The Virginia Living Museum is a certified Virginia Green attraction committed to minimizing is environmental impacts by preventing pollution wherever feasible in its operations. Click here for more information about the Commonwealth's Virginia Green program.
The Museum obtained its designation in June 2008 as part of the Commonwealth’s campaign to promote environmentally friendly practices in all aspects of Virginia’s tourism industry.
“Conservation has been a core part of the Museum’s mission since its founding in 1966. We are thrilled that the state now has this mechanism to recognize us and other institutions that make environmental conservation a priority,” said VLM Executive Director Page Hayhurst.
Virginia Green is a partnership supported by the Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Hospitality & Tourism Association and the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Launched as a pilot phase in 2006, the program includes lodging facilities, restaurants, conference and convention centers and attractions.
As a certified Virginia Green attraction, the Museum has committed to minimizing its environmental impact by preventing pollution wherever feasible in its operations. This includes recycling, elimination or minimization of Styrofoam, water efficiency, energy conservation and green events package.
Facilities Director Hal Gwyn is continually reassessing the Museum’s energy use. Over the past year, his crew has replaced about 90 percent of incandescent light bulbs throughout the Museum with fluorescent bulbs, for an estimated annual savings of $1,100 in the Museum store alone. A computer controls all lighting so that after hours the lights are automatically turned off in areas where the cleaning crew is not working. The Museum’s chillers have been reprogrammed to a lead/lag timing so they only run when needed instead of all the time.
Gwyn has also switched to synthetic oil in Museum vehicles, which doesn’t have to be changed for 25,000 miles, and now uses an environmentally friendly radiator fluid that will not kill animals if it spills.
In addition to its operating practices, the Museum promotes conservation to its visitors. It conducts two plant sales a year to encourage the use of native plants in home gardens and holds an annual Earth Day weekend event that highlights environmentally friendly practices. The Museum is also constructing a “Green House” environmental education center and “bayscaping” backyard habitat designed to demonstrate how choices for products and landscaping can improve our environment. Funded by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, the new exhibit area is scheduled to open in spring 2009.