10 simple actions conservators can take in support of the Fridays For Future movement
Yes, there are some quick and easy fixes (and sometimes not so easy ones) you can put into practice immediately. Don’t wait to get on it and get them done. We have great colleagues from other initiatives who are already focusing on making the conservation field more sustainable. Thanks and big shout out to them! (Some are listed in the actions below)

Changing your own practice is a great place to start - but also a bad place to stop your climate action journey. We at Museums For Future invite you to explore how your journey and impact might look like.
We believe that especially conservators can be very good messengers to get their colleagues and institutions on a climate action path too - it’s a no-brainer, CONSERVATION is already in their job description.
So with these 10 “simple” actions for conservators we encourage you to live up to our job description and help preserve culture (and the stable macro climate we need to make this happen) for many more centuries to come!
Follow Anna Krez, co-founder of Museums For Future Germany, in this recording of her talk at the Annual Meeting 2023 of the American Institute of Conservation.
10 Simple Actions Conservators can take
  • 1
    Start Reading, get inspired and keep learning
    Check out some great tips, publications and links at Sustainibility in Conservations Resource Center or ICON Environmental Sustainability Network - Resources

  • 2
    Reflect about your job and the climate crisis (alone and with others)
    Discuss questions like: 

    • How are institutions, objects and culture around the globe threatened (and will be threatened further) by the climate crisis if we don’t take action now?
    • Where can I find analogies to the mechanisms or implications of climate inaction in my work?
    • Is it worth upholding current professional standards and practices when they translate into climate inaction?
  • 3
    Make a sustainability plan for your lab/department
    Where can we be more sustainable? What action do we have to take to make it happen? What are the low hanging fruits we can fix right away? What do we have to do to get to the big things?
  • 4
    Put knowledge into practice
    Pick one (or more) new resource(s) each month and put it into practice in your own practice and lab

    For example: Check out "Greener solvents" and use more sustainable solvents in your lab
  • 5
    Go beyond the conservation department
    Start a sustainability working group at your institution, make a climate action plan and talk about the climate crisis and climate action (We recommend ”Museums For Climate Action” great toolkit and a helpful guide from Bristol)
  • 6
    Reach out to colleagues from other institutions
    We care about our clients' time. Just give us a call, and we will help you with all the questions.
  • 7
    Sharing is caring
    Go beyond sharing knowledge. Can you initiate a program to share analytical equipment, crates, cases etc. with other institutions?
  • 8
    Join conferences with a sustainability-related topic
    Share your story and inspire others to start or keep taking action. 
  • 9
    Join a community of like-minded people
    Together we are stronger to make an even bigger impact beyond individual institutions. Check out communities and groups opting for a more sustainable future: Sustainability in Conservation, Culture Declares Emergency, Ki Culture, Museums For Future,...
  • 10
    Widen your perspective and impact 
    For example by getting in touch with a local climate action group, support and join it. 
In our opinion, a very important check-in question, you should keep asking yourself on your journey to sustainability, climate action and climate justice: “Do my/our actions overall meet the severity and urgency of the climate crisis?”
And if you hit one or two bumps in the road - and you very likely will - don’t let yourself get discouraged; you can always think beyond your own practice, beyond your lab, department or institution. There are many active people out there and they are just waiting for another interested fellow to join along.

Learn! Practice! Share! And join us!
Thank you!
Your MFF Team

If you have questions, suggestions, ideas or useful resources, let us know at action@museumsforfuture.org