It isn’t easy going green…or is it?
With more than 20 seasonal guides, approximately 15 individual pamphlets and brochures and dozens of additional flyers, there’s no doubt that Mount Auburn is engaged in a considerable campaign to keep both visitors and clients of the Cemetery well educated and informed of news and events. However, ensuring that there is always a proper supply of these publications on hand means that Mount Auburn consumes an extraordinary amount of paper in the process. How does all of this paper use jive with Mount Auburn’s sustainability goals? Well, to put it bluntly, it doesn’t!
Depending on the season, Mount Auburn’s Visitors Center tends to be the Cemetery’s biggest consumer of paper. Recognizing that such a large amount of paper consumption is neither green or sustainable, the Visitors Center has begun to implement some new approaches to the way that it disseminates information to the public. For instance, many of the Cemetery’s staple publications, such as Sweet Auburn, can now be found in digital PDF form on our website. We are also in the process of reformatting seasonal interpretive guides so that they too can be accessed on Mount Auburn’s website via a dynamic tool called ISSUU. By digitizing our print media and allowing free access to it online, there’s an added benefit- people from all over the world now have access to materials that were once only available at the Visitors Center! Other innovative strategies that the Visitors Center is currently employing include: mobile tours that can be accessed for free on any web-enabled smart device, an interactive kiosk that is located onsite in the Egyptian Revival Gateway and an online event calendar. By referring visitors to both the kiosk and mobile tours, we go through fewer maps and print less Introductory Walk brochures. In the same way, our online calendar allows people to view and register for programs online, allowing us to reduce the number of program brochures that we have printed each season.
Even though these new alternatives have only been in place for a short period of time, they have already led to a visible reduction in the amount of printed material produced by the Visitors Center. While these alternatives to print media will never completely replace the need to have the actual paper version on hand, we can still hope that there will be a time when virtual consumption of our digitized materials far outpaces that of what we print.
Remember to keep checking the website as we continue to update and add more to our collection of digitized print media!