Green Computing and Higher Education Web Cast

Since 2001, Ready2Net (from CSU Monterey Bay) offers TV broadcasts, podcasts, and streamed webcasts programs relating to the Internet evolution and technologies for higher education. Anyone can watch these for FREE. One currently available is called Green Computing and Higher Education, the 3 R’s, which discusses ways to conserve energy and to promote more sustainable solutions in labs and data centers (60 mins). You have to register so they keep track of web casts participation but they are free to view whenver you wish either in Quicktime or Windows Media Stream.

More Students Switching to Bikes

Whether to save money on gas or be more environmentally friendly, many students in high school and college are moving toward using bikes instead of cars. Many schools are moving toward initiatives to encourage this bike movement. Examples: Ripon College (WI) is offering first year students FREE mountatin bikes, helmet and lock if they sign a pledge not to bring a car to campus for the entire school year.   Emory University has a complete Web site called Bike Emory listing events, a cyclopedia, bike resources, maps, etc. but best of all Emery offers several on campus bike repair shops, deep discounts on bike purchases, and a bike share program for all eligible students/staff to bike around campus free! Colleges in other states such as Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Maine and Pennsylvania are now offering bike-loan programs.

For librarians: if your college (or high school) does not have such initiatives think about getting involved to make it happen;  if they do, try to get involved to show the library’s support; make sure you have a bike rack outside the library; encourage your own staff and students to participate (incentives?);  try a display of bike related resources in the library; highlight your e-resources which students can access remotely, w/o having to drive or bike to campus as all. I’m sure there are lots of other ideas – please suggest/comment!

Upgrade Your iPod w/o Guilt?

If you know you will be upgrading computer/electronic equipment in the next year or two, but you know you are just adding to the growing hazardous electronic waste, check out TechForward. It’s a company that sells you a guaranteed buy back deal at the point of sale for you new device (iPod, computer, DVD, TV, etc). So for example, for about $60 the new MacBook Pro you are buying today can be traded in to TechForward in a year/18months for about $420. TechFoward will supply you a box and free shipping to send it back, and they either resell or recycle the device.  CNET news.com has an article with more details on this young company’s venture capitalist business.

Use the Web to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

I stumbled upon this wiki (from Wired’s How-to Wiki) listing various ways to reduce your footprint and its a wiki, so you can add your own ideas once you log in.  Some ideas they list:  aps in Facebook (Carpool or CarbonMind);  Terrapass (determine lowest carbon emission when flying); GreenestHost (green data hosting); or a Carbon Widget to add to your Web site.

Reach for Unbleached

Did you know that in its natural state paper is off-white to brown in color though most paper we seem to use at work is white? That is because chlorine is used to make it the supposedly more appealing white color. Chlorine containing organic compounds are listed as a top pollutant for their impact on human health and the environment (for more details on this you can read the UN’s Environmental Progamme’s Persistent Organic Compounds(POPs) page) If you want bleached paper, try oxygen bases bleaches.  Also, note that “Chlorine Free” labels are deceiving; that can just mean not elemental chlorine yet forms of chlorine are still used.  The Reach for Unbleached Foundation has lots more information on this topic.

Unbleached paper products are available for everything from printer paper to file folders as well as paper products like tissues that you might use around the office. Check with your office supply company to see if they offer unbleached options.