Monday, April 27, 2015

Renewables - Made in Germany

In case you hadn't heard, Western's Institute for Energy Studies is hosting a fascinating poster exhibit in Academic West from now through May 7th about Germany and their global leadership in the development of renewable energy.

 According to a piece written by Jake Parrish  that was published in Western Today, the full-color posters are on loan from the Consulate General of Germany, and have information about solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and renewable energy in buildings. For more information, you can read about this exhibit here and here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Eighty Years of Dust

The new issue of the Natural Hazards Observer is out and the main feature is a long article comparing the great Dust Bowl ("one of the worst man-made ecological disasters in American history") to the current drought in the midwest.  Fascinating stuff.

Also articles about helping musicians recover from Katrina in New Orleans, and using a high school football team to focus hurricane recovery efforts.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sustainable food and water too

I hope you all know about the Hydration Station in Wilson Library (turn left when you leave Zoe's Bookside Bagels and keep walking until you see it on your right).  Besides a place to fill your water bottles we also have displays of information about sustainability activities on campus (contact Clarissa or Rob if you want to add something).  AND we have a small bookcase there with a themed assortment of books and videos.  Winter quarter the subject was sustainable design (the books on sustainable fashion were very popular).  This quarter: sustainable food.  You can check these books out so take one to lunch!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Connecting Communities

Often when we talk about sustainability, we talk about how communities can become more sustainable. What are the things we can do to help each other and how can these things help foster sustainability in our every-day lives?

The week of April 11th through April 18th at WWU is a special week devoted to highlighting some of the things that demonstrate how we at Western are "Active Minds Changing Lives," and sustainability is a common theme that runs throughout many of the activities planned during this period.

 Active Minds Changing Lives Week @WWU

One such example of this is something sponsored by the Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA). In 2014, TLA proposed the creation of a trust-building event in response to the BIG question, “How do we ignite individual passion, purpose, and potential to co-create a culture of trust?” As a result, they come up with the idea of planning some activities to feature and highlight "Connecting Communities," and these upcoming events are also being featured as part of Active Minds Changing Lives Week.

 Connecting Communities Launch (Monday, April 13)
Faculty and staff may drop by Wilson Library 270 anytime between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to learn how they can volunteer with various organizations within Whatcom County. Individuals will also have an opportunity to sign up for a service event on Friday, April 17. Light refreshments will be served.

Connecting Communities Day of Service (Friday, April 17)
On Friday, April 17th, faculty and staff may join their colleagues in a day of service. This is also a wonderful opportunity to use Community Service Leave available for Professional staff and classified staff. Service projects are available on- and off-campus, and can select from a variety of volunteer sites. Projects range from creating a short film for the Family Meals Project, to assisting Tara Perry’s class with assembling backpacks for the homeless. For a full list of service projects, please see the TLA events page

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The new Federal Sustainability Plan

The White House has just announced a new federal plan for sustainability.   "This new sustainability plan for the next decade directs federal agencies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025. That means big cuts to the dangerous emissions driving climate change – and also big savings. In addition to 21 million metric tons of emission reductions – the same as taking 4.2 million cars of the road for a year — achieving this goal will save taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs between 2008 and 2025,"

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Have you seen the CEDAR?

I don't think we have talked about CEDAR here.  CEDAR is WWU's institutional repository, which is library jargon for a digital storeroom for a university's research products.

Articles and books by professors, staff, and sometimes students are easily accessible through CEDAR.  The coolest part is that if you go to the CEDAR page you can watch - in real time! - as people all over the world download research done at Western.   A writer friend of mine in New York called it "a slow video game for nerds," and admitted she watched it way too long.

But this is a blog about sustainability, so, here are the top five most-downloaded articles if you search CEDAR for: sustainability