Greening your time @ ALA

ALA has been trying to promote greener practices at conferences – lets hope we see some green practices while conferencing in DC (Or hey maybe you are just joining us online!)

What you can do:

  • Bring your own reusable water bottle and coffee mug!
  • Eat at Green Restaurants. Here is a list of certified green places to support. Can you bring your leftovers back to the hotel in your own reusable container to reheat in a microwave for another meal?
  • Ask you hotel and restaurants how green they are: do they recycle (many restaurants do not!), do they conserve water, do they use compact fluorescent light bulbs, etc. Check out the green hotel association Website and the going greener restaurant site for more information.. you could even mention these Web sites to the manager of the place.
  • Can you carpool to the conference, take a train, or if you fly rent a hybrid vehicle? Walk or take the metro while in DC.
  • Try to not pick up excessive promotional materials or handouts that will just be tossed. Can you access the handouts online? Do you really need extra plastic swag?  Also note, if you are flying, carrying all that material back home uses energy which really does add up if everyone were to bring back a few extra pounds.

Convention Center:

The  Washington Convention Center has green initiatives in place.

Be sure to check out the SRRT’s Task Force on the Environment’s session  “Is It Safe to Go Outside? Health Effects of Climate Change and Global Warming” on Saturday 1:30-3:30 @ Convention Center room 210. The TFOE has their round table meeting – all invited that same  Saturday morning at JW Marriott ballroom IV from 8:30-10am.  LITA is also offering a green computing session “Emerging Technologies: Virtualization in Libraries”  w/ presenters from  UNC Chapel Hill, NW, and Boulder Public Library,  @ Convention Center 143B/C on Monday 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM (wish I was still at ALA on Monday to attend!)

It’s exciting to see my hotels looking at sustainable practices. My hotel – St. Gregory Luxury Hotel –  has a page explaining their green program, practices and commitment to the environment such as saving water,energy efficiency, and recycling.

There will be some  “green” vendors  at ALA too.   ALA has a Green Exhibit Checklist – look for the “green” sign for booths of  exhibitors identified as promoting Green Practices!  ALA says they will have a Green Pavilion of these vendors at the Exhibit hall so look for that.   Just to mention a few ….

  • Chelsea Green Publishing booth 2867, is an independent publisher of books dedicated to the practice and politics of sustainability.
  • CMS, Inc booth 4034 a software company offering self-service printing, reservations, wireless, etc  but also has line of environmental conscious products.
  • InterfaceFLOR, booth 4107, producer of commercial modular carpet says it leads the industry in environmental sustainability with “Mission Zero™,” the company’s promise to eliminate any negative impact it has on the environment by the year 2020.
  • Imprint Plus booth 4032 offers reusable name badges.  It’s always better to reuse before recycling. (though I also like sustainable hand made name tags too)
  • Island Press booth 2340, offers books about the environment for professionals, students, and general readers.
  • JanWay Company booth 2211, offers reusable and some Environmentally friendly products like water bottles.
  • Of course there is also the US Environmental Protection Agency booth 4031 ,whose name says it all.  But a new one for me  EPA SunWise Program booth 4115, which offers FREE environmental and health education programs related to sun exposure.
  • you can also read more about GES Green Initiatives for exhibiting.

View the PDF ALA program for more details! See you at #ala2010

Tapped Documentary

Have you heard of the Tapped documentary –  about big business water bottle industry? The trailer is great and can be viewed on Youtube. Check out more info at the Tapped the Movie website. A film to add to your library’s collection or offer a showing of it in the library!

Quotes from Colorado

“Every day, 30 million single-serve bottles end up in the land fill and a lot of the time our recyclables are being exported to other countries because we don’t have the capacity to recycle all of them,” said Stephanie Soechtig, the director of “Tapped.”  …. “You are led to believe that you are getting a pure product that is safer than tap water,” said Soechtig. “But what you are really getting in the case of BPA is a chemical that was originally invented as a synthetic estrogen, so you aren’t getting a clean product.”

Environmental Documentary Films

Check out these films created by students at Guilford College (in Greensboro NC)  representing environmental beliefs and values and as stated on their web site: “producing a documentary film allows each student team to communicate and demonstrate not only mastery of key concepts and values of American environmental thought, but also to demonstrate mastery of technical and practical skills such as defining goals, idea development, time management, logical development, and cooperative learning.  Creating films not only challenge student teams to confront the difficulty of translating complicated legal and policy issues into a form the average person can understand, but also to engage in interdisciplinary creative and critical thinking and analysis.” View Films

Maybe a school, academic, or even public library could offer eco-documentary video creation contests to involved students, or even adults, in the education and discovery process of environmental connections and issues facing our world.

At my University this spring, the Communications & Outreach subcommittee of the UNCG Sustainability Committee lead by the enthusiastic eco-librarian Sarah Dorsey, offered “Sustainable Shorts” film contest – films produced by our students, highlighting a particular issue of sustainability. You can view the winners of the UNCG Sustainability Shorts Film Competition.

Green Roofs

Can you library consider a green roof? There are so many benefits:

  • increased roof life
  • reduced noise levels
  • thermal insulation
  • heat shield
  • storm water retention
  • reduces dust and smog
  • natural habitat for wildlife
  • grow flowers, plants and food

You probably cant afford this style and  price but check out these great designs in sustainability and architecture.  And here are more resources about green roofs:

AASHE Conference

The 2010 annual conference for AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) will be in Denver on 10/10/10 with the theme“Campus Initiatives to Catalyze a Just and Sustainable World”. Not only should librarians consider attending but think about presenting – the deadline has just been extended until June 30. If you institution is a member of AASHE you can attend at a lower price.

SL – Online Library Exhibits and Events for June

Check it out!  From CAL’s Sustainable Living library Blog….

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is holding their annual conference in Denver June 27-30. An ongoing exhibit will be a Second Life representation of Denver and the conference center for participants to explore and also learn the potential of Second Life as a learning tool. As part of this SL experience, the Sustainable Living Library will be hosting a group on Sunday June 27 from 1 to 2 pm MTN time or 12 noon to 1 pm SL time. The library staff will give a brief introduction of library services and a bicycle tour of Etopia.

The library has a new exhibit to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of heart attacks, strokes and common medical terminology. There are three interactive quizes designed by a medical librarian and clinical advisory team. This is part of a real life research project to determine the effectiveness of gaming on consumer health, health care behavior, and decisions. The exhibit is located on the library’s front deck.

In addition, there is a two room exhibit on Water Resources researched and designed by Alliejnv library graduate student from Long Island University’s Palmer School of Library and Information Science.

Gulf Oil Spill… what else can you do?

Support the Gulf Coast Surveillance Teams through the National Wildlife Federation who is going to monitor the 10,000+ miles of coastal wetlands, marshes and beaches for signs of the oil spill’s impact to the ecosystems of the Gulf by collecting data and assisting with restoration efforts.

What do they need? (from the NWF website)

  • 200 GPS units (marine and shore) – The Surveillance Teams are making observations both along the shore and on open water that are based on coordinates.
  • Digital Cameras – Many of our volunteers have them, but many do not, so we are hoping to set up a loaner program for digital cameras.
  • Gift Cards to purchase items – To help us fill in the holes of necessary supplies, gift cards are a very useful thing to donate, preferably to Dicks, Cabalas, REI, Staples, Office Depot, Target, Walmart or other stores that provide the materials below.
  • Kit materials for volunteers – (Need about 400 of each item to get started)
    – Clipboards
    – Laminate sheets or machine
    – Sunscreen
    – Gas gift cards
    – Water Bottles
    – Backpacks
    – Bug repellent or jackets
    – Hats
    – Pens

Send donations to:

National Wildlife Federation
Attn: Oil Spill Volunteer Network
11100 Wildlife Center Drive
Reston, VA 20190

Read more!

Gulf Oil Tragedy – what can WE do?

Several of us have been talking about the horrible gulf oil spill (leak? gush? disaster?) and how can we do anything to help.  The best thing anyone can do it write a letter to congress. Seriously.  Having met and heard speak, various congressmen, who all say a personal letter from their constituents – especially ones from the youth – will be read, rather than a petition or a form letter.  A letter not as much placing blame on anyone for the tragedy or being negative about it, but a letter about what we can and should be doing to alleviate this from happening again. A letter stating that you support and want congress to pass comprehensive clean, green energy and climate legislation that puts our nation on the path to a sustainable energy future as well as creating  new economy that grows jobs and a new american culture through production of cleaner vehicles and fuels, promotion of energy efficiency and renewables, placing firm limits on global warming pollution and ensuring that an oil spill catastrophe never happens again.

Perhaps a letter writing table in the library encouraging people to write down and mail their thoughts? A program with the youth in the library or school to write letters or draw pictures and mail to your local congressmen? Are any libraries doing this or something similar? Please share your ideas!

Green Answers

Green Answers – a community driven, user-generated site for answering your green questions.  Okay, so it’s not librarians, but a great place to go to ask “green” questions and get answers from green minded community people, or share your own answers and thoughts.  Read what other people are asking and explore ideas and questions you might have as well. If you sign up for Green Answers they even plant a tree in your honor.  You can then earn Karma points by asking and answering questions, adding your points up to plant another tree!  Got a reference question you can’t answer – maybe Green Answers can be your “green librarian” reference help.

Green Libraries @ ALA connect

The ALA’s Task Force on the Environment or TFOE, states its  mission to  “Promotes awareness of environmental issues within ALA; addresses information exchange on the world environment; and provides services, programs and publications that assist librarians with environmental issues in the workplace and in local communities. Join the green community online at ALA Connect to meet up and share ideas with other green minded librarians!