Getting to Green

Getting to Green

An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

March 28, 2012 - 2:40pm
According to a recent study by the city of Copenhagen, Denmark, if you ride your bike for a mile you contribute about 42 cents to the overall economy. By contrast, each mile you drive your car costs society about 20 cents. Combine the two, and driving has a net social cost of about 62 cents per mile compared to bicycling.
March 22, 2012 - 5:14pm
My evolving vision of a sustainable campus in a sustainable city includes university-connected mixed-use space around the campus edge(s). Key advantages of such space include minimizing the need for travel as well as making provision of energy-efficient travel/transit options far easier.
March 19, 2012 - 4:54pm
Of late, I've been thinking a lot about how campuses and their surrounding communities interrelate in ways that affect the sustainability (or lack thereof) of both.
March 18, 2012 - 3:31pm
Say the word "scope" to a campus sustainability wonk, and a specific frame of reference immediately takes over.  "Scope 1 vs. Scope 2 vs. Scope 3." The demarcation comes from greenhouse gas accounting or, more precisely, inventorying.
March 12, 2012 - 4:00pm
My earlier statement that campuses focus more effort on recycling than reduction and reuse combined doesn't mean that no campuses do anything to reduce or reuse.
March 11, 2012 - 4:34pm
As a campus sustainability wonk, let me say that the vast majority of the campus sustainability movement isn't serious. Which is not to say that most campus sustainability coordinators (or directors, or whatever) aren't serious about their jobs, or dedicated to the abstract idea of sustainability.  But that idea is often stated -- and so, understood -- only in vague terms.
March 8, 2012 - 8:39pm
Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bill Gates (or, at least, Microsoft). Cisco and Philips, SAS and IKEA, Rajendra Pachauri and Gro Harlem Brundtland. What they have in common is called Sustainia. And what that attempts to be isn't common at all right now, but aspires to be so in the future. The near future.
March 6, 2012 - 3:30pm
This morning, I happened to hear a story on NPR about peer-to-peer car-sharing. Folks (those mentioned in the story were university students) become members of an organization. Some join to be able to rent privately-owned cars on an hourly basis, others to make their personal vehicles available in return for up to 60% of rental fees. The central organization (company) takes care of member screening (for credit-worthiness, a clean driving record, etc.) and all the administrative overhead.
March 1, 2012 - 4:27pm
Dave Newport (UC-Boulder) posted to his blog at ridiculous-o'clock this morning, reiterating his perception that a key reason environmentalism hasn't had much effect is that it's given its social justice component short shrift. Dave's point is valid, but I see it as merely one example of something Naomi Klein comments on in a recent interview in the journal Solutions.
February 21, 2012 - 4:56pm
That's not the amount of CO2 you emit each and every, but it might just be the amount you're responsible for.

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