Greening of the Campus VIII

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in conjunction with Ball State University is hosting the eight biennial Greening of the Campus conference with the theme Embracing Change Sept 20-24, 2009 in Indianapolis, IN. Early Bird Registration deadline August  14, 2009.  Check out the registration feesschedule and the keynote speakers. The conference will offer pre and post conference events, an expo “the green campus exposition,” evening receptions and all conference proceedings will be published in CD form only to minimize paper printing.

How green is your city?

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) has a site called Smarter Cities.  They offer stories, maps, news, information, etc. on what makes a city “smart” and they also ranked cities according to how “green” they are. They have 3 categories according to city size: under 100,000 = small, 100,000- 249,00 = medium and over 250,000 = large) You can read about how they collected data and scored cities under the criteria of  Air Quality, Energy Production and Conservation, Environmental Standards and Participation, Green Building, Green Space, Recycling, Transportation, Standard of Living, and Water Quality and Conservation. Top large cities: Seattle (WA), San Francisco (CA), Portland (OR).   Top medium cities: Madison (WI),  Santa Rosa (CA), Fort Collins (CO).  Top small cities: Bellingham (WA), Mountain View (CA), Norwalk (CT)

Free Webinar: Going Green – What does it really mean?

From District Administration and University Business Leadership Series Web Seminars: Going Green: What does it really mean?

FOR: K12 and higher-ed administrators
DATE: Thursday, August 6, 2009 from  2-3 pm ET
SUMMARY: “Going Green” — It’s all about preserving resources, setting the proper example for students and, of course, saving money. Today, “going green” permeates education, from decisions about construction materials and furniture to computers and cleansers. In this web seminar we’ll take a close look at sustainability, including trends, costs, hype and promise. Who will benefit: K12 administrators and college/university managers involved with sustainability, construction, buildings and grounds management, purchasing and technology.

  • Do green initiatives have to suffer in times of budget cuts?
  • How can the federal stimulus package support green initiatives?
  • How should you incorporate sustainability in renovations?
  • What are the latest trends in LEED-certification?
  • How should schools be rated on sustainability?


  • Rachel Gutter, Senior Manager for the Schools Sector, U.S. Green Building Council
  • Mark Orlowski, Founder & Executive Director, Sustainable Endowments Institute
  • A roundup of green products from Products Editor Kurt Dyrli.

More info and to register.

Wanda Urbanska on green libraries

Wanda Urbanska was part of an American Libraries sponsored Auditorium Speaker Series at ALA Annual in Chicago. As Simple Living host and an author, Urbanska talked about the disease of over consumption, the concept of heat, feed and speed (aka – decreasing energy requirements for the heating and cooling of homes, gardens/local food choices, and transportation choices), and that libraries are inherently green.  From the AL Inside Scoop blog here are a few ideas she suggested:

  • Timer systems for heating, cooling, and lighting systems.
  • Eliminating phantom loads by unplugging electronics when not in use.
  • Discouraging printing to reduce paper use.
  • Recycling of paper—including paper from discarded books.
  • “Freecycling” of magazines and books by having swaps at the library. “In today’s economy, that’s a big deal to folks, to be able to take home a book and mark it up and not have to return it,” she noted.
  • Buying locally made products whenever possible.
  • Reducing the use of disposable materials. Urbanska used her travel mug as an example, claiming that “In 20 years of carrying a travel mug everywhere I go, I’ve saved 7,000 cups from landfills.”
  • Using green cleaning products.
  • Bike or walk to work, errands, or meetings.
  • Host green programming, such as a workshop on making useful materials from plastic bags or a vegetarian cooking class.
  • Purchasing products made from recycled materials.

Watch the interview with Wanda

World Without Oil Online Game

A World without Oil online reality game was  actually done live with 1900 participants in spring 2007  but the site is archived and preserved to be used by anyone today.  Players live through a simulation of a world with out oil and  have to change their lifestyle to adjust to the alternate reality. They follow interdisciplinary lessons plans (which meet state and national standards) and communicate using CMS, blogs, nings, podcasts, and video. Wanta play? The offer some ideas on participating:

(1) you can get into the game and use the WWO “Time Machine” to call up any of these weeks. The official story for that week will be headlined in the upper center right; the stack of blocks to the left, under the dark blue panel, link to the player stories for that week. (The stories that the WWO team judged to be best will be at the top of the stack.) Clicking on a story block will take you to that story, usually posted by the player somewhere on the web.

(2) everyone is welcome to sign up as a Netizen Hero and to participate in “WWO Lives,” our ongoing blog about all matters WWO. We will definitely link to good in-game stories from the WWO Lives blog.

Recyclemania Winners

Winners of 2009 Recyclemania have been announced. This year over 510 schools from all 50 states, DC and Canada participated and collectively recycled or composted over 69.4 million pounds of waste during the 10 week period. The top winners:

  • Grand Champion: California State University, San Marcos
  • Waste Minimization: North Lake College
  • Stephen K Gaski Per Capita Classic: McNeese State University
  • Gorilla Prize: Rutgers University
  • Paper: Stephens College
  • Corrugated Cardboard: McNeese State University
  • Bottles & Cans: Kalamazoo College
  • Food Service Organics:Bard College

What is recyclemania? A 10 week competition for schools and colleges ranking  the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate.

Interested in joining for 2010? email and type this in your subject heading: “2010 RecycleMania Updates – {your institution or organization name}”.  more information on planning, tools, ideas, etc can be found on their Web site.

Sustainability Marketplace

Collaboration and sustainability:  this web site called Sustainability Marketplace (from CalPoly/San Luis Obispo) is  great example of a portal  that others could create for users of all types (students, nonprofits, business, academics, librarians, etc) to post research-based projects that they working on, want to collaborate on, or to find an existing projects. Academic libraries could think about creating this sort of portal for their campus? Are there any out there already?

Sustainability Marketplace: Connecting People and Projects is “meant to function as a marketplace for students, staff, faculty and community members who are looking to get involved…join an existing project, submit projects that need teams, or enter an online discussion with others interested in our sustainable community.” It was created for people on campus at Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo community work together on projects for sustainability.


Check out Greenopia – an easy to navigate, full of information, web site to find  green businesses, products or brand ratings, news & information, and community events. A few dozen cities (unfortunately not mine!)  are listed so far with portal of local information catered to that specific city.  Love the green tips box on the left side too.You can also buy a green guide for several cities – consumer guide filled with local listings for green retailers, service providers, and organizations.  Sign up for FREE and become a members to join the online community, write reviews, rate businesses, submit tips, and get 20% off your purchase of a green guide.

What they do:

Greenopia provides consumers with high quality information to help them reduce their impact on the environment through their daily purchasing decisions. Greenopia publishes extensive green business directories, product directories, and brand directories, as well as offering a growing community, news articles, blogs, and tips to help everyone eat, shop, and live green.