Green Impact Deadline/Earth Day

Today is the day all branches of the Libraries Environmental Action Force team must submit the Green Impact workbooks we have so diligently been working on over the past few months.

We have accomplished over 60 actions, ranging in difficulty from using environmentally friendly email footers (which you can find out more about from our previous blog post) to calculating the life cost of our office equipment. Did you know that over the lifecycle of a typical appliance, the total running costs are usually 15% procurement cost, 75% energy costs and 10% maintenance costs? Which means it can work out cheaper to invest more money when buying an item to save more in energy costs later on.

None of this would have been possible without the support provided by all of you. You have all been contributing to making the LRCs greener, be it turning off your computers when not in use, using the recycling bins or tucking in to a Fairtrade breakfast. So for all of your efforts, we would just like to say:

beeld_mieren_-thank_you

But it doesn’t end there. Today is also Earth Day, an annual worldwide event that celebrates building a sustainable environment, addressing climate change and protecting the Earth for future generations. Long term change takes more than just a single day, but today is a start. So let’s start now and let’s not stop.

 

There are a few simple things we can all do to play our part:

Finally start carrying a bag for life. It’s not only annoying when you forget and have to pay 5p for the privilege, but it also saves single use bags becoming litter in landfill taking centuries to break down.

Go veggie (or cut down your meat consumption). Vital ecosystems around the world are destroyed to make space for grazing cattle. It may be difficult, but even slightly reducing the amount of meat we eat will have dramatic effects. It might even make you feel better, too.

-Get a bike. Some of the major problems facing the Western world are pollution, climate change and obesity. This could all be lessened if we all start cycling a bit more.

-Start thinking more about our carbon footprints. Making small changes like switching off lights or appliances and insulating our homes can all help reduce the impact we have on the planet.

-Reusing plastic bottles. Plastic bottles are the new plastic bags. They’re everywhere, very rarely recycled, and they don’t biodegrade. Buying a re-useable bottle and filling it from the tap will not only save you money, it’ll help save the environment.

 

Google have been celebrating Earth Day annually via their Doodles. This year a range of Doodles have been designed by artist Sophie Diao. The one you get is random, so keep refreshing your page to see them all. Last year, the Doodle was a quiz to find out which animal you are. You can still find out via this link.

 

Let’s keep up the good work everyone!

 

 

Picture Credit: Thank you ants. Available at: http://bit.ly/1NFcGmy

New Travel Rota at NC

Footprints-on-snow-005

As part of Green Impact, we’ve been trying to identify the key ways in which we in library services can cut down our carbon footprint. We think one thing which is particularly pertinent to LLS is the way we travel between sites. All of us spend some time at Roevale each week, and many of us have to attend meetings at Penrhyn Road and Knights Park on a regular basis. This means that, as a team, we spend a lot of time ‘on the road’. We’d like to get a clearer picture of how everyone is travelling between sites, so that we can start to think about ways of making our journeys more eco-friendly. So, over the next few months, we’d like you to record each time you travel from one site to another, and how you did it. This is something they’ve been trying at Knights Park, and we’re hoping it will make us all a little more conscious of how we travel.

There  is a chart on the notice board in the common room – just find your name and fill it in as you go!

Buddy Boiling

Fancy saving the planet AND enjoying a delicious cup of tea? Then get on board with our new ‘buddy boiling’ system! The idea is that we cut down on the energy used to boil the kettle by making sure we remember to ask others if they fancy a cuppa when we’re making one for ourselves, ultimately cutting down the number of times the kettle is boiled each  day. We’re also trying to remember to only boil as much water as we need, and to keep track of how often the kettle is being used by recording each time we use it on the nearby chart, which looks like this:

Save water at Roevale

 

Help us cut down our energy  and water consumption!

 

Energy Saving Ideas

Saving energy is an important part of sustainability. Wasting energy can have a negative impact on the environment, producing unnecessary CO2 emissions, and waste resources for the next generation.

 

I am sure we all want to save energy, but it can be hard to know where to even start. This is why we have made a list of six easy methods of saving energy that you can do try today:

 

  1. Turn off equipment: It may sound obvious, but turning off equipment when it isn’t being used is a good way to prevent unnecessary waste. Think about the amount of time a computer, television or even lights are left on when they are not being used.

 

  1. Find out about energy saving settings: A lot of electronic devices have power saving settings. This may involve reducing the screen brightness or putting the device into an automatic standby or even shut it down when not in use. Look into the power saving settings of the devices around you and see what you can do.

 

  1. Think of alternative methods: Before you use an appliance, think if there’s something else you can use instead, or if there is a more efficient way to use it. For example, instead of using running water to do the washing up, fill up a bowl – or do one full dishwasher load every day, instead of washing everything by hand or only filling the dishwasher half way.

 

  1. Turn off the heating: If it is warm outside, or if you have something warm to wear, consider turning off the heating. Even turning the heating down marginally will help save some energy and a little bit of money too.

 

  1. Use more energy efficient equipment: I know what you’re probably thinking, replacing equipment is expensive. While this is true, we are not suggesting you change all the appliances in your home or work over night. Instead, start by making a few simple changes – for example, using LED lights instead of filament bulbs is already going a good distance to achieving energy efficiency.

 

  1. Monitor: Having an idea of how much energy you are using helps to put things into perspective. By using smart monitoring devices you can check and manage your energy usage. Knowing how much energy you are using can help you to limit the amount you use, or set goals to reduce your energy usage. Contact your energy supplier or look on their website to see what energy monitoring they offer.

 

Our University has drawn up an Energy Policy, with the goal of cutting CO2 emissions from the 2006-2007 figure by 35% by the end of the 2020/21 academic year. Every bit of energy we save can help achieve this goal and contribute towards saving energy for the generations to come.

 

Please visit the Energy Saving Trust’s website for further information.

 

 

Picture Credit: Saving Energy. Available at: http://bit.ly/1WACsj4

Making your PC more energy efficient

Last year, one of our Green Impact downfalls was leaving our computers switched on overnight. Simply turning PCs off at the end of the day will save enough CO2 to fill a double decker bus.

But what about during the day? A lot of us leave our workstations for long periods of time, leaving our PCs on. This wastes energy and money. It can cost as much as £70 a year just to run one computer!

 

With a majority of us “hot desking” sharing computers throughout the day, it can be difficult to remember to shut down the computer after use as we can’t be sure when the next user will need to log in. It is best practice to go on the assumption that it could be hours before the computer will be used again, and shut it down.

 

Things to remember:

(1) It doesn’t take any extra electricity to start up a computer; you might just have to wait a few extra seconds for the computer to start up after a shut down.

(2) Shutting down obviously saves more electricity than energy-saving mode, but if you will be returning to the same computer a good compromise is to use sleep mode when you’re not using it. This does not mean you will have to turn it on again when you come to use it. It will simply have a locked screen, so all you will have to do is type in your password, and the desktop will instantly open up exactly as you left it.

(3) Energy-saving mode does save power. That’s what it’s for.

(4) Please remember to turn your PC off at the end of the day.

 

Instructions for making your computer more energy efficient can be found here.

 

 

Picture Credit: Switch Off Reminder. Available at: http://bit.ly/1RZn5LQ

Reasons to Love your Dishwasher

Did you know that, most of the time, its actually greener to use a dishwasher than to wash up by hand?

Research published by the University of Bon has shown that dishwashers use less energy, less water and less soap than washing by hand, are more hygienic, and – crucially! – save us time and energy.

Here are some tips to help you maximise your dishwasher’s green impact:dishwasher

  • Be sure to scrape your plates thoroughly before you put them in
  • Only run the dishwasher when its full
  • Make sure you use the economy setting where possible
  • Try to run your dishwasher at night – that way you are using the grid at a time of low demand, so the dirtiest and least efficient power stations aren’t running, which means each unit of power will have a slightly lower carbon footprint.

At the Nightingale Centre, our dishwasher is run every night. If we also wash by hand, we are only adding to the amount of water we use. So, wherever possible, please put your dirty plates, mugs and cutlery in the dishwasher instead of washing them by hand. that way you can sit back, relax, and still be saving the planet.

 

Coming in May 2016… The KH/RV Vegan Bake Off!

cake  In May we’ll be bringing in our finest vegan bakes (and hoping you’ll bring some too!) and asking you to make a small donation to have a taste, and vote on your favourite, all in the name of sweet (in all senses) charity. But what we’d like to know, is what charity you would like to support? All suggestions would be greatly received – you can leave a comment here, email Faye at f.keegan@kingston.ac.uk, or simply write your suggestion up on the Nightingale Centre staff room whiteboard.cookies

In case you fancy getting some practice in, or just want some inspiration, here are some recipes for vegan Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Blondies, Coffee Cacao Cake, and Moist Chocolate Fudge Cake.

Happy baking, and thanks for your help!more cake