Eagle Cam!


Greetings and salutations! Very soon, this blog will be filled with campus greening initiatives and helpful hints for reducing your environmental footprint.  But for today, I leave you with Eagle Cam, a live feed of a nesting bald eagle at Berry College in Georgia.  The link will take you to Berry College’s page with information about these amazing creatures as well as the live feed.  ENJOY!!!

http://www.berry.edu/eaglecam/

 

UPDATE!  The eagles have hatched!  Here’s a YouTube video of the new eaglet!

Very Exciting Compost News!


BCC COMPOSTS!!!  WOO WOO WOO!!!

In a campus-wide effort to reduce food and other waste, the cafeteria (in partnership with the Green Team and Empire Zero) has started a very exciting composting program!  For the first time, the BCC community can separate recyclables, food waste, and trash with ease.  Now you can compost in any of the following locations:

  • Cafeteria near the tray return window
  • SBA Annex kitchenette
  • Field Administration Building, east lobby, on 1st AND 2nd floors

I’ll be honest: I LOVE COMPOST!  When I was in college, a friend caught me off-guard by asking out of the blue, “What do you want?”  My instant response? “A compost pile.”  Not many 19 year old college students dream of piles of decaying matter, but there you go.  Compost is awesome.

You may be asking yourself, what on earth is composting?  Excellent question!  Composting is the act of reusing biodegradable food, lawn, and paper products to make an organic fertilizer and soil amendment.  These materials are piled up and allowed to decompose; the combination of heat and moisture (and occasional earthworm) creates a perfect environment for bacteria to break down the materials into a lovely addition for your soil.

Now for the important question: why compost?  Food and lawn waste accounts for 20-30% of what Americans throw away.  Composting keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a greenhouse gas.  In addition to decreasing the sheer amount of waste going into landfills, composting enriches the soil while reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.  All in all, compost is a win-win.

How does our new compost system work?  This handy bilingual graphic can help you determine what should go where.  Many thanks to Empire Zero!

empire zero compost image

If you have any questions about this new program, please contact the Green Team.  We’re happy to help!

A great resource for starting your own compost pile at home:

http://www2.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home

MCLA Green Living Seminar Series Starts TONIGHT! Forum Credit Available


Cultivating a Sustainable Food System:  The MCLA Green Living Seminar Series

“Cultivating a Sustainable Food System” is this year’s 11-week Green Living Seminar series that will consider the broad implications of our how food is produced, transported and consumed. 

Kicking off this series is “Creating Sustainable Food Systems,” presented by Philip Ackerman-Leist, associate professor of environmental studies and director of the Farm and Food Project at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt.  Ackerman-Leist also is the author of “Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems.”

The seminar will be held at 5:30 p.m. TONIGHT in Murdock Hall, room 218 on the MCLA campus.

This event is free and open to the public.  FORUM CREDIT IS AVAILABLE

The seminars will take place Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. from Jan. 30 to April 24.  All events are free and open to the public.  For additional information, please visit the Green Living Series website, found here.  For a complete list seminars, please view this flyer.  Podcasts will be posted online following the presentation.

Putting a Value on the Effects of Climate Change: The Social Cost of Carbon and New Energy Tax Policies


Many thanks to our own Mary Parkman for this information! 

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget is accepting comments on raising the social cost of carbon from the 2010 level of $24 per metric ton of carbon dioxide to $37 per metric ton. The social cost of carbon is defined as the value to society of reducing carbon emissions.

Submit comments on  www.regulations.gov by January 27, 2014.

For more info: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/11/01/refining-estimates-social-cost-carbon

 

The Senate Finance Committee is accepting comments on a new Energy Tax Policy regarding the development of clean energy for electricity and fuels.

For more info: http://www.finance.senate.gov/newsroom/chairman/release/?id=3a90679c-f8d0-4cb6-b775-ca559f91ebb4

Send comments to: Tax_Reform@Finance.Senate.gov by January 31, 2014.

2014 Statewide Pay Advice Challenge


The CFO of Massachusetts has challenged community colleges across the state to go Direct Deposit and read their pay advice (or what I like to call, a pay stub) online.  Printing out the pay checks and advices generates over 7 tons of trash annually across the state.  BCC alone sends almost 87 pounds to the landfill each year.  If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to be more eco-friendly, this is a great way to start!

Using the Oracle program (formerly PayInfo), you can stop receiving paper pay checks and advices by following the instructions below:

  1. Log in to your Oracle Peoplesoft account (a.k.a the site where you electronically report your time)
  2. Select “Self Service” from the menu
  3. Click on “Payroll and Compensation”
  4. Click on “Direct Deposit”
  5. Add Account Information for Direct Deposit
  6. Underneath the blue box, you will see a link that says “Pay Statement Print Option.” Click on it.
  7. Click on “Do not send a paper copy of direct deposit pay statement” so that the little circle is blue
  8. Click “Save”
  9. Confirm when prompted.  There you go!  That’s it!

If you do not report your time electronically, please contact our awesome payroll department!

Best of luck! Remember, every little bit helps!

 

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.
–Sydney Smith

Winter Wildlife: The Feisty Red Fox


While posting green tips for the holidays would seem like a relevant post this time of year, here is something a little different to make us smile and remind us that we share this planet with some pretty incredible creatures.

The red fox, whose population is widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, is known to jump through many feet of snow to locate its prey.  This jumping, called mousing, is quite delightful to watch as the red fox leaps high into the air and plummets into the snow, snout-first.  The red fox’s hunting ability has been attributed to its keen sense of hearing, but scientists suggest that the foxes also use the Earth’s magnetic fields to pinpoint its prey.

Say what you will about foxes, this video is pretty darn entertaining.

 

Thanks to Mother Nature Network and the Discovery Channel for the information!

Red Foxes Hunting Secrets Revealed!

“Animals of the North” Presentation, THIS THURSDAY!!


Looking for something to do this Thursday evening?  Come on down to Paterson for the “Animals of the North: What Will Global Climate Change Mean for Them?” presentation with Susan Morse.

Please join us for this special event!

Date: Thursday, December 5, 2013

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Location: BCC Campus, Paterson Field House

Admission: $5 general/free with valid student ID

Event is sponsored by: Berkshire Community College Green Team, MCLA Department of Environmental Studies, Bard College at Simon’s Rock Sustainability Studies, Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), Berkshire Wildlife Trackers, Project Native,  Berkshire Natural Resources Council, Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, Housatonic Valley Association, The Nature Conservancy, The Trustees of Reservations, Green Berkshires, and Greenagers.

Mark Your Calendars! Wildlife Photography & Climate Change Presentation on December 5th!


On Thursday, December 5th, BCC is proud to cosponsor the “Animals of the North: What Will Global Climate Change Mean For Them?‘ presentation with Susan Morse, wildlife photographer and natural history expert.  This slide show presentation is designed to inform viewers of the present (and future) impact of climate change on northern species through Susan’s incredible photography.  The goal of this presentation is to inspire participants of all ages to conserve natural resources, reconsider our dependence on fossil fuels, and create a better future for all of Earth’s inhabitants.   Please join us for this special event!

Date: Thursday, December 5, 2013

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Location: BCC Campus, Paterson Field House

Admission: $5 general/free with valid student ID

Event is sponsored by: Berkshire Community College Green Team, MCLA Department of Environmental Studies, Bard College at Simon’s Rock Sustainability Studies, Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT), Berkshire Wildlife Trackers, Project Native,  Berkshire Natural Resources Council, Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, Housatonic Valley Association, The Nature Conservancy, The Trustees of Reservations, Green Berkshires, and Greenagers.

Tip o’ the Week: Show Us Your Mug! A Travel Mug, That Is!


Not-so-fun fact: 16 billion paper cups are used for coffee EVERY YEAR 

(Do me favor, please: read this post in your best game-show host/infomercial voice.  It makes it much more fun!)   

Would you like to save over 6.5 million trees?  How about 4 billion gallons of water?  What about powering nearly 54,000 homes for a year?  It can be done!  And it’s simple!  Switch to reusable mugs!  Yes, that’s right, you heard it here first!

Did you know that paper beverage cups are laminated with a plastic resin that not only prevents the paper from absorbing liquids and leaking, but also prevents them from being recycled?  Thaaaaaat’s right!  Paper cups are NOT recyclable!  

Would you like to have more cash in your pocket?  Of course you do!  Many coffee shops, including our own café, offer a discount to customers that bring their own mug.  Some places will charge you for only a small beverage regardless of mug size (many thanks to Kevin and the café staff for that!) and others will give you a flat discount, like the 10¢ Starbucks policy.  If you buy one Starbucks coffee every day using your own mug, that’s a savings of almost $40 per year!  And who wouldn’t want to have an extra $40 at the end of the year?  I know I would!

So, whether you are in your office or on the road, you can save money and the environment by switching from paper cups to reusable mugs.  Happy Caffeinating!

Thanks to the Nature Conservancy and the Daily Green for the information!

http://www.nature.org/greenliving/gogreen/everydayenvironmentalist/reusable-coffee-mugs.xml

http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/reusable-coffee-mug-0718#slide-19

Volunteers Needed! Help Clean Up the Tierney Conservation Area!


Please join the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) and the City of Pittsfield in cleaning up the Tierney Conservation Area on November 3, 2013.

Be sure to wear old clothes and sturdy shoes as you will get dirty!  I would also recommend bringing some water (in a reusable bottle, of course!)

Date: Sunday, November 3, 2013

Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Tierney Conservation Area, Jason St, Pittsfield, MA (just north of the railroad bridge)

Note: Cleanup will be cancelled in the event of heavy rains and thunderstorms

I’d highly recommend signing up for a cleanup if you are interested in conservation, improving our communities and wild spaces, or just looking to have fun in the out-of-doors.  I’ve done a few of these cleanups with BEAT and they are a BLAST!

To sign up for the cleanup, or if you have any questions, please contact Jane at BEAT jane@thebeatnews.org or 413-230-7321.  You can also contact me (Roz) via email: rbroch@berkshirecc.edu with any questions or suggestions.

Hope to see you there!