sustainable design” are used, the most common looks at meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Basically, being ‘green’ means being innovative and thinking ecologically, keeping in mind that everything done is part of the ecosystem.
“Why we make this effort is an easy question to answer,” stated Deborah Gilpin, CEO & President of the Museum. “It is because as a children’s museum we have a tremendous opportunity and an incredible obligation to positively inform and shape the future of our community.”
The Children’s Museum supports the healthy minds, muscles, and imaginations of visitors by taking many actions that foster environmental stewardship. Some examples:
- Using non-toxic materials throughout the building and exhibits, including office supplies, printing materials, and janitorial supplies, creating a healthy and safe environment in the Museum.
- Using materials that are earth-friendly and sustainable throughout their life cycle as in renewable, sustainable, and recycled building materials like wheatboard, and recycled cardboard.
- Choosing materials and practices that are socially responsible. The Museum chooses, whenever possible, local vendors to cut down on transportation, get to know green industries in the community, and make sure that the materials and services being used are made fair and equitable.
- Offering incentives that support earth-friendly behavior, like carpool and public transportation benefits, bike racks, and easy recycling throughout the museum.
- Spark ideas, innovation, collaboration, and conversation about sustainability and environmental stewardship. The Museum provides interactive projects that spark hands-on participation with recycled materials, educational programs that promote environmental stewardship at home, and information on-site and online about making green choices.
Some examples of our Common Sense Green Initiative in the Museum:
- Those sparkly bathroom floors are made of repurposed toilets, sinks and mirrors
- The Museum walls are painted with VOC-free paint
- Everyday items are recycled and utilized as art installations in the Museum such as: The CD Wall, The “chandelier” and wall hangings in Texture Cafe, the SOMEPLACE exhibit which uses recycled denim, the fish hanging by the Climber, and the Climber itself.