Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Winner!

Congratulations to Yahir Cantero, the winner of Western Libraries Bring Your Own Mug logo design contest!  Yahir will receive a $50 gift card from the bookstore.  The design will be printed on stickers, suitable for putting on your won reusable mug!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

'Dirty Business' Monday Night at 6:30pm: Go Behind the Lightswitch

"Coal was the engine of the industrial revolution...It's the rock that built America. We are still as dependent on it today as we have ever been... The question is, where is it taking us in the future?" (from Dirty Business)
I really hope you can join us tomorrow evening at 6:30 on Monday, April 29, 2013 in Wilson Library Room 164 for the second film event of  "The Built to Last Picture Show," a  sustainability film series, Dirty Business: 'Clean Coal' and the Battle for Our Energy Future.  This film is being brought to you by Western Libraries, the Green Energy Fee Grant Program, and Students for Renewable Energy.  

Featuring stories from China to West Virginia, Dirty Business reveals the social and environmental costs of coal power. This is a topic that is timely and significant with both local and global implications. This one-hour film will also be followed by a discussion with members of the AS club Students for Renewable Energy. Please join us for an evening that asks us to consider the role that coal plays in our lives as we "go behind the light switch" and contemplate our future.  

Friday, April 26, 2013

Off to see the Bidder

This is part of the crowd that showed up on Monday night to see Bidder 70, the first film of the Built To Last Picture Show series.  By the time the film started a lot more people had arrived but we were too excited tor emember to take pictures!  Next Monday: Dirty Business, a film about coal.  That night we will also announce the winner of our "Bring Your Own Mug" Logo Design Competiton.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

From the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a website about farmer's markets and similar institutions with a map of all the ones that receive support from the USDA.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

WWU's Earth Day Festival, April 20, 2013

So the Environmental Center-sponsored Earth Day Festival that was held at Western yesterday was moved indoors due to weather predictions of rain, but just because we were inside, does not mean we did not have fun. Fabulous live music and a lot of creative energy definitely filled up the VU Multipurpose Room.

Members of the Libraries' GEF grant sponsored project for this quarter joined in the festivities by hosting a table, and students had the opportunity to draw something on single-sided used paper to submit as an entry for our BYOM campaign sticker contest (which, by the way, has the deadline of tomorrow! So submit your entry soon if you have not already!). We had pens, pastels, colored pencils, markers, even crayons, and people were very creative with their designs.

Regan, our very own GEF grant program coordinator, was pretty much busy the entire day talking about the program and teaching people how to make their own pinwheels out of paper, beads, and pipe cleaner. She was an excellent and patient instructor, even with those of us (I am talking about myself here) who are not gifted in this area. (I once ducked out of a paper-crane making community event because my efforts were so embarrassing, I could not handle the stress and fled in shame.) My pinwheel may have been a little crooked, but with Regan's help, I did manage to make one!

Jacob and the zero-waste crew constructed a wonderful mini-golf set-up out of cardboard and other scraps they gathered from around campus. Again, I have may have some strengths, but mini-golf is not one of them. However, this did not stop me from partaking in the fun!

Lidiya, Ella, and I enjoyed chatting with people and wandering around the festival to visit all of the other tables. It was very apparent that WWU has no shortage of awesome clubs for students to become involved with, as there was also no shortage of enthusiastic and welcoming people having a wonderful time and celebrating all of the good things that are happening.

I think sometimes it is only natural to feel a little discouraged when you stop and think about all of the challenges facing us in the world, but I tell you nothing makes you feel more happy and hopeful than being around so many youthful, energetic, positive and passionate people, demonstrating in real-time that just because the work we are doing is important and meaningful, does not mean it isn't also fun!

These students know how to work hard, but they also know how to have fun and create community, and most importantly they understand that these very important aspects of life are not mutually exclusive. Good food, good conversations, good music, and good dancing--what more could you ask for?

It was a really great day, and everyone who worked so hard to make this event happen did an amazing job. I will leave you now with some more photos, and a reminder to join us tomorrow night in Wilson Library Room 164 for the first film event in our series! Hope to see you there! 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Earth Day Festival, Saturday April 20

Just a reminder that Western's Environmental Center is sponsoring the Erath Day Festival tomorrow at Fairhaven College.  The event has a Facebook Page. 

The Library will have representatives there to talk about the Built To Last Picture Show and the Bring Your Own Mug Logo Design Contest.  ($50 prize.)  We will have art supplies if you are feeling creative and want to create your design on the spot.

EPA on Earth Day

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Earth Day page.  Find out what's going on around the country...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Is the military sustainable?

I happen to be the government information librarian at Western, so from time to time I will go to the Library's Government Environmental Webpages list to take a look at what various  agencies are saying or doing about sustainability.

The Pentagon might not be the first place you would expect to find green thinking, but those folks know they use a lot  of energy.  Some of the highlights on their Sustainability Page:

* They are trying out 500 electric vehicles, modified to send power back to the grid when idle.
* The Air Force is using wind turbines to create the power they need.
* In Afghanistan, where every fuel run can be dangerous, the Army is testing hybrid technology.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


A smart and lovely student was telling me how much she loved Earth Week. She actually said something really great that made me laugh because it is so true--she said Earth Week is like Christmas for Western.

The week has already begun and there are a lot of good things happening, but here are a few highlights for what is coming next.

Wednesday, April 17th: Roots - Fireside Stories from our Professors at the Outback amphitheater at 6:30pm, Free The Environmental Center is hosting a fireside speaker event in honor of our very own professors. Please join us for s'mores, ciders, and stories of our professors pasts. Professors will be discussing their past research, travels, and memorable life experiences!

Thursday, April 18th: Go for the Green Celebration in the PAC Concert Hall at 7:30pm, Free. The Residents’ Resource Awareness Program is celebrating the successes of our winter quarter total waste reduction campaign. The Celebration is open to all Western students and there will be a raffle of over $1000 in prizes that have been donated by local businesses with sustainable connections.The Dead Parrots society will also be performing!

Saturday, April 20th: Earth Day Festival at the Fairhaven Courtyard from 11am to 4pm, Free The festival will host live bands such as Soccer Mom, Br'er Rabbit, and Doni Doni Drummers and dancers. There will be delicious food catered by Students for Sustainable Food, and activities such as recycled art, tye die, and a photo booth. (And yes, members from the library GEF team will also be hosting a table!) Please come by and celebrate our earth!

Sunday, April 21st: Join us for a 350.org , AS, and SRE sponsored event, a screening of the Do The Math film  followed by a live chat with leaders from the emerging movement from 7 to 9 pm at Academic West 204.

EARTH DAY Monday, April 22nd: Join us for a screening of the film Bidder70 followed by a live webcast featuring Tim DeChristopher, at 6:00pm in the Library Presentation Room, WL 164. This event is free and open to the public! (For more information about this and other films coming soon, please see our promotional schedule for the Built to Last Picture Show!)

For more information about Earth Week at Western, contact Nina A. Olivier at 360-650-6129 or AS.ESP@wwu.edu

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What Does Your Mug Say About You?

 I have three favorite coffee (and sometimes tea) mugs:

1) The one my sister-in-law made that has a picture of my husband when he was little dressed up like an old man. (It was originally a gift for my husband when he turned 40, but it turned out that I appreciated it WAY more than he did, so now it is mine.) Looking at it always makes me smile.

2) My wonderfully-pink french press mug that was a birthday present a few years ago from someone near and dear to me. It comes with a little container for coffee grounds that is stored underneath and inside the mug, so you can always plan ahead for moments when you might need some extra caffeine.

3) And finally, there is my newest stainless steel travel mug, also a birthday gift. It bears the phrase "I love my cat and the feline is mutual." First off, I have to explain that I am a huge fan of puns. I think there are no bad puns, and the ones that make people groan entertain me to no end. Add to that, there is a bit of a stereotype about library employees and cats that I am pretty sure rings true. While there has been no official survey that I am yet aware of, I am pretty confident that the majority of us here at the library share our homes with cats. It's just one of those things.

You may wonder why I am talking so much about my  mugs? Would it surprise you to learn that according to a 2011 waste audit, almost 20 percent of the landfill waste generated in Wilson Library was from paper cups?

This is why we are pleased to announce that Western Libraries is launching a GEF sponsored Bring Your Own Mug (BYOM) awareness campaign and logo design contest! To all of you creative and talented students out there, this is your chance to show us your skills, win a prize, and help us encourage other people to reduce landfill waste and save resources by remembering to bring their own mugs! For details on this exciting opportunity, check out our contest blog page. You have until April 22, 2013 to submit your winning design!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Coming Soon: "The Built to Last Picture Show"

Western Libraries and the Green Energy Fee Grant Program present a series of films about sustainability. Come join us for the first event on Earth Day, Monday April 22, 2013 at 6:00pm in Wilson Library Room 164 (The Library Presentation Room) featuring the award-winning film Bidder 70 about college student Tim DeChristopher, a brave leader in the climate justice movement. The film will be followed by a live webstream conversation with Tim, which will also be broadcast to numerous locations across the country at the same time.

The next two films will be shown on the subsequent two Monday evenings,  at 6:30 pm in WL 164, and will be followed by panel discussions featuring participation from various student club members. The films are: Dirty Business: “Clean Coal” and the Battle for Our Energy Future (on 4/29) and Tapped (on 5/6).  All film events are free and open to the public.

Other event sponsors include: the Office of Sustainability, Associated Students,  350.org, the Sierra Club, WWU's Anthropology Department, the Western Action Coalition, Students for Renewable Energy, and Students for Sustainable Water.
For more information about library film resources related to sustainability, check out this display located in Haggard Hall in the display case next to the Student Technology Center. All items featured on display are available for check-out. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Save the world by doing nothing

Not what you usually hear, right?  Bloomberg Businessweek has an interesting article this week arguing that the best way to help the environment is through default rules.  It is easier to go green, if green is the standard.  Easy example: if your printer is set to two-sides as the default, you save a lot of paper.  If clean energy is something you have to opt out of, rather than in to...  You get the idea.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

WWU Sustainability Events Happening This Week: 4/8/13 - 4/12/13


It seems like almost every day there is something interesting happening at Western in regards to Sustainability! Here are just a few of the things going on this week, beginning on April 8, 2013. (All programs are free and open to the public).

MONDAY APRIL 8: You won't want to miss this!

  • Then, from 2 to 3pm, Bellingham resident Brad Howard will be speaking  about his humanitarian work in North Korea in Bond Hall, Room 415. This event is sponsored by the Center for International Studies.

TUESDAY APRIL 9: Two more talk that promise to be interesting!

  • WWU Professor of Secondary Education in the Woodring College of Education Lauren McClanahan will be speaking about how climate change affects lives at Village Books (1200 11th St.) from 12 to 1pm as part of the "Western Connections" series. McClanahan will be talking about her loves of literacy and photography and using them to illustrate how our changing climate is affecting teens in ecologically sensitive areas.  Sponsored by: Western Libraries & VILLAGE BOOKS

  • WWU visiting assistant professor of History Andrew Denning will be presenting a talk titled “Whiteout: Skiing and the Making of the Modern Alps” at 4 p.m. in Bond Hall (BH) 415. Denning is writing a book that examines the changing motivations for Alpine skiing and the relationship skiers have created with the Alps. The book also looks to help find and understand the repercussions of skiing and “getting away from it all.”

WEDNESDAY APRIL 10: This is a busy day at Western with a lot going on!

  • The Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA)  begins meeting today at 12pm and also at 2pm in the Learning Commons, Wilson Library 270. TLA's "Big Question"  for spring quarter is: How will we cultivate and connect communities in which the whole person grows and relationships flourish? Consider joining the TLA to discuss this question, which is one of the cornerstones of sustainability. To sign up to participate,email TLA Program Coordinator Shevell Thibou, Shevell.Thibou@wwu.edu

  • Also from 12 to 1 pm "Community Stitch and Munch Drop-in"  (Hans Wholebean really wants you to check this one out!) University Residences and the Office of Sustainability are partnering to provide a weekly drop in for all campus and community members to work together on sustainable handcrafting projects to benefit our community. Currently they are working on a project inspired but Phi Kappa Phi member and Learning Commons Program Coordinator Shevell Thibou, who plans on hosting a sock monkey workshop series as a community outreach opportunity. The handmade monkeys will be donated to DSHS who will provide them to young children as they are being transitioned from their homes to safe residences. Location: EA 110 (Edens Admin – 1st floor of Edens Hall – entry door faces the Old Main lawn) For more information, contact June Fraser at June.Fraserthistle@wwu.edu.   

  • Also from 12 to 1:20: Fairhaven College will be kicking off its Spring World Issue Forum at the Fairhaven College Auditorium with a presentation by Ethan Casey, veteran international journalist, editor and author called What Does Pakistan Have to do with Haiti?” 

  • And at 7pm: There will be an event in Academic West 204 feathering filmmaker John Gussman, Research Ecologist Jeff Duda of the U.S. Geological Survey, and Stephen Streufert, the Pacific Northwest director of the environmental education nonprofit NatureBridge who will be conducting a presentation on the impacts of the Elwha River dam-removal projects in the Olympic National Park.
THURSDAY APRIL 11:  And last but definitely not least!

  • At 12pm:  TLA is meeting again at 12pm in the Learning Commons, Wilson Library 270. 
  •  At 4pm:   Andy Bunn, Director of Western’s Institute for Energy Studies, will speak about renewable energy “Could the United States Rely on Renewable Energy Alone?” in Biology 212.

Those are some of the things happening this week! For more information about event and news at Western, check out WWU's online publication of "Western Today."