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Wednesday, May 31 • 9:40am - 10:00am
(Sustainability) Students for Sustainability in Conservation

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Sustainability in conservation is an emerging area of concern and importance. The main focus has been on larger scale issues, such as climate control in museums, packaging/shipping, storage and lighting. Conservators individually should also be aware of smaller scale initiatives to be more green in daily practice. In order to enhance the role of sustainability in everyday conservation, it is necessary to begin incorporating eco-friendly practices into education and training programs. Doing so ensures that future generations of conservators think sustainably. In order to promote sustainability at the student level, I have started an initiative to bring the international community of students together and show how they can make a difference. SSiC, Students for Sustainability in Conservation, is an international platform for students, educators and professionals in the field to come together and share their ideas, questions and innovations regarding sustainability in conservation. SSiC presents initiatives that are easy to implement in any lab or studio, and also provides the opportunity for individuals to share their projects. SSiC promotes the concept that little changes make a huge difference. By spreading awareness, SSiC hopes to inspire the conservators of the future to a more sustainable direction.  SSiC highlights key areas in which conservators can reduce waste and become more sustainable, and particularly how students can become involved and impact the future of conservation. SSiC showcases initiatives that are easy to implement in any studio. The RightCycle Program is one such program, which is currently undergoing a trial run at the University of Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. The use of disposable gloves is a huge source of waste in conservation. Gloves are a major contributor to landfill waste and pollution from incineration. The RightCycle program can help reduce the amount of waste produced from using disposable gloves. RightCycle is a recycling program for non-hazardous disposable nitrile gloves and is easy to implement and use. RightCycle* is a propriety program from Kimberly-Clark Professional. Disposable nitrile gloves cannot be recycled through normal plastic recycling due to their composition. The newly developed program breaks down used gloves into powder using cryogenic processes to make new eco-friendly consumer products, such as patio furniture but also construction material like panels. The program is simple to use: after the gloves are used they are simply disposed of into the recycling box instead of the trash can. When the box is full, the gloves are picked up. The one stipulation for the program is that only Kimberly-Clark Professional gloves are eligible for recycling. Kimberly-Clark Professional offers a range of high quality gloves under the KIMTECH* brand for the program that meet the various standards and needs of the conservator. Programs like RightCycle are easy ways for conservation labs to become more sustainable. SSiC provides awareness about these kinds of programs and initiatives and information about how to set them up in your studio. The aim is to promote an international, unified effort to bring sustainability to the foreground.

avatar for Caitlin Christena Southwick

Caitlin Christena Southwick

Conservator, University of Amsterdam Program in Conservation and Restoration
Caitlin Southwick is a stone conservator at the University of Amsterdam. She received a Professional Certificate in Conservation from Lorenzo de' Medici International Italian Institute in Florence after which she continued her studies at l'Accademia di Belle Art in Carrara. She then... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 9:40am - 10:00am CDT
Plaza Ballroom Lobby Level, East Tower