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  • Getting to Green

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

YouTube for Sustainability Wonks
August 14, 2008 - 10:08pm

Part of my job at Greenback U is to go around to other departments on campus and update them on the University's latest sustainability efforts. A portion of any update is often context setting -- sharing with folks why what we're doing improves sustainability, and pointing out some of the steps other universities have taken or new technologies now or soon to be available. Sure, we have a website, and send out an electronic newsletter, but there's nothing like face-to-face communication when you're trying to help people form an impression or an understanding.

Most of these updates go to administrative or auxiliary departments, since these are the people with the biggest involvement in how campus runs (certainly at a logistical level). Sometimes I meet with the academic administrators in a particular school or college within Greenback, but only rarely with groups of faculty. (Most of my interaction with faculty is one-on-one, and that only when the particular professor has expressed an explicit interest in sustainability -- am I missing an opportunity here?)

Anyways, I'm always on the lookout for a video or other non-chalk-talk way of getting the information out there. In the past, I've found videos mostly on a catch-as-catch-can basis -- putting a few likely search terms into Google and seeing what turns up, or visiting various sites related to specific sustainabilty initiatives or offerings and checking out the links they offer.

However, I think I've found a mother lode. (Maybe the mother lode -- who knows?) It's called Truth be told, it's not YouTube. In all likelihood, that's a good thing. Much of what's on YouTube strikes me as ... well, as not worth watching (let's be gentle). hosts only videos with specific sustainable energy themes (as I write this, the lead item is about auto makers testing hydrogen-powered cars). Categories (for ease of reference and location) include solar, wind, fuels, green building, biomass, geothermal, wave/tidal energy, and a lot more.

I've already stumbled upon two or three videos that I think will serve as good offerings in campus sustainability update meetings. Two would make good subject intros, and one is substantial enough to actually be the major portion of the update, all by itself.

I'm also thinking that Greenback's campus sustainability website might well include a link to the "video of the week". Clearly, we'll want to get permission before we post any given link, but I sincerely doubt the GreenEnergyTV folks will object if we drive a little web traffic their way.

Anyways, check it out. Good information, frequent updates, and absolutely no Paris Hilton, pointless posturing or postmodern teenage angst. Guaranteed.


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