Wonderful read by Madeleine Charney who just published her research study in the Collaborative Librarianship ejournal called “Academic Librarians and the Sustainability Curriculum:Building Alliances to Support a Paradigm Shift” This article discusses her survey of sustainability LibGuides and follow up interviews with some of these librarians. She finds a wide range of professional work in sustainability by librarians but also the need for librarians to collaborate and learn from others in areas beyond libraries. Also noted is that library administration needs to realize the importance of having a librarian with sustainability responsibilities. Don’t miss the list of best practices found at the end of the article. One of the outcomes of this study was the creation of an ALA roundtable focused on sustainability called SustainRT!
Free online resource: The White Paper which is a Generation Alliance consulting firm offering perspectives on business and branding. This month they feature an issue of a collection of stories and narratives related to corporate social responsibility, citizenship and sustainability. The Sustain Group Pty Ltd and the United Nations Global Compact Network in Australia worked with Generation Alliance for this issue’s stories. The issues offers stories such as Green Washing, Rethinking Global Goals, Corporate Social Responsibility, and on sustainable development. This issue of the White Paper might be work adding/linking to in your library.
This IFLA Journal (from Sage Journals) article called The second hand library building: Sustainable thinking through recycling old buildings into new libraries, written by Petra Hauke and Klaus Ulrich Wener (Of Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany) discusses the debatable topic of tearing down old buildings to build “green” or transforming existing buildings – perhaps not libraries – into sustainable library buildings. Recycling older buildings can be challenging but reduces the ecological footprint! The article discusses some best practices and case studies gleaned from Germany and other European counties. The article includes some photos of interesting redesign too.
It also covers the important aspect of educating LIS student’s in sustainable building design “so that the new generation of librarians will adopt the ideas and goals of sustainability in library buildings through recycling old buildings for excellent library use.” [page 64] The Berlin School for Library and Information Science has a seminar course called “Turning a book from idea to realization” where the students pick a topic in LIS, solicit authors, peer review the articles, and get them ready to print by an open access publisher! They have now published a few books on library buildings including “Secondhand but excellent! The Reuse of old buildings for library use” [find in German on Amazon | open access online in German]
Read the article to find out more! and what a great idea – wonder if other library schools are offering this real world experience for their students!
- Editor’s Choice: Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants 1,360 Acre Forest
- Architecture: The Radisson Blu Hotel’s 82-Foot Aquadom Aquarium Brings Sea-Life and Scuba Diving to Berlin
- Science/Technology: Wilson Solar Grill Stores the Sun’s Energy For Nighttime Grilling
- Transportation: Aerofex Develops a Working Hover Bike That’s Straight Out of Return of the Jedi!
- News: Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants 1,360 Acre Forest
- Energy: Germany Sets New Solar Record By Meeting Nearly Half of Country’s Weekend Power Demand
- Art: Takanori Aiba’s Amazing Bonsai Tree Castles are Miniature Living Worlds
- DIY/How-to: HOW TO: Grow an Avocado Tree from Seed
- Interview: Interview: Building Science Pioneer Dr. Joe Lstiburek on the Good, Bad and Ugly Side of Buildings
- Furniture/Interiors:Jake Dyson’s CSYS Lamp Extends the Life of Its LEDs by a Whopping 37 Years!
- Original Photos: Ray Villafane Unleashes an Insane Army of Ghastly Zombie Pumpkins at the New York Botanical Garden
Check out these great sources to make your holiday gift giving less toxic!
The Non-toxic shopping is a great aggregator of information on the topic and includes links to database on toy testing, an article on finding responsible clothing companies, searchable information on fragrances toxicities, links to site on non-toxic art supplies, and offers help for finding green products made in the USA
Check out US PIRG’s toxic toys list – download the PDF on Toy Safety or view on your mobile device; and a link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s searchable database on safe products.
Before buying anyone cosmetics check out the real ingredients from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.
Other tips for toxic-free gift giving from ToxicFreeNC!
- Look for safer materials to start with—items made from wood, cotton, wool, metal, glass, etc. will contain fewer toxic chemicals. However, remember that products labeled as “natural” or “non-toxic” aren’t necessarily so, because those labels don’t refer to any specific standards.
- Silicone is not necessarily safe, especially not in the oven, or in kids’ mouths. It often contains siliconates, which have been identified as cancer-causing chemicals. Instead, look for toys made from wood or latex, and kitchen gear made from stainless steel, ceramic or tempered glass.
- When looking for rubber duckies and other soft toys for young children, try to find natural rubber or latex. (PVC and vinyl are highly toxic.) You can sometimes identify PVC/vinyl products by looking for the recycling #3 label.
- Skip “junk jewelry” for older kids, which can include heavy metals like cadmium, lead, and sensitizers that can cause allergic reactions. If you purchase jewelry, look for products made of real silver or gold–it’s a bit pricier, but it’s safer will last longer and can be passed down through your family’s generations.
- Indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality due to the cleaning products, pesticides and fragrances folks often use at home, chemical off-gassing from furnishings and of course, mold, dander and dust. Give gifts that encourage your loved ones to spend more time outdoors.
- Know your body products. If you will be purchasing perfumes or other personal care products, check out the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. It’s a great, easy-to-use website that helps you learn about what’s in the products you’re using AND find safer replacement products. Cosmetics aren’t well regulated, but preliminary testing has revealed heavy metals in make-up and endocrine-disrupting phthalates (often listed as “fragrance”) in make-up, bodywash, shampoo, cologne, body spray and a host of other products.
A 2010 study at University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, showed they saved $10,000 by switching all default printing to Century Gothic (this blog post is set in this font face). They say it uses 30% less than Arial.
This article explains others fonts to use to save ink mentioning a study by Matt Robinson to determine ink usage of various typefonts. His study shows Garamond followed by Courier are the most economic.
Self promoting I know, but I do hope readers find both this article and this peer-reviewed, open access scholarly journal useful! My article Embedding your Green Message Through Asynchronous Learning was recently published in the Electronic Green Journal. This article summarizes a presentation I gave for the Amigos Library Services Going Green 2 online conference in November 2010. It discusses the idea of embedding green messages within your work, tasks, programs, tools, and teaching will passively or subtly inform others without being forceful. I discuss the large ten module research tutorial (Path) a team of us here at UNCG created covering concepts from forming a topic to citing sources, in which we embedded the theme of recycling, hoping users would become more environmentally literate while learning researching skills. The Electronic Green Journal has been published since 1994, semiannually by UCLA Library – think about submitting something to this journal yourself and share your knowledge and work!
A message worth passing along – textbook reviewers needed in all disciplines for education for sustainability!
Are you helping to educate for a more sustainable future? Help impact hundreds of thousands of students by infusing sustainability into textbooks from major publishers and get paid for your efforts.
Textbook publishers have seen the demand from educators and students for sustainability related materials in all disciplines. We have been asked by major textbook publishers, Cengage and McGraw-Hill, to gather names of potential reviewers who are interested in receiving remuneration for suggesting ideas about how to educate for a sustainable future. These ideas will be used as examples and themes in their textbook revisions. If you know of anyone in any academic discipline involved in educating for a sustainable future, please forward their names and contact info to EducationForASustainableFuture@gmail.com (include their discipline(s) in the subject line) and we will follow up with them about these exciting possibilities.
Debra Rowe, Ph.D.
U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development
Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium
Founder and Facilitator
Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability
America Recycles Day (11-15-11), a program since 1997, the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling in the United States gathered community groups in 35 state to embrace the message that plastic bags should not be treated like trash.Over 130 plastic bag collection activities were held to celebrate the annual event sponsored by Keep America Beautiful and aimed at raising public awareness to reduce, reuse and recycle throughout the year. America Recycles Day includes school-wide collection competitions, craft fairs showcasing items made from reused plastic bags, and earth patrols promoting sustainability with help from their toolkit. Read an article about the day. be sure to check out the winning video of 2011 America Recycles Day “Recycling is No Joke” video competition:
Trees, cards, decorating, & gifts… looking for ways to be greener this holiday? This article by the Ian Somerhalder Foundation “How to be “Green” even during the busy holidays” offer a lot of good ideas. What kind of tree should you consider buying – real or fake? Did you know 1.5 billion cards were sent in 2010 in just the US – 93% of which were virgin pulp? For decorating, consider going green with LED and solar-powered alternatives – US Dept of Energy study says if everybody replaced conventional holiday light strings with LED lights at least 2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in one month. The article also suggests creating edible ornaments to hang outside and feed wildlife, making your own pine decorations & wreaths from trimming your trees or use other plants like holly or ivy, and rethinking any purchases of non recycled decorations. For gift giving, shopping,wrapping and shipping, there are a number of things to consider such as buying online to say gas, donate to a charity in someone’s name, researching the eco-friendliness of the company, or giving a green gift like a real plant or seed or a recycled/organic item. The article also offers insight for wrapping, shipping and packaging your gifts.
The IS foundation’s mission is to “to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.” Check out this article for more information to make your holidays really green.