Åland Maritime Museum preserves for the future with Green Key

The Åland Maritime Museum Trust is a charitable trust, operating the Åland Maritime Museum and the four masted steel barque Pommern. Over the last couple of years, the trust has been awarded the Visit Ålands Tourism Prize and the Museum of the Year in Finland. The museum is the first attraction on the Åland Islands that has decided to start their work towards Green Key certification. The decision to initiate work with the Green Key criteria was not a hard one.

"During a conversation with Hanna, director of the Åland Maritime Museum Trust, I suggested that we should work towards an environmental certification and Hanna immediately felt that it was a good idea. The reason why we chose the Green Key program is that it is so comprehensive and the criteria can be adapted into our own operations", says Madeleine Caldén, environmental manager at Åland Maritime Museum Trust.

Striving for preservation is striving for environmental values in the museums operation. "In line with our initiation to start our work with Green Key, we captured this opportunity to evaluate our purchases and routines within several areas. Luckily, environmental work often goes hand in hand with preserving. Gentle care is often required when preserving objects and that means that we for example don’t use any chemicals unless it is necessary." 

The aim of Åland Maritime Museum Trust is to pass on knowledge about the tangible and intangible maritime cultural heritage. This might bring history to mind before the future, but Madeleine states that one thing requires the other. "The Trust’s purpose is to care for and pass on knowledge about the cultural heritage of Åland, but for that to happen there must be someone to pass it on to. With thoughts about the future it feels self-evident that we also need to do our part and do what we can to preserve nature and the environment." 

The museum is appropriate for all ages. The younger visitors can go on an adventure with the ship’s rat Ruby and peek into small rat holes in the floor. This spring opened also a new play environment for children. The playroom has gone through extensive reconstruction and since April 2017 it was called 'Ruby and the ocean'. The playroom will be a place for free play, for discoveries and research and of course environmental education. 

The museum is constantly developing and this summer, the visitors will have the possibility to enjoy some coffee and biscuits. "Some small refreshments, like coffee, tea and biscuits will be sold in a little café. It feels much nicer with a café in comparison to the coffee machine that we have today, and a café is also something that the visitors have requested. At the same time, we are discussing how we can adapt the Green Key criteria to the café already from the start. We will use real cups and spoons instead of disposables and some of the assortment will be locally produced or organic", concludes Madeleine Caldén.