People, places, and projects that help us understand the challenge of sustainability. While I focus on environmental sustainability, there’s plenty here about social and economic issues, too.

Sustainable publishing at Berkshire–and elsewhere

If Richard Charkin says it, it's probably good sense, good business, and controversial. The issue of book returns is virtually unknown to the book-buying public, and it isn't much of an issue in the reference book publishing sector, at least for Berkshire, but it's a huge business problem with considerable environmental impact. Nice to see some movement on this, thanks to Borders and Robert Miller, president and publisher of HarperStudio. Here's an article, "An End to Book Returns?." No surprise that Richard is quoted, pointing out that New Zealand, a [...]

April 28th, 2009|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , , , |

Greener PCs

I have a feeling that I'm going to learn a lot about "greenwashing" -- and premium pricing -- as I dive into the Encyclopedia of Sustainability determined to make Berkshire Publishing greener. What's great is seeing how much good information there is around. Here's an article about greener business travel, which took me to a less than beautiful but nonetheless confidence-inspiring site for the EPEAT™ program. EPEAT is the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, "a system to help purchasers in the public and private sectors evaluate, compare and select desktop [...]

April 14th, 2009|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , |

Berkshire staffers on their bikes

Finally, I'm getting this photo, taken before the snow and cold, uploaded to show our valiant editorial staff, Bill Siever and Chris Gauthier, setting off for home. Apparently Bill would think of cross-country skiing to work if there were a route. We're moving into new territory, in these energy- and cost-conscious times. I'm now looking at solar panels for home and office.

October 29th, 2008|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , |

Earth Day, Antioch College, and Arthur Morgan

I got the cover today for the new US printing of the Armchair Environmentalist. While I’m not exactly an armchair type and the title wasn’t my idea, I’ve come to like it. I have always wanted to be encouraging and not preachy about going green. Making people feel guilty isn’t very effective, and in any case I wouldn’t be much good as a moral crusader. I think about this a lot now, as Earth Day dawns tomorrow and it seems that almost everyone is ready to get on the climate [...]

April 21st, 2008|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , , |

Sense and sensibility

I spent most of today at a Chinese climate change symposium, with many speakers and a ton of information on initiatives in construction and car manufacture. Did you know that China uses 40% of the world's cement each year? I will get back to Beijing news tomorrow; tonight, some literary thoughts. The conflict between sense and sensibility is the theme of one of Jane Austen’s novels, and I was thinking about it this week after rereading one of my favorite passages from all of Lewis Mumford’s writings. Well, from those [...]

March 28th, 2007|Categories: Oddments|Tags: , , |