Campus Sustainability Online Discussion Forums

AASHE (assoc for advancement of sustainability in higher education) recently created these Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums to ask questions and get answers or idea from others on greening your campuses. There are 17 forum topics: co-curricular education, curriculum, research, buildings, climate, dining services, energy, grounds, purchasing, transportation, water, waste, coordination and planning, diversity and affordability, human resources, investment, and public engagement.

save energy

One easy way you can save energy (and money!) in your library is through your computer power management settings.  A typical desktop computer and LCD monitor can use over 200 watts a day. Laptops use less than 45 watts and Macs generally use  a lot less energy too. (more info)  By putting your computer to “sleep” you can cut back to 1-5 watts of energy.  Generally if you are going to be away for more than 20-30 minutes, set your computer and monitor to sleep/hibernate mode. This is especially good to do at night, weekends, or when you are away. Check with your IT folks to find out how they install updates to your computer, but many times they can either remotely turn on your computer, or set the updates to install once you computer is back on the network. (more info) The EPA has some information on computer power management settings for individual computers.  How to access these settings? In Windows XP go to start – control panels – power options:  set your monitor and your standby to 20 minutes. For Macs go to system preferences – energy saver. Also check that your peripherals are turned off – like the printer or copier -as well.  And buy Energy Star computers whenever possible – they use up to 60% less energy than non-energy star computers .  More computer energy saving tips.

Two common myths: no it doesn’t hurt your computer to turn it off and on frequently AND screensavers do nothing to save you energy.

Check out the Energy Star Pledge to join the campaign and/or find out more energy saving tips and ideas.

Any librarians blogging about green ideas?

I’m wondering who I havent yet stumbled upon in library land who is blogging, or using twitter, nings, SL  or other 2.0 tools to discuss, inform or communicate on green and sustainable library topics?  Does your library have an active green committee with blog? Are there any statewide green library committees with 2.0 type  online presence? Please comment to this post or email me ( directly … thanks!

Online conference: call for proposals

Learning Times is presenting an online conference March 2-4, 2010 called Stakeholder Engagement 2010TM The Annual International Online Conference. The theme is Including the Excluded: Social/Environmental Justice Accessibility, and Social Inclusion in Engagement.  The conference sessions will cover:

  • Historically excluded or underserved groups (Social or Environmental Justice)
  • Individuals with physical or mental disabilities (Accessibility)
  • Persons who are socially excluded by geography, personal habits and appearance, class structure, income, education, or religion (Social Inclusion)

All conference sessions, field trips, and networking events will take place via webcast/webinar, Skype, or in virtual worlds. Submit your proposal and stay tuned for registration information later this year.

Libraries lending Kill-A-watt devices

Kill-a-watt devices help you analyze how much an appliance contributes to your utility costs, the best times of day to use that appliance, and basically how to be more energy efficient and save money. A number of electric companies are lending them to their citizens but since these businesses dont have a good lending service in place, some are turning to libraries to lend for them. In southwest colorado, several libraries including Cortez and Mancos Public Libraries are now lending these devices to their patrons.  I bet other libraries are doing this now too.  cool, eh?

Green Library Presentation

I was thrilled to present a workshop on Creating a Green Environment @ your library for the Southwest Workshop Days last thursday and friday in Durango, CO (a place I use  to live and work!) My slides, links and resources are on my wiki.  The workshop was held at the new Durango Public Library – a LEED gold certified library! There were attendees from other libraries in colorado planning to build or recently built green buildings  such as Mancos Public Library (LEED certified) Naturita Public Library (1st strawbale library in colorado) and Gunnison County library District (hoping to build green!) Here are more LEED certified buildings in Colorado.

(higher ed) upcoming green events

Some upcoming events, mostly at cost, from AASHE bulletin:

Pre-Conf Workshop: How Higher Education Can Lead Restoration
October 15, 2009; 9am – 5pm Pacific; San Francisco, CA/ Cost $150
Second Nature, AASHE, and the California Student Sustainability Coalition will host “Education for Action in the Age of Climate Change: How Higher Education Can Lead Restoration In and Out of the Classroom,” a pre-conference workshop at Bioneers 2009. The workshop, which is designed for students, faculty, staff, administrators, and the general public, will challenge participants to rethink the purpose of formal education related to solving the complex problems we face, while demonstrating breakthrough examples of leadership and successful innovations. Keynote speakers will include David Orr, leading environmental educator and Bioneers board member; Dr. Anthony Cortese, founder and President of Second Nature; and Julian Keniry, Senior Director of Campus and Community Leadership for the National Wildlife Federation.

Transformative Learning through Sustainability Education Workshop
October 20, 2009; British Columbia Institute of Technology/Cost $75
The British Columbia Institute of Technology will host “Transformative Learning: Creating Communities Through Sustainability Education.” The event is for students, faculty, staff, and administrators and will focus on building capacity for sustainability education in post secondary institutions across BC. The one-day workshop will cover such topics as: trends and opportunities in the sustainability education movement; professional development tools and approaches for faculty members; building relationships with communities to foster critical sustainability research; experience and hands-on learning; and identifying sustainability learning outcomes. Registration is currently available.

Campus Sustainability Day Webcast
October 21, 2009; 1 – 2:30pm Eastern/Cost $195
The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) will host a Campus Sustainability Day webcast. Participants in the webcast will discover how institutions across North America are finding opportunities in the wake of budget cuts and providing the appropriate campus infrastructure and knowledge on how to finance, plan, operate, and manage low carbon, energy efficient campuses. Attendees will also learn how these actions are supporting broader community, regional, and national initiatives. Participants will hear from Andrew Revkin, Science Reporter for the New York Times; Sarah Brylinsky, Sustainability Education Coordinator for Dickinson College (PA); Larry Eisenberg, Executive Director for Facilities Planning and Development at the Los Angeles Community College District; Joseph E. Grasso, Assistant Dean of Finance and Administration at Cornell University (NY); and Angela Halfacre, Director of the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability and Professor of Political Science at Furman University (SC).

Carbon Neutral Campus Architecture Webcast
November 19, 2009; 1 – 3pm Eastern/COST $195
The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) will host “Carbon Neutral Campus Architecture: Climate Specific Design and Innovation,” a webcast that will investigate carbon neutral architectural projects. Buildings from three to four different climate zones will be highlighted. Learning outcomes include discovering what drivers and change agents have been put in place at campuses and institutions to lead to the successful design and construction of carbon neutral; exploring projects and design possibilities that can or will achieve carbon neutrality; and deriving inspiration for climate-specific design and understand the strategies related to specific climate zones.