Second Nature – a higher education resource organization

Second Nature, a non-profit organization has been working for over 12 years to bring Education for Sustainability (EFS) concepts nationwide in higher education. Their mission is “to create a sustainable society by transforming higher education by supporting senior college and university leaders in making healthy, just, and sustainable living a foundation of all learning and practice in higher education.”  They have many well-known partners including AASHE. They support or offer many programs, including Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium, Advancing Green Building in Higher Education, and the Higher Education Sustainability Federal Policy Advocacy. They link to  some good resources including articles, fact sheets, reports and speeches that were produced (in whole or part) by members of the Second Nature team.  You can also follow their blog for updated and useful information!

AASHE Conference 2011 – registration now open!

Registration is currently open for “AASHE 2011: Creating Sustainable Campuses and Communities,”  October 9-12, 2011; Pittsburgh, PA.  Dr. Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Laureate, will be the conference’s opening keynote speaker and Bill McKibben, author and founder of, will be the AASHE Student Summit keynote speaker. See other additions in the conference program overview. I attended last year and it rocked! I hope some of you green librarians get a chance to attend too!

AASHE conference: ways to be green at events!

I am thrilled to be attending and presenting at a (non library!) conference – AASHE, the association of sustainability in higher education. It’s very important that librarians get out and mingle with non librarians to hear what’s happening beyond our own world as well as show other just how diverse, important and relevant libraries are in so many sectors of our world today. My presentation was on a virtual sustainability conference I helped my university run last year – since virtual is greener than traveling (ironically I had to travel to present here on the subject). But I’m thrilled to learn about all the wonderful and inspiring campus initiatives for a more sustainable world: from small to large ideas, from administration to students driven projects, from small to huge universities. there are even a few librarians here and involved!. And the number of students attending – and presenting – is incredible which gives us all hope for future sustainable endeavors –  and gives them the chance to network, gain skills and respect.

As most of us do travel and attend conferences, I wanted to post about this conference’s green practices that I wish I could see more of at library events:

First of all, the Denver Convention Center is a very green place to host a conference. There are compost cans everywhere next to the trash and recycling bins. Our box lunches, including the little containers, the utensils and the box itself are all compostable. The food is healthier, (much of it local & fair trade) than usually get at events and there are way more vegetarian/vegan meals than non (majority of attendees are veggie folks). There are NO water bottles – everyone has their own reusable bottle and there are filling stations everywhere. Everyone has their own coffee mugs too. The few cups available are compostable. They parter with contractors who work hard at keeping room temps, energy output and lights set in most sustainable way as well as more sustainable measures from supply chain to offsite material usage.

AASHE presenters offer NO handouts… yup people here take their own notes (on paper or computer) and I never heard one complaint about no handouts. Everything will be online to access so attendees can choose to print later if they wish. Attendees can purchase carbon offsets if they want. There are great public transportation options here but also arranged are ride share and zimride. Hotel choices were those with more sustainable practices. Dine-arounds are at local green option places. Even the signage was done to be reused next time.

My only complaint is the lack of virtual options. I love in person networking too but maybe every other year in person,  and host a much greener virtual option in between years  to better role model what they are promoting!

(hmm, maybe ALA could do their midwinter conference as virtual to be green and save money and allow for more participation by all!)

AASHE Webinar: Higher Education & COP 15

Webinar: Higher Education and COP15: What Happened, and Now What?

On April 5, 3-4 pm EDT

Registration is free, but you must register in advance
Tune in to an engaging webinar sponsored by AASHE on the implications for higher education from the 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conference and 15th “Conference of the Parties” (COP 15). Learn about the proceedings and takeaways from an interdisciplinary team of Dickinson College students and staff who attended the climate negotiations as part of a ‘Kyoto to Copenhagen’ course. The students and their instructor will discuss how higher education can show climate leadership, both as individuals (professors, administrators, students) and as an industry, and the importance of using our success in climate change reporting (GHG inventories) and emissions reductions plans to strengthen national and international progress on these issues. All are invited to attend this important event. For more information contact Niles Barnes, webinar moderator and AASHE Projects Coordinator, at or 859.940.2888.

P.S.  Save the Date –  AASHE 2010: Campus Initiatives to Catalyze a Just and Sustainable World on October 10-12, in Denver, CO

Greening of the Campus Conference

Hosted by AASHE and Ball State University the VIII Greening of the Campus Conference and Expo will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana on Sept 20-23, 2009. It will include keynotes, sessions,workshops, products & services, demos, food, bookstore/book signings, etc – check out the schedule. The Registration deadline is sept 14 (no on site registration available)A limited number of reduced-fee student registrations are still available ( contact Peggy Weis at

Greening IT in Higher Ed FREE Webinar

What: Green IT: Saving Money, Saving the Environment Webinar

When: Sept 10, 2-3pm ET

Presenters: Tim Goral, Moderator; Speakers to be announced

Costs: FREE! (due to sponsorship by Alcatel-Lucent)


Technology drives higher education, but unfortunately it’s also a tremendous drain on the environment. It doesn’t have to be that way. Innovative programs from Alcatel Lucent and Bell Labs are at the forefront of eco-sustainability efforts, finding ways to save money while saving the environment. Learn about equipment buy-back and “e-cycling” programs that put technology in user hands and keep harmful toxins out of the landfill. Hear about a data center cooling system that recycles waste heat for electricity-and produced a return on investment in just three months. Join a panel of experts to hear about these and other success stories, and get eco-friendly ideas that can be applied to any institution.

Details: found on the  University Business Web Seminar series web page


See also their archives of past seminars.

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.

Latest AASHE Bulletin

Higher Education sustainability news pulled directly from the latest AASHE bulletin. AASHE is the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education who will be having their biannual conference in Raleigh, NC Nov 9-11, 2008.

1. Benedictine U to Celebrate 3 Years for the Environment
2. CU Boulder Launches Zero-Waste Program for Football Games
3. Colorado State U Pueblo to Install Solar Array
4. Kennesaw State U Appoints Director of Sustainability
5. U Southern Mississippi Hires Sustainability Officer
6. Dickinson College Hires Sustainability Director
7. Drew U Hires First Sustainability Coordinator
8. 17 Schools Selected to Participate in EcoCAR Competition
9. UC San Diego Increases Green Curriculum
10. Rockhurst U Purchases Green Computers
11. Syracuse U Develops Carpooling Incentives
12. Michigan Tech Launches Ride Share Program
13. 13 New Campuses Sign Presidents’ Climate Commitment
14. Pacific U Building Receives LEED Gold
15. Harford Community College Building Receives LEED Silver
16. The College of St. Joseph Installs Green Roof
17. Duke U Med Center Installs Green Roof
18. U Portland Renovates Outdoor Plaza With Recycled Materials
19. Georgian College to Build Sustainable Technologies Centre
20. UNC Wilmington Installs LEDs
21. Boise State Named Best Workplace for Commuters
22. California Campuses Receive Sustainability Awards
23. Central College Receives Community Recycling Funding
24. Brevard CC Receives Recycling Award

Green Computing and Higher Education Web Cast

Since 2001, Ready2Net (from CSU Monterey Bay) offers TV broadcasts, podcasts, and streamed webcasts programs relating to the Internet evolution and technologies for higher education. Anyone can watch these for FREE. One currently available is called Green Computing and Higher Education, the 3 R’s, which discusses ways to conserve energy and to promote more sustainable solutions in labs and data centers (60 mins). You have to register so they keep track of web casts participation but they are free to view whenver you wish either in Quicktime or Windows Media Stream.