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.

May 12, 2008 - 1:41pm
Back over Xmas/New Year's, my daughter introduced me to Dracula's Riddle, which took me about a month's worth of spare time to solve. Chat fora spring up around such inventive timewasters, and I consulted a couple of them in the process.
May 9, 2008 - 4:24pm
Related to the subject of Wednesday's post (Eliminate the what?), an interesting thread started up today on the Green School List (GRNSCH-L@listserv.brown.edu). Anne Mareck, who teaches at Michigan Tech on the subjects of rhetoric and technology (interesting combination, and directly relevant) commented that most of the sustainability coordinator positions posted to the list seemed to be looking for folks with a scientific background.
May 7, 2008 - 5:47pm
My job just got a lot harder. At least, if it didn't, I'm missing something significant.
May 5, 2008 - 3:14pm
I've been remiss. Mea culpa. Well, maybe not all that culpa; I'll plead mitigating circumstances. The end of the academic year, spinning up to speed for summertime projects, finishing up Greenback's greenhouse gas inventory, setting the stage to hit hard in the fall with policy proposals, lots of stuff. But what got lost in the wash was the fact that AASHE released a newer, and less preliminary, version of its STARS rating system. As a result, you get a chance to contribute to the criteria by which leading campus sustainability efforts will be scored.
May 2, 2008 - 2:05pm
One of the mantras of the sustainability movement is "reduce, reuse, recycle." The three options are stated in order of preferability. Policies in place at Greenback already promote reduction and recycling (although I'd like to see those policies strengthened), but promotion of reuse is limited to running a warehouse where departments can store unwanted furniture, equipment, and the like. If you need a desk for a new employee, you can go down there and requisition something.
May 1, 2008 - 2:56pm
Let's say you live some distance from campus, not near any other employees who work a schedule similar to yours. What's an alternative to carpooling or public transit when those aren't practical? Not going to work at all, that's what!
April 29, 2008 - 7:17pm
I'm currently putting the final numbers together for Greenback's greenhouse gas inventory. As on a lot of campuses, the last piece of the puzzle is commuting emissions, encompassing faculty, staff and students. I won't bore you with the mechanics of the process, but trust me -- it's been a lot of work. Managing emissions is, at its heart, an engineering problem. How much you emit is determined not just by what you do, but also by the technologies you use to do it. The formulae for calculating emissions are well known -- the challenge is having the data to work the formulae.
April 24, 2008 - 9:53pm
OK, so the blog has been on hiatus for a few days. I haven't. Quite the opposite. Since the weekend, I've been hip deep in preparing for, conducting, and recuperating from Earth Day activities. Earth Day at Greenback is getting bigger every year. Not rapidly, but not glacially, either. (And "glacially" isn't what it used to be!) Students do stuff, some faculty do stuff, but if it's going to be coordinated and substantive and successful, it still requires a huge helping of administrative support.
April 20, 2008 - 10:03pm
OK, now! Get your mind out of the gutter. We all get to keep our clothes on and, for some of us (we know who we are), that makes the world an infinitely better place.
April 17, 2008 - 9:54am
I once heard Waylon Jennings -- former guitar player for The Crickets -- describe someone (not, to my knowledge, a musician), as "so dumb, he couldn't even steal a good song." I hope I'm not that dumb.

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