On This Day: December 2nd

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On December 2nd, 1970 (40 years ago!) the EPA began daily operations under Richard Nixon (one of few things he got right). This organization is responsible for researching and educating the public on environmental issues, as well as setting and enforcing environment-related legislation. Key programs you may be familiar with are vehicle emission standards, Clean Water Acts, and the Endangered Species Acts. As a part of NU Libraries’ Federal Depository program, we have government-issued reports available in print and online that explore various EPA related topics in detail. You can take out a print article from our government stacks on the oversight of recent EPA decisions, or you can read an online article on the EPA lifecycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions. There is much to choose from, so celebrate 40 years by taking a look at these resources. To view the library’s entire EPA collection, keyword search “EPA” in NUCat.

Hot debate over drying your hands at Snell

Ever wash your hands and have no paper towels left? Leaving you to shake them as fast as you can, rub them on your clothes, or hold them awkwardly away from your body while they air dry? Of course that never happens at Northeastern, because of our great Facilities branch, but at Snell Library it will never, ever happen. In conjunction with sustainable initiatives around Northeastern, you will find warm-air dryers slowly replacing paper towel dispensers in all Snell Library bathrooms. In addition to reducing litter and solid waste, the warm-air dryers require minimal maintenance (no refilling) which will help save time and money in Snell. We’d love to hear your input, do you like warm-air dryers, or prefer plain old paper towels? Me personally, I like the warm-air dryers. The sustainability and savings aspect is all well and good but the real benefit of those is being able to do this:

The stacks get painted green

A new influx of books on sustainability, climate change, and all things green have hit the Library Stacks in 2010. In following its commitment to sustainable development, Northeastern has been obtaining more relevant sources on the topic for its students. Some new titles that are available and have yet to even be checked out are… A Global Green New Deal by Edward B. Barbier.
  • This book focuses on the need for global shifts in policy that will be able to meet short-term and long-term sustainability needs without creating economic or environmental crises in the future.
Co-Opportunity by John Grant.
  • This book follows the same theme of cooperation on a larger scale to achieve environmental change. It focuses on the relationship of the economy and the environment, the government’s current role and ideal role, and how individuals, communities, and countries can work cooperatively to achieve goals with relative ease and low expenses.
Mainstreaming Climate Change In Developmental Cooperation
  • This book gives a theoretical, political, and practical perspective on the role of developmental cooperation needed between developed and developing countries. The focus on climate change and aid theory make us rethink the need to help developing countries as a step to achieving global environmental progress.
The theme of environmental cooperation is obvious in these three examples and it fits perfectly with Northeastern’s commitment to the community and to cooperative education.

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

Those of you looking for something fun and not Halloween-related to do this weekend should check out the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. It’s happening Oct 31st from 10 AM to 6 PM and Nov 1st from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont Street, Boston. There will be cooking demonstrations and talks on everything from the basics of vegetarianism, to nutrition, to the effects of diet on global warming. There will also be plenty of exhibitors giving out free samples, educational exhibits on animals and the environment and children’s activities. Best of all, everything is free. Stop by and learn how you can eat healthier and help the environment.

Oysters and Goats

Sure, we’ve heard all about the Google Goats. And you may have heard about the Andover Goats. Great idea, yes? Use goats to mow down the growth? I recently found out about a similar program for the Boston Harbor. Oysters are being reintroduced to help clear out the water – an oyster can filter 30 gallons of water per day. Amazing! The time lapse video of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay was incredible to watch. Who knew that oysters and goats had so much in common? Now that I know about this project, I am inspired to see if there are any magazine or journal articles that talk more about oysters and ecosystems, or water purification. I bet GreenFILE would be a good database to start with!