Sustainability

7
Dec10

Help keep the busiest bathrooms on campus clean

Posted by: Nina Shah

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Not to brag, but I think the Library tops the charts in terms of traffic in our restrooms making our bathrooms the busiest on campus! We try our best so that you can’t tell.

To keep up with the number of bathroom visitors this Fall, NU House and Grounds have stepped up their efforts to keep the facilities clean with more frequent service (and a record of when it’s been provided), paper-free hand driers designed to be both green and mess eliminators, and the installation of locks on bathroom doors to ensure a really thorough cleaning. That being said, cleanliness is a joint effort amongst all library users – students, faculty, staff, etc.

While bathroom etiquette seems like a no-brainer there have been some interesting messes in the past. Here are some tips on how to make sure the restrooms stay user friendly :)

1. Do not dispose of food in the toilets or anything besides what is intended of being disposed in a toilet.

2. Avoid pressing the ‘flush’ button with your foot. This damages the flushing mechanism. Here’s a tip! Use a piece of toilet paper to press the button so you avoid touching it with your hand.

3. Paper, paper, paper. Please, be green and take only what you need. Do not leave paper on the floor, use the trash can.

4. Shut off the water when you are done using the sink. If you spill, pick up after yourself.

5. And finally, if you see a problem, report it. Call x2754 (NU Work Control) or submit a request online at www.workreq.neu.edu.

Posted in: Library News and Events, Serendipity, Staff Interests, Sustainability

3
Dec10

On This Day: December 2nd

Posted by: Brendan Ratner

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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.

Posted in: Earth Sciences, Information and Society, Staff Interests, Sustainability

28
Sep10

Hot debate over drying your hands at Snell

Posted by: Brendan Ratner

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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:

Posted in: Serendipity, Staff Interests, Sustainability

17
Sep10

Friday Five: Animal Planet

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian

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For some reason, or maybe because I’m just more attuned to it for some reason, a lot of science news this week had to do with the animal world.

1. Compared to animals, humans don’t actually travel around much.  A team of NU researchers is finding that human movement is highly predictable and pretty restricted.  Their results, which were based on cell phone gps data (they swear it’s anonymized) were published this week in Nature Physics and a summary is available on the NU News site.

2. Jonathan Franzen’s acclaimed new book “Freedom” has arrived at Snell. A realist novel in the spirit of Tom Wolfe, it is the story of a dysfunctional family trying to navigate the shoals of 21st century America.  One of the protagonists is an environmental lawyer and much of it is set in and around the environmental movement.  Oprah’s just chosen it for her book club (despite the fact that Franzen has dissed her book club taste in the past!).

3. This week PLoS (Public Library of Science) Biology reports on the demise of the tiger and a way to ensure its survival through the protection of its breeding grounds.

4. When it comes to eating animal products, the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that there’s a big difference between low-carb diets high in animal products and those low in animal products.  Those low in animal products resulted in lower mortality from all causes.

5. Science News reports that an ancestor of the virus that causes AIDS has been present in monkeys for 32,000 years!

Posted in: Read, Listen, Watch, Research Online, Sustainability

20
Apr10

Earth Week means parting with old electronics

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian

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To celebrate Earth Week, Snell Library is participating in a campus-wide electronics waste collection effort.

If you have old chargers, hair dryers, lamps, plugs, cords or other electronics (not phones) please bring them to the collection box on the Circulation Desk in the lobby of Snell Library.

For questions about what items are eligible, contact Carol Rosskam, NU Sustainability Program Manager, at 617.373.8730, 617.828.2505 (cell) or c.rosskam@neu.edu.

Find out more about e-waste collection on the Sustainability@NU web site.

Posted in: Serendipity, Sustainability