‘Green’ residence hall to be first for University of Illinois

As the MVCC Sustainability Initiative gets moving forward it is useful to keep an eye on the progress of other Higher Education institutions. Thus, this article, ‘Green’ residence hall to be first for University of Illinois, in the Chicago Tribune caught my eye.  While we do not have residence halls, Moraine Valley is working to create green buildings.  Here’s a piece of the article:

A $23 million residence hall under construction in Champaign will be the first at the University of Illinois to be certifiably green.

The eco-friendly features of the 262-bed Presby Hall include a geothermal system to heat rooms and water, water-saving plumbing, as well as environmentally friendly lighting and paint.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building, expected to be the first U of I residence hall to receive certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, is planned for this summer.

For More read the entire article, ‘Green’ residence hall to be first for University of Illinois

The Living Planet

We have added The Living Planet DVD to our collection. This is an excellent documentary originally put out in the 1980s, but still current for today. Here is the product summary:

Host David Attenborough visits the great environmental regions of the planet to examine how plants and animals adapt to their surroundings and how otherwise unrelated organisms, molded by similar conditions, develop similar techniques for solving problems of survival

This DVD is available for checkout in the library.

The Blue Bag of Switzerland – Not Chicago’s Blue Bag

The Swiss have a blue bag program, but it is not a recycling, but a garbage program.  The blue bags come in small, medium and large and on average cost $1.50 each (medium bag).  Households pay for the very bags that they have to package up their garbage in.  So the more garbage you have, the more it costs you.  This is an excellent promotion of recycling, which is free when you bring your recyclables to the appropriate center.  Read more in this humorous account of the Swiss blue bag program at www.emagazine.com/view/?4042.

The Story of Stuff: Online Video

The Story of Stuff is an online documentary about all of the stuff we get. It clearly advocates from some strong points-of-view, but it is well made and fun…you may also learn something from it.  For instance, did you know that only 1% of the goods consumed through our current economic production system are still in use after 6 months.  That is frightening. Here’s the description from the Web site:

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

The Age of Warming

60 Minutes presented a special episode called, The Age of Warming this past Sunday. It is pretty good. Here’s a quote:

If you were waiting for the day global warming would change the world, that day is here. It’s happening, far from civilization’s notice, in a place about as remote as you can get.

Scientists believed Antarctica, at the bottom of the world, was too vast, too remote, to be bothered by climate change any time soon. But now glaciers are setting speed records for melting and whole colonies of penguins are disappearing.

Why does it matter?

Antarctica is a climate giant, driving ocean and wind currents worldwide, with enormous potential to raise sea levels.

To find out what’s happening down south, 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley set out on an expedition; the first stop was the high mountains of Patagonia in Chile, where you can actually see a new age beginning.

Recycled Library Materials

Like most libraries, our library brings in thousands of newspapers and magazines each year. If we kept each paper copy of each periodical that we’ve received over the forty years of our library’s existence, we would not be able to walk around because we’d have magazines all over the place. Plus, we’d probably be violating a list of fire code regulations.

What happens to the old periodicals, you may ask? There are some titles that we keep for many years. Other titles, we purchase microfilm to archive them and save space. With the growth of our library’s online database there are many titles that we only get online, and we never purchase the paper copies at all.

Ok, so what happens when we purchase the mircofilm?  First, we give away any titles to faculty members or students why may want them.  We have a cart in the library with past issues.  For instance, we give old newspapers to the biology lab, and they use them to things tidy during the dissection (yuck) labs.  This save money and resources by not having to buy paper towels.  Our other titles are recycled so that we are not filling up landfills.  We have been doing this for quite a long time.

Green Jobs Seek Entry Level Workers

Here’s one for the students out there. Trying to figure tomorrow’s hot careers? How about something in the developing “green” world? This NPR piece, Green Jobs Seek Entry Level Workers, discusses the problems that some employers are having in finding workers ready to work in the green economy. The Environmental Science courses here at MVCC would be a great starting point.

Chronicle: Librarians Prodded to Use Reusable Mugs

It is well known that librarians tend to be coffee addicts, which somewhat true around our library, especially since we have our own coffee shop. This Chronicle blog post, Librarians Prodded to Use Resuable Mugs, is about an effort at a library conference to get conference goers to use reusable mugs to cut down on waste from paper cups. This is a pretty good idea, so I thought I’d pass it along. All of the coffee shops on campus will allow you to bring in your mugs. Here’s my trustee mug that always comes with me anytime I leave my office: