5 things that the art world can do to lower its carbon footprint

Save the planet – go digital. Life hacks from Art Basel Miami.

What can the art world do to lower carbon footprint?

Thanks to Art Basel Miami Beach magazine we learned a few life hacks.


  1. Lightning is key to exhibit art, but LEDs, which are semiconductor light sources, are the most environmentally conscious forms of lighting. Now might be the time for museums and galleries to use solely LEDs.
  2. A museum prints out thousands of tickets every day, in addition to pamphlets and maps provided to visitors. Reducing the number of printed tickets to those without smartphones and encouraging digital bar codes will reduce waste.
  3. Galleries pile hundreds of press releases on their front desks, and most of them quickly find their way into the garbage. Smart bar codes are an effective method for visitors to receive the press release on a digital platform.
  4. Artists must find ways to consume less electricity and nonrecyclable materials and inform their assistants about creating limited waste during production. New-York based painter Peter Halley, for example, started offsetting his Chelsea studio’s heating, electricity, materials and airfare and automobile travel in an effort to make art that is more carbon neutral.
  5. This year has seen major renovation and expansion projects among institutions and galleries, including the storied MoMA expansion. How about considering environmentally conscious materials for construction? For its new 75.000-square-foot soon-to-be LEED-certified Chelsea headquarters, Pace Gallery used volcanic stone from Mount Etna for its north facade.
  6. Have an online gallery. Nothing beats the physical experience of an artwork, but a digital gallery will serve as your portfolio, progression timeline, memoir and business card. And it’s zero emission!

Also published on Medium.

.ART Team
.ART Team
members are global citizens with interests ranging from art history to social justice. If we had an office cat we would have called it Basquiat.