A white paper recently crossed my desk. Issued by TRIRIGA, a facilities management consulting outfit recently purchased by IBM, it purports to be based on a study conducted by the Gartner Group. The title is "Crossing the sustainability chasm: strategies and tactics to achieve sustainability goals."
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August 16, 2011
August 11, 2011
Providing opportunities for students to get physically involved -- with meeting their needs, with the surrounding community, with modifying the campus -- is becoming an ever bigger part of our sustainability strategy at Greenback U. Breaking folks out of that passive consumer mindset is a necessary first step on the road to them becoming active and engaged citizens.
August 10, 2011
Yesterday, I got an email from an acquaintance of long standing -- a national leader in the field of sustainability-meets-education. It invited me to join a group " that brings together business and academia professionals to collaborate on what is needed to educate students" about sustainability. So I follow the link, and find myself on a page with a logo for the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation. Seems like a reputable outfit (McGraw-Hill having been around for a bit).
August 7, 2011
Last week, Harvard celebrated the completion of its 50th LEED-certified project. LEED buildings are a major feature of the school's plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below 2006 levels by 2016.
August 2, 2011
If you haven't already, you should read Allie Grasgreen's article on student-worked (and sometimes student-run) campus farms in today's IHE. It's a good summary of the kinds of co-curricular agriculture and husbandry being practiced on a wide range of campuses, by a wide range of students.
July 31, 2011
We've all heard the explanations -- the excuses -- about why humans (particularly legislators, especially legislators not operating in any sort of a parliamentary system) aren't emotionally equipped to deal with problems like climate change. It's intangible. It's invisible. It's slow. It's not immediate. It's not linear. It's not intuitive. It cuts against the cultural grain.
July 28, 2011
The light is a bottle. A Coke bottle. A one-liter Coke bottle, to be precise. You know it's a Coke bottle because it has that trademarked narrow-waisted shape.
July 21, 2011
Over the weekend, when the whole "how do we turn sustainability into fun?" question was running around the back of my brain, the issue of sustainable transit worked its way to the fore. I knew that arranging for students to ask big questions about a regional transit system (writ large) and how to re-engineer it would engender resistance from several established portions of society: governments, the automobile industry and all its extensions, the real estate community. But I figured that a journey of a thousand miles starts . . . well, you know.
July 20, 2011
If we're going to challenge Greenback's students to design (at least in concept) a more sustainable regional transit system, we need to tell them up front just how we're going to judge the results. One obvious possibility is to calculate transit-related greenhouse gas emissions, and give the most points to the design which seems likely to minimize those. I don't particularly want to do that.
July 18, 2011
It occurs to me that, if I'm to have any success getting Greenback U, as a community, to envision a sustainable future for itself, I need to get lots and lots of students (faculty, too, but I think the students are more important at first) involved. Thus, I either have to budget for vast quantities of beer -- to be dispensed both freely and free -- or I need to turn this whole thing into a game. (The 'game' approach seems likely to result in less trouble with the law.)