Sustainability Champion: Teora Morris
Who are you, what do you do at Bishop Museum, and how did you get here?
My name is Teora Morris. I have been working at the Museum as the Bishop Museum Press Operations Manager since July 2019. I was born on Moʻorea in French Polynesia and was raised in both California and on Oʻahu. I attended the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM), where I discovered the field of Pacific Islands Studies. I became an instant convert, and I pursued my BA and MA at UHM’s Center for Pacific Islands Studies (CPIS). During that time, I was also exposed to publishing work as part of the design team behind CPIS’s Teaching Oceania Series, an innovative educational resource for undergraduate readers. After receiving my degrees, I joined the Bishop Museum Press team as the Operations Manager. Bishop Museum carries the responsibility of caring for materials that are important to the Pacific Islanders and their histories, and I am happy to be here and to play a small role in the cause, particularly in terms of increasing access to valuable knowledge in the Press’s publication history.
Why is sustainability important to you at Bishop Museum, in Hawaiʻi, and globally?
As a Pacific Islander, sustainability is central to the future I wish to see for Oceania. To me, sustainability means to move towards a paradigm of abundance in terms of the greatest health and well-being for all, including for our land- and seascapes, communities, and the world. It means doing the hard work of evaluating imbalances and inequities in our environmental and social systems and using that information to ambitiously forge new paths and practices that support a shared vision of a healthy future for future generations and in perpetuity. Being from the region of Oceania, I feel blessed that we have a rich history of environmental and social activism that we can look to for inspiration and encouragement as we envision sustainability for tomorrow.
Image: Some of the books sold by Bishop Museum press, with repurposed packaging materials.
What sustainability projects have you been working on at Bishop Museum?
As an active online retailer, our Press department has been experimenting with reducing waste associated with shipping and mailing, and methods of recycling and reusing materials often discarded after a single use. Our department collects used paper and plastic materials from staff and colleagues, and reuse these materials as packaging for parcels we send out.
What do you enjoy to do outside of work?
Outside of my work at the Museum, I love to explore local parks with my dog, garden, and do DIY projects at home with my husband.