Museum of Fossil Fuels

What would you put in a Museum of Fossil Fuels?

The Happy Museum invite you imagine what object you would place in a Museum of Fossil Fuels.

We invite you to ponder what object would best represent the shift from our fossil fuel dominated present to a more sustainable future and donate it to our new virtual museum.  Objects can be large and historically significant or small and personally resonant.  You might want to loan something from the museum where you work, volunteer or visit?  The virtual nature of the museum means size, scale, ownership and care of the object are not an issue so let your imagination go! (See below for details of how….)

To submit an object

Either post an image on instagram and tag it #museumoffossilfuels – ideally explaining what it is and why you have donated it to the museum

Or send us a few sentences describing an item and explaining your reasons for donating it and email these to You can either include a photograph or we will source a stock image or create an illustration.

Why a Museum of Fossil Fuels?

The Happy Museum Project considers the role of museums in a societal transition to a higher wellbeing and more sustainable future.  At the core of this is a transition away from the fossil fuels that have powered our human development for the past 150 years.   The ubiquity of these fuels lies in both the energy we use (oil, gas, petroleum, diesel) and the products we consume (plastics, fertilizers, medicines, cleaning products, lubricants, ashphalt and synthetic fabrics) and given that it is estimated that the world can afford to burn between one-fifth and one-third of proven fossil fuel reserves before there is a reasonable chance of tipping the planet over the 2C danger threshold of warming, the need for transition is clear.

The Fossil Fuel Museum comes from an idea of Paul Allen of Centre For Alternative Technology who spoke at the very first Happy Museum symposium in 2012.

In the spirit of Happy Museum we hope the collection will grow to contain objects which reflect the potential for the move away from fossil fuels to be a positive one for human wellbeing as well as a challenging one.

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