According to emails that have come across my screen, students from Seattle, WA to Cambridge, MA are organizing to ban bottled water from their campuses. The idea of going back to tap water bucks a major social trend in the US (and a number of mega-dollar marketing campaigns), so it’s not likely of complete success the first time it’s introduced on a particular campus.
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March 20, 2008
March 18, 2008
As I write this, I’ve just finished reading an online article from Scientific American, about how the oldest, toughest, thickest ice in the Arctic is melting — to the tune of 1.5 times the surface area of Alaska in a single year! It’s enough to get a guy down.
March 13, 2008
The Boston Globe just published an article about homeowners’ associations which ban the use of clotheslines, and state legislative efforts to outlaw such restrictions. Regardless of where you stand on big government/small government/no government and other such semaphore political formulations, this is kind of a bellwether issue for sustainability awareness.
March 12, 2008
A correspondent asks, after posting a description of steps taken toward sustainability: “ a student emailed me asking broader questions about the green movement. Essentially he was wondering if this has really become a mainstream movement on campuses across the country. What’s your sense?“
March 11, 2008
Three new construction technologies which will improve the energy profiles of future buildings:
March 10, 2008
Even if you don’t remember 1957, you’re probably aware of the influx of funding, research and science majors which US higher education experienced in response to the Soviet Union’s first-ever artificial satellite. The space race was on, and putting a man on the moon (a mere 12 years later) is still the standard by which large scale technological achievement is measured.
March 6, 2008
I recently had the opportunity to suggest a marketing/promotional give-away item for use by our engineering department. The idea was that if the promo item was clearly sustainable in nature, and was imprinted with a Greenback U logo, then it would deliver two strong messages for the price of one.
March 4, 2008
Tuesday’s item about the LA Community College District and their sustainability projects is well worth reading. A number of colleges and universities, large and small, like LACCD are working to pilot the Clinton Climate Initiative. And the general approach of contracting with an energy service company ("esco") to do the work, then paying for the work out of the savings generated, is fundamentally sound and can make projects viable which otherwise couldn’t get funded.
March 3, 2008
There has been a spate of questions on the Green School listserv (GRNSCH-L@listserv.brown.edu) about offsetting greenhouse gas emissions locally and actively, as opposed to remotely by writing a check. The nutshell conclusion is that local action is always the best ("Think globally, ..."), and offsetting GHG emissions presents a clear case why.
February 29, 2008
Well, it appears that yesterday's article on an open access journal published by the library at Indiana University has generated quite a level of response — some from professors, some from university press personnel, the last one (at this writing) from a librarian. Lots of folks listing lots of reasons why traditional, peer-reviewed print journals are better than open access (free) journals, even if the OA journals are reviewed by exactly the same peers. If you haven’t looked it over, you probably should.