What is the Design Museum's Carbon Footprint?

The Design Museum in London has taken significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint and to become more environmentally friendly. 

Design contributes to a lot of carbon pollution, as it turns out. In a new move for the Design Museum in London (and for the museum sector as whole), an environmental audit was commissioned for its latest exhibition ahead of the COP26 UN Climate Conference at Glasgow. This is the first time the Design Museum has audited one specific exhibition, and it yielded some interesting results.

The temporary exhibition, called “Waste Age,” explores the consumerism and throwaway culture of some design styles. Many regular, everyday items are designed wastefully, from fashion and food to electronics and packaging. The exhibit showcases designers who are finding ways to reuse items and exploring a more sustainable future. Analysing the environmental impact of Waste Age is especially interesting considering that the show itself focuses on wastefulness in design. The Design Museum’s goal was to draw attention to the amount of carbon pollution that design contributes to, as well as how to reduce it in improved design practises. 

The sustainability assessment revealed that Waste Age has a carbon footprint of 10 tonnes, which is equivalent to what the average UK person emits in a year. Although this number may sound large when you first hear it, it’s actually greatly reduced from what it would have been. The initial phase of the audit predicted that the exhibit’s carbon footprint would amount to 190 tonnes! As a part of Design Museum’s mission to become more sustainable, they worked hard to improve this number. The biggest way they did this was by reusing as much material as possible from past exhibitions, as well as supplementing them with low-impact construction materials that could be reused or were biodegradable. They also have been using renewable energy since 2017, a decision which also had a good impact on Waste Age’s carbon footprint. 

This is a part of a larger movement to become more sustainable and to go green. We’re becoming more aware of how much the planet needs us to step up and take care of it. Reducing waste will have a huge impact on our environment and will ensure a cleaner and safer world for future generations. For this reason alone, it’s worth exploring the Design Museum. They’re committed to reducing waste and contributing to a better future. As Sophie Thomas, who co-wrote the environmental report, said: "It may not seem like a big step for a museum to crunch the carbon data like this but as a designer who has worked both in exhibition design and in sustainability for decades, I can say this amount of scrutiny on the detail really is.”

The Design Museum is worth visiting for other reasons, too. They display contemporary design in every form. Some worthwhile events coming up are an Amy Winehouse exhibit (in which you can view the outfits she wore during her greatest performances, as well as personal items that have never been displayed before), and a talk coming up on November 30 about making architecture more sustainable (book your spot here). If you enjoy contemporary design and are thinking about how you can make the world a better place, the Design Museum is for you.

The Design Museum is also located nearby the Vonder Hotel Kensington. This hotel is in the perfect location, being just a short walk from Earl’s Court and close to Buckingham Palace. It’s also 1.9 km from the Science Museum and 1.1 km from Stamford Bridge. It’s always worth dropping in to visit these attractions. If you're looking for a more permanent living situation, you might want to check out Vonder’s all-in-one living solution. With incredible on-site amenities and hassle-free arrangements at each living complex, you’ll be glad you did.



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