GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Explore alternative power sources and learn about your own energy consumption in the Florida Museum of Natural History’s newest permanent exhibit “Our Energy Future,” opening Nov. 11.

The exhibit, designed to resemble a home, includes information about energy use; ways to reduce consumption, like purchasing more efficient appliances and using power strips; climate change and its effects and more.

“It’s all about energy use and how to save it at home with simple steps,” said Tina Choe, Florida Museum exhibit developer.

The exhibit also discusses the limits of fossil fuels and alternative sources, like solar, wind and geothermal power.

“Fossil fuels are in increasingly short supply,” said Darcie MacMahon, museum assistant director of exhibits. “We need to figure out how to power our world without them and live more sustainably.”

The exhibit allows visitors to view the energy use of area homes, watch videos about residents who have taken steps to reduce their consumption and see the real-time output of the Florida Museum’s 75 kilowatt rooftop solar array, which inspired the exhibit.

Visitors may also enjoy photos and graphics with tips for saving energy and money.

“It all adds up,” MacMahon said. “Americans use an enormous amount of energy, and individuals can make a big difference in our future by making small changes.”

While developing the exhibit, museum employees learned a lot about conserving power and made small changes at home that have reduced their utility bills, MacMahon added.

“It’s great to save money while doing what’s right for the planet,” she said.

The exhibit is sponsored by Progress Energy and was created by the Florida Museum of Natural History in partnership with the University of Florida Office of Sustainability.

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Source: Darcie MacMahon, 352-273-2053,
Writer: Leeann Bright
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,