Looking for green speakers?

Check out this web site EcoSpeakers.com (a  subset of EcoIQ – which focuses on  media and educational products and services, strategies, tactics and EcoIQ Magazinetools needed by leaders, educators)

You can search by name or  topic. On the main page is a listing (w/ photos) of features speakers. There are other great resources too such as green event planning, green lodging,  green transportation, green food,  greening your travel etc.

Earth Hour Tomorrow 3/28

Tomorrow, Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 8:30 pm on whatever is your local time join millions of others for Earth Hour.

World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions.  Already over 2000  cities in82 countries have agreed to take part, state capital domes will turn off their lights, and even Hollywood is joining in as American Idol, Bones, and Family Guy shows will go dark for earth hour. Find out if your city is participating.

Prepare for Earth Day!

Earth day is coming! Start thinking about what your library can do for Earth Day if you haven’t already.   Check out the Earth Day Network site for ideas including an organizers guide, earth day in a box, earth day on campus, etc. Be sure to register your event or find other events in your areas on the Earth Day 2009 site.   The Nature Conservancy also has some ideas like tree planting and online community to connect with others.  Environlink offers some suggestions like pledges and city proclamations. For school librarians, teachers.net and education world have some earth day activities and lesson plans.  Wikihow has a concise list of ideas from picking up litter to making  bird houses.

Are you in an urban setting?

Look into the idea of Urban Homesteading for your library and to educate your library patrons.  It’s the idea that even in an urban setting you can be a bit of a farmer –  from container gardening to having chickens –  thus creating a better lifestyle for yourself and your family with local, in season, healthy and cheaper choices of food.   California even has an Institute for Urban Homesteading who’s principals “preserve a slower, more intentional, more sustainable and more pleasurable way of life, rescue the lost arts of the garden, the kitchen and things done by hand and imbue everyday tasks with wonder and beauty.”

Perhaps a library could host local experts teaching workshops such as raising chickens in your backyard, beekeeping, canning, making yogurt, producing fruit and honey wines and cheese making.

Check out Fallen Fruit web site, which is attempting to map locations of  public fruit in neighborhoods around the country(public fruit is fruit that overhangs sidewalks, parking lots, streets, etc.)

Recycled Paper

As we try and switch over to recycled paper in the library, many questions and issues arise. The cost – why is it more than virgin paper? What type of recycled paper do we want to buy?  And some people say that the recycled paper jams their printers.

Here are some answers I found exploring this recycled paper topic:

High cost? think economies of scale: virgin paper mills are well established while recycled paper mills are still developing on a smaller scale.  Also,  the gathering, refining, treating (in the most e-friendly way) to produce recycled paper costs more than just creating virgin paper. And recycled paper incorporates all its costs into the product (such as alternative to disposal) and is not rewarded fiscally for its significantly lower energy and water use. Virgin paper costs receive generous government timber, energy, and water subsidies and do not incorporate responsibility or costs for the product’s eventual disposal. And the consumerism factor – if more people buy it and there is more a market for the product, more competition in the market, and companies realize this is what people want (to pay for what they value) costs will eventually go down but in the end, you get what you pay for.

Recycled paper jamming a problem? Some reasons why: a bad batch of paper, poor maintenance of copier machine, improper storage of paper (allowing moisture to affect sheets), improper handling of paper (not fanning paper out, not loading paper according to grain, not allowing paper to warm up (or cool down) to match the temperature of the copier room), the user must be sure to orient the curl of the paper in the correct direction; too much dust in a copier room can be a killer, etc.  (Info from the Federal Network of Sustainability)  Here are some other articles on this topic:  Recycled Paper The Best Choice | National Assoc of Paper Merchants | Green Purchasing at Yale

Insiders Guide to Greening I.T. Free E-book

bookcoverfaronics_web-7492251Great handout with various articles called  Insider’s Guide to Greening I.T (PDF)a collection of stories, blog posts, and practical advice for employees from high-level to grassroots who want to start green initiatives within their organizations. Here is the TOC:

Read about who/why this was written.

Green Publishing Webcast Summary

(Article from Publishers Weekly) In late February a webcast sponsored by Green Press Initiative, Webcom and PW called  Successful Green Publishing was held with over 250 publishers in attendance. The webcast consisted of a panel of various publishers with an overview of the industry and discussing issues like setting goals for where the industry can go, how to determine saving by printing on recycled paper, and importance of having eco type  book labels on books to explain to the public a publisher’s commitment to the environment.  One main issue that came up was cost – it costs 15% – 25% more per book to print on recycled paper (but  The Green Book was mentioned – the first 100% recycled book Crown published in 2006 which became a bestseller, selling more than 200,000 copies.)  Another issue was finding FSC-certified printers and paper overseas and whether they should focus on printing (at a higher price) in the US.  Another issue was printing in general and how the industry might be able to cut back.

You will still have to register but you can listen to the archived session for FREE.

Also, you might want to check out a post I did  last fall of a  summary of the US Book Industry Trends & Findings.

E-textbooks on campus?

One college is testing out the idea of e-textbooks for their courses. At Northwest Missouri State a pilot program of students are issued laptops and then download textbooks for their classes.  Not only are they saving paper but they are saying money – the costs of college textbooks can be hundreds of dollars each semester.  Half the students still wish they had real, not electronic textbooks though, showing the move to all electronic might take awhile for even millennials.  Listen to this NPR podcast or read this Inside Higher Ed article about this “paper cut.”

Create your own Green Cleaners

I posted previously about the number of green cleaning products and green janitorial products and services on the market these days that are affordable and readily available.  But even cheaper, less toxic, less waste (from the purchased plastic bottle products) and simpler,  is the idea of creating your own cleaning products for home or around the office.   Care2’s Health and Green Living  web site has a how-to article on Making a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit. Inhabitat has a post as well on How to Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products. Also my local government web site has a page on Household Cleanser Alternatives with easy recipes.

Follow up: I can across this blog recently Natural Cleaning Product Reviews, which seems to be on topic with this posting.

Greening Seattle for ACRL

Heading to ACRL later this month? Have you heard about the plans to make this 14th ACRL Conference greener? Listen to this podcast as Virtual Conference Committee Co-Chair Scott Walter and Green Conference Planning Committee members Juliet Kerico and Karen Munro discuss environmentally sustainable practices for this Seattle conference such as the  ACRL 2009 Green Pledge , eco-friendly hotel practices, and Invited Green Speaker Robin Chase.  (Dont forget you can also virtually attend ACRL this year.)

PS:  An interesting post worth reading along with the many comments of how green ACRL conference  give aways really were!