About Greening the Gallery

At Alcaston Gallery we feel it is our social responsibility to make the shift towards becoming more environmentally friendly. With this in mind, we have commenced a project called “Greening the Gallery”, which involves taking the necessary actions to conserve precious natural resources and reduce our carbon emissions. We believe it is important to begin planning now for the impacts of climate change in the future.

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Achievements

  • We use GreenEarth from Origin Energy. This allows us to obtain the maximum possible amount of our energy from government accredited renewable sources. The GreenEarth “tick” guarantees we will not only reduce our gas emissions in the environment but also contribute to the development of new sustainable energy projects in Australia.
  • A rain water tank of approximately 3000L has been installed at our premises to catch water from the roof which has been plumbed into use for flushing the gallery toilets and for watering the garden.
  • Though the Yarra City Council Recycling Program, we recycle paper, glass, plastics, cardboard and other industrial materials. Materials for packaging works, such as bubble wrap, are reused wherever possible. In addition, small paper recycling bins are located in each office.
  • We recycle our printer cartridges through the Cartridge Recycling Program/Cartridges 4 Planet Ark. Printer cartridges when just tossed away have the potential to contaminate groundwater and the environment.
  • All staff take public transport or walk to work where possible, a much more environmentally friendly way of traveling, or else they try to car pool to minimize their impact on the environment.
  • Freight is organised so that carriers can deliver multiple pieces to the one or more clients within the same area where possible to avoid unnecessary trips.
  • All computers, other electrical equipment and the main gallery lights are switched off each night, with only necessary security lighting being used.
  • Envirobubble from AAA is used to wrap artworks. This type of bubble wrap is biodegradable and designed to breakdown in landfill and can be absorbed back into the soil with no harmful residues.
  • Alcaston encourages clients to be more environmentally friendly by placing a reminder down the bottom of our emails, ‘Please consider the environment when printing this email’ to discourage unnecessary paper wastage.
  • We now send almost all of our exhibition invitations and catalogues electronically, instead of printed copies. In this way we have significantly reduced the amount of printed material sent by post.
  • For exhibition openings we use Swords wine, which comes in recyclable glass bottles. Empty bottles are then returned to Swords for reuse. Any large soft drink bottles used are recycled. The gallery uses glassware and plates for serving food and beverages, avoiding disposable products. We endeavor to order food for openings from an organic bakery.
  • We obtained Planet Ark envelopes from Australia Post for all staff to recycle Christmas cards.
  • We already use low voltage lighting, but our next step is to install eco-friendly halogen light bulbs, which can save energy by around 30%.
  • In 2017 we have reduced the gallery opening hours, without altering the high quality service we ofter to our clients. By limiting the hours that our gallery space is open to the public, we are able to greatly reduce our energy expenditure by replacing physical services with virutal ones.

Beverly Knight, Director 2017

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