June 2, 2009

Bottled Water...Do we need it?

Check out this Powerpoint on the ills of bottled water.

April 15, 2009

Brief Article: U of M Recycling

U OF M RECYCLING PROGRAM CELEBRATES 25 YEARS. In the summer and fall of 2008, prices for metal, paper, and plastic reached record highs. Revenue for recyclable commodities at the U was more than $500,000. It was a good year for recycling, but the U's program has seen the ups and downs of the industry over its 25-year history. For more information, read Recycling celebrates.

P.S. Did you know that Dana Donatucci has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry? Who knew!

February 12, 2009

Clean Up Week in Pattee: March 9-13, 2009

Spring is nearly here! The Clean and Green Committee has designated March 9 - 13 as clean up week. We're asking each program area to set up a schedule and develop a plan for how they will clean up both common and individual work areas. If you are part of a common area, but do not have a plan for cleaning up that area, please discuss this with your colleagues and try to put a plan in place.

We will designate on each floor:
* Large recycle bins
* A donate location for furniture and other items to be picked up and taken to the Reuse Center (pickup is on Friday, March 13).
* A location for old computer equipment that needs to be looked over an possibly donated (pickup to be determined)
* A room to store boxes with research documents that will need to go to the storage facility in Rosemount (pickup date to be determined).

Please let Pam Stenhjem know if you have any questions or need assistance with planning. Thanks!

Calculate (and reduce) Your Carbon Footprint

Plug in your numbers and see if you dump more or less tons of carbon into the environment than your average citizen. I'm dumping 6.7 tons of carbon per year - You?

TED Talks on a Greener Future

Dozens of excellent talks by experts on sustainability that you can view online for free! This TED theme, A Greener Future? includes talks on the future of cars, natural designs, praises for slowness, the climate crisis and more.

December 15, 2008

UStores Sells (some) Green Products!

I just heard from Amy Short, University Services Sustainability Coordinator, that UStores sells several green cleaning products, and they're looking for ideas on what more to add to the list. If you have any environmentally-friendly products you'd like included in the catalog, please start by contacting Amy directly. Let's go U!

August 20, 2008

Dark Screens Shed Light on Energy Savings

Introducing Blackle, a search engine using a black colored background to both save energy (less light, less energy) and raise awareness with energy saving tips. See more on this Wikipedia page. Thanks Derek for the tip!

August 7, 2008

BYOB(ag) - It's worth it!

Pam Stenhjem emailed this slide presentation (in PDF) on the Dangers of Plastic Bags. She also says, "If you want a great alternative - go to Land's End to buy GREAT canvas bags. I bought two extra large bags and keep them in my car. Two can hold a week's worth of groceries for my family. I also use them to haul craft supplies, beach stuff, camping stuff, whatever. Every where I go, people ask me where I got these. They have pockets in side and a key holder. They come in all kinds of colors and sizes - you can even get them with patent leather trim if you want to be extra fashionable. :-) It was one of the best investments I've ever made!"

August 6, 2008

ReUse within the U Too!

This tip comes to us from our colleague Debbie Hanson (National Center on Educational Outcomes), in response to an earlier Green Tip on donating office supplies to local schools. "Although the public schools are a worthy cause, it's more cost efficient to keep extra office supplies within the University system. The University Reuse Program accepts used office supplies to be redistributed to other University departments at no cost. I've used them myself many times for such items as manila folders, green hanging folders, accordion folders, and many other items. You can send items to them via campus mail, or if you have large quantities you can call them to arrange a pickup (see ReUse Center for more information). Also, if you need more campus envelopes and don't want to pay for them by ordering them new from U Stores, you can call Campus Mail at 4-8803 and ask them to send you used ones." Thanks for the tip Debbie!

July 30, 2008

Green Party Tip

As you plan a party, don't forget to keep green practices in mind. Here's one easy tip: When you're ordering party food, ask the restaurant or catering service not to include paper plates, plastic utensils, or napkins with your delivery. Instead use the supplies you already have on hand--extra points for using non-disposable items!

July 23, 2008

Recycling in the News

The Minnesota Daily just published a fantastic article on recycling in the Twin Cities that includes information on pickup times, fees, and acceptable materials. Enjoy!

July 17, 2008

Donating Excess Office Supplies

We've all got it: That pile of extra pens, folders, and other office miscellany that we know we're unlikely to use in this millennium. Why not liberate your unused office supplies by donating them to the Minneapolis Public School District or St. Paul Public School District? You'll be helping the environment and our local community, not to mention clearing out some desk clutter!

July 9, 2008

Farmer's Market Starts Today!

Today is the official start of this year's University of Minnesota Farmers Market! The market is held every Wednesday on the East Bank and runs from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Remember, when you shop at local farmers' markets you not only receive the health benefits of fresh produce, but also reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing food that's not shipped from hundreds of miles away. See more information about the U of M Farmers Market.

June 18, 2008

Recycling Unleashed!

Some great green news from the Star Tribune: "Finally, a way to recycle those yogurt containers and margarine tubs. Eastside Food Co-op has joined with Consolidated Container Co. and the city of Minneapolis to begin taking used plastics, including previously nonrecyclable items." Read the full article.

June 11, 2008

(Further) Reflections on Green Living

Summer is a great time for taking stock of your eco-life, and for adding a little extra oomph to the good habits you already have. For example, are there any "hard-copy" activities you could do online, such as bill paying or travel planning? Do you need multiple light sources in your office, or would one do the job? Could you take mass transit to work two days a week instead of just one? Take time to ask reflective questions such as these--the Earth will thank you for it!