Higher Education Webinars

Getting to Green

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

August 31, 2009 - 10:22am
Of late, when I speak of a "structural problem", it's not about an older outbuilding on my farm that's in danger of falling down. Rather, it relates to the way Greenback does its budgeting, and its accounting, and the (dis)incentive schemes created thereby. A simple example might be in the Accounting department itself where, if they want to invest in some software which will do a better job of turning off their computers and printers when no one's using them, they're certainly free to do so.
August 26, 2009 - 9:30pm
Interesting interview today on NPR's "Tell Me More". Two K-12 school food service directors talking about recent changes in menu and preparation, with an emphasis on fresh, local, more fruits and vegetables.
August 25, 2009 - 6:51pm
Any system that's only 11% efficient can be improved. According to an article in a recent issue of New Scientist, only 11% of the energy used by the current generation of tractor-trailer trucks goes into moving the cargo and the vehicle. And even 11% might be an overstatement, as the purpose of the exercise is really just to move the cargo, which accounts for 6.5% of energy used.
August 20, 2009 - 8:33pm
First, let me just state that Sunday's post about Greenback's library was in no way a setup for Tuesday's debut of the Keywords from a Librarian blog. Pure coincidence. Really. Trust me on this one.
August 17, 2009 - 8:34pm
Sometimes, the world is just trying to tell me something. Occasionally, I get the message. First, I read yesterday's excellent "Momma PhD" post by Susan O'Doherty, which spoke to her own realization of her earlier presumption of privilege.
August 16, 2009 - 8:32pm
One of the people on campus I talk to fairly regularly works at Greenback's main library. I'm not sure whether there's a specific reason for it or not, but the library staff seems to be more enthusiastic about sustainability than are the employees of just about any other department.
August 13, 2009 - 8:07pm
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the things I noticed on the way to vacation was an increased incidence of wind turbines. I had presumed that it related to the relatively constant breezes typical of many coastal environments. But maybe not.
August 12, 2009 - 5:18pm
Before I got into the higher ed sector, I had a hand in payroll processing for a fairly large corporation. With a lot of different unions. Each with its own contract, and rules, and peculiarities. Back then, Christmas was a major pain, primarily because of the calendar. Some unthinking individual had scheduled it just before Dec. 31, and for some reason my family expected me to take the whole day off right during the busiest time of the year. (Some years, they even wanted me home on Christmas Eve, as well!)
August 7, 2009 - 12:30pm
I went on a week's vacation earlier this summer. Went towards the water, and saw a surprising number of wind turbines along the way. Picked a location which, while not too far away, offers an environment significantly different from Backboro. (My grandmother always used to say that a change was as good as a rest. Actually, the combination of the two beats either one alone.)
August 5, 2009 - 3:45pm
I've been thinking some about structural barriers to change. You know, those aspects of how Greenback's organized, or how it behaves, or its institutional culture (including those questions all Greenbackers are subtly conditioned never to ask) which have the effect of keeping us going in the same direction even whilst we're telling ourselves how much we want to change course.

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