Florida Museum Green Team

Green Team logo

As an official University of Florida Green Team, this Museum group works closely with UF's Office of Sustainability to involve their departments, and members of the campus community, in achieving a more sustainable university. The team supports the University's ongoing efforts to reduce unnecessary resource use and waste generation.

The Florida Museum Green Team's mission is to generate new ideas, offer feedback on existing campus programs and provide a mechanism for employees and friends of the Museum to share information and best practices.

Team members: Cathy Bester, iDigBio; Tina Choe, Exhibits and Public Programs; Ann Cordell, Sarah Fazenbaker, Office of Museum Technology; Mary Ferl, Budget and Human Resources; Jesse Grosso, Ichthyology; Andy Lievertz, Office of Museum Technology; Darcie MacMahon, Exhibits and Public Programs; Rob Robins, Ichthyology; and Griffin Sheehy, Directors Office.


Museum Green Initiatives

Rob Robins at National Mall - bicyclists for Gainesville

Green Team member Rob Robins (bottom) campaigning for bicycling at a rally on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

  • Encourage staff use of alternative transportation to work
  • Use "green" materials when developing new exhibits
  • Design traveling exhibits that require as few trucks as possible
  • Use more environmentally friendly paints with no volatile organic compounds
  • Use recycled carpet for new and replacement installations
  • Host Earth Day public programs to celebrate and highlight conservation
  • Limit use of paper telephone directories
  • Encourage recycling/reuse of packing materials
  • Remind staff to turn off lights, monitors, printers and other equipment when not in use
  • Add light switch decals to remind staff to reduce energy use
  • Replace foam core signage with reusable signs
  • Convert work orders from paper to electronic format
    Fossil Hall relamping

    New lights in the Florida Fossils exhibit provide 75 percent energy savings over the original fixtures!

  • Eliminate printed brochures when possible
  • Print brochures with vegetable-based inks on Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper
  • Use compact fluorescent and other energy-saving lighting in office and work spaces
  • Re-lamp the Florida Fossils exhibit with energy efficient metal halide fixture
  • Participate in campuswide group orders for green tableware products to be used for various Museum functions
  • Maintain communal bicycles for staff to use on campus
  • Collaborative composting program with the UF Biology department green team
  • Assist staff with getting removed from unwanted product catalog mailing lists
  • Participate in campus-wide Terracycle collection program

Repurposed Ethanol Barrels

The Museum buys bulk ethanol in 55 gallon drums for specimen preservation. The Fishes (Ichthyology), Marine Invertebrates (Invertebrate Zoology), and Herpetology Divisions (Reptiles and Amphibians) are the greatest users of this commodity, with approximately 10 million specimens in ethanol.

The Ichthyology division has been redirecting ethanol drums to sustainable uses for several years and has reached the 60-barrel giveaway mark in March 2014. Partners include Crone's Cradle Reserve, Alachua County Public Works and Forage Farm, among others. The barrels have been used for drip irrigation systems, rain cisterns and composting tumblers.

From Crone's Cradle: "The farm really appreciates the donation of the barrels. The projects have increased the efficiency of many daily processes on the farm and guests have enjoyed talking about how to incorporate re-purposed items into their own gardens and projects."

--click on any image for a larger view-- 

Event Involvement

  • Hosted 2010 One Less Car Challenge Wrap-up/Reception
  • Clean up of McCarty Woods/Green Pond Sink area during the Office of Sustainability's February 2011 REstore Campus Cleanup


Rooftop Solar Array

Rooftop Voltaic Array

The Museum's rooftop solar array.

The roof of the Florida Museum's McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity was selected as a campus demonstration site for an innovative solar array developed by Solyndra.

Installation of the 75 kilowatt-hour system was completed in May 2010, and it now contributes power to the Museum's electrical and cooling systems. A renewable energy companion exhibit called Our Energy Future includes real-time energy production data from the array.

University of Florida Campus Green Team Campaigns

UF One Less Car logoOne Less Car Challenge - Using alternative transportation saves money and reduces your impact on the planet, whether it be walking, biking, taking a bus, or carpooling. In the One Less Car challenge, students, staff and faculty join departmental teams and log their commutes and means of alternative transportation. In 2009, the Museum team placed second out of 106 teams and logged 21,973 miles during the three-month challenge.

Think Before You Ink logoThink Before You Ink - As part of the University's cost-reduction efforts, professional communicators across campus are finding ways to reduce costs, consolidate messages and create a more sustainable marketing and publications environment. The Museum is evaluating converting many of its paper brochures and newsletters to an online format and encouraging staff to reduce the amount of paper used in all areas of the Museum.

Learn more about other UF sustainability initiatives


UF Green Guides