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Building Exhibitions, Sustainably

Our Exhibits Team has always sought out earth-friendly materials when creating experiences for our visitors. But Expedition Baja’s conservation focus made it even more important to keep these practices top-of-mind. From the flooring to the UV-shielding skylights, sustainability was a driving force behind the exhibition’s development. 

We chose materials with the environment in mind—including carpet tiles made from recycled materials, zero-VOC paint, and LED lighting. Fallen trees were upcycled into exhibition components: the desert diorama is trimmed with local sycamore, the Yeti cooler pedestal is made of coast live oak, and the base of the intro map was an incense cedar killed in the 2003 Cedar Fire. We even turned a dead palm tree from the museum’s front yard into a stool for visitors. 

Our team is developing their own innovative techniques, too. Exhibits Technician Gabriel Dice collected non-recyclable plastic waste in special bins at the Museum, tightly wound it into pods, and used them as “stuffing” for the desert diorama’s fabricated boulders.  

We love using exhibits to teach visitors about sustainability, and pride ourselves on being able to create this beautiful new experience using the most sustainable methods possible. 

A brand-new gallery was carved out of “back of house” office space and outfitted with LED lights, zero-VOC paint, and recycled carpet tiles in preparation for the exhibition buildout. Photo by Michael Field.

Tightly wound pods made from non-recyclable plastic form the “guts” of the fabricated boulders in the desert diorama. Photo by Michael Warburton.

We use reclaimed lumber and eco-friendly materials as much as possible. The base of this diorama is made from local sycamore, and the divider walls are made from recycled rice husks. Photo by Stacy Keck.

In a full-circle moment, a dead Guadalupe Island palm tree outside the museum finds new life as a bench inside the exhibition. Photos by Michael Field.

Posted by Senior Director of Communications Rebecca Handelsman on December 29, 2022

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