Celebrate World Environment Day

Today, 5 June 2021, is World Environment Day.  This year’s theme is Ecosystem Restoration and the day marks the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.  In this post we share some ways to celebrate.

Explore your local ecosystems: Take a break from studying and get to know your local flora and fauna.  We are lucky to have meadows, rivers and woodland all within a few minutes’ walk of the SSL, including New Marston Meadows, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is located on the other side of the River Cherwell from the University Parks.  Look out for butterflies, kingfishers and swifts and let us know what you discover.

Music Meadow in Oxford with buttercups and trees in the backgroundRead up:  Choose some inspiring reading from our selection of SSL books on restoration ecology.
Books on a shelf with an image of a Turtle Dove on the cover of the book titled WildingOr take a look at these books recently enjoyed by SSL staff:

A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson, about the conservation of bumblebees and their habitats, and Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.Two book covers, one with images of different bee species and the other with a braid made of sweetgrassWelcome wildlife into your outdoor spaces, whether that’s a window box, balcony or garden.  SSL staff have been leaving nettle patches and wild flowers to grow, taking part in No Mow May, providing nest sites for bees, ladybirds and other insects, adding a pot of bee-friendly plants to their balcony, and even digging a pond.  One colleague made an insect house out of old bits of wood and fir cones in an upturned flower pot.  If you’d like to try this, the RSPB provides a great guide to building your own bug hotelWooden nest box for ladybirds and bees with a terracotta pot containing green shoots of bee-friendly plantsAnd finally, if you’d like to learn more about global ecosystems, why they matter, and how we can all help protect and restore them see https://www.worldenvironmentday.global

Think Carbon: get involved

We can all make individual changes to our behaviour, by taking simple energy saving actions for example, and we can inform ourselves about climate change, but by joining with others we can do more and have fun!

You could sign up for Student Switch Off at your college or take part in Green Impact via your department or college.

These and many other green initiatives are run by the University’s Environmental Sustainability Team.

Think Carbon: read up

Climate Change Virtual Book Display

Be inspired and informed by our selection of books on climate change and the social sciences, chosen by our Subject Consultants.  Click on the title to access the online version (University members only, Single Sign-On required.)  If there is a print copy in the Social Science Library (SSL), the shelfmark is included.

To find more books on climate change, both online and in print in the SSL and other Oxford libraries, search SOLO.

To see how you can help save energy at home or in the SSL, take a look at our blog post on energy saving tips.

General

Climate change : a very short introductionMark Maslin. 3rd ed. 2014.

SSL shelfmark: QC981.8.C5 MAS 2009 (2nd ed.)

 

Oxford handbook of climate change and society / edited by John S. Dryzek, Richard B. Norgaard and David Schlosberg.  2011.

SSL shelfmark:QC903.OXF 2011

 

Routledge handbook of climate change and society / C. Lever-Tracy.  2010.

SSL shelfmark: GE149 ROU 2010

 

Geography

Global warming: understanding the forecast / David Archer.  2007.

SSL shelfmark: QC981.8.C5 ARC 2007

 

Climate change : what everyone needs to know / Joseph Romm.  2nd ed.  2018.

SSL shelfmark: GE149 ROM 2016 (1st ed.)

 

Forced Migration and International Development

Handling climate displacement / Khalid Hassine.  2019.  (Temporary ebook access until May 2021)

 

 

Linking gender to climate change impacts in the Global South / Shouraseni Sen Roy.  2018.

SSL shelfmark: QC903.SEN 2018

 

 

 

Climate change, and displacement: multi-disciplinary perspectives / Jane McAdam.  2010.

SSL shelfmark: JV6346.CLI 2010

 

Climate change and energy insecurity: the challenge for peace, security and development / Felix Dodds.  2009.

SSL shelfmark: GE149 CLI 2009

 

Politics and International Relations

Climate change and the future of democracy / R. S. Deese.  2019.

 

 

Political theory and global climate action : recasting the public sphere / Idil Boran.  2019.

 

 

NATO, climate change, and international security / Tyller Lippert.  2019.

 

 

Climate crisis and the democratic prospect : participatory governance in sustainable communities / Frank Fischer.  2017.

SSL shelfmark: GE170.FIS 2017

 

Power in a warming world : the global politics of climate change and the remaking of environmental inequality / David Ciplet et al.  2015.

SSL shelfmark: GE170 CIP 2015

 

Why are we waiting? : the logic, urgency, and promise of tackling climate change / Nicholas Stern.  2015.

SSL shelfmark: QC903.STE 2015

 

The politics of climate change / Anthony Giddens.  2nd ed.  2011.  (Ebook temporarily available via HathiTrust)

SSL shelfmark: QC903.GID 2011

 

Sociology

The social construction of climate change : power, knowledge, norms, discourses / edited by Mary E. Pettenger.  2007.

SSL shelfmark: GE 149 SOC

 

Debating climate change : pathways through argument to agreement / Elizabeth L. Malone.  2009.

SSL shelfmark: GE149 MAL 2009

 

Economics

The economics and politics of climate change / edited by Dieter Helm and Cameron Hepburn.  2009.

SSL shelfmark: QC903.ECO 2009

 

 

Think Carbon: try our energy saving tips

Save energy

With so many of our activities having moved online, we may find our use of laptops and mobile devices has increased, but we can all do something to save energy, money and carbon dioxide emissions.

Pull the plug on climate change imageIn the SSL we have been working to reduce the energy consumption of our electrical equipment for several years by switching off some photocopiers and PCs during low use periods, setting the photocopiers to sleep after a few minutes’ inactivity and enabling power saving settings on staff PCs.  We have reduced PC monitor brightness and we turn off monitors when not in use.  Low energy LED lights with motion sensors have been installed throughout the library, reducing  the electricity used for lighting by two thirds.

Here are our top tips for how you can save energy at home and in the SSL:

  1. Switch off laptops, mobile phones and tablets when not in use – simple and effective.
  2. Investigate and enable power saving settings on your laptop and mobile phone – do this once then save energy without even thinking about it.
  3. Turn off your mobile phone’s Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth when not in use – this will also make your battery last longer between charges.
  4. Reduce the screen brightness on your mobile phone & laptop.
  5. Unplug any USB devices from your laptop, eg external hard drives, when they are not needed – these can still draw power when not in use.
  6. Shut down the library Reader PCs after use – our PCs are really quick to start up.
  7. Turn off the lights in the Discussion Rooms and Information Skills Training Room when you leave – it’s our policy to leave these lights off.

To learn more about climate change or find out about Oxford University green initiatives, look out for the next posts on our Climate Change Virtual Book Display and getting involved.

 

Think Climate: try our energy saving tips, be inspired by our Climate Change book display, get involved

The University has launched a new carbon target, to halve peak emissions by 2030.  This will be challenging, but we can all do something to help.

Save Energy

Pull the plug on climate change imageHere in the SSL we have been working to reduce the energy consumption of our electrical equipment by switching off some photocopiers and PCs during low use periods, setting the photocopiers to sleep after a few minutes’ inactivity and enabling power saving settings on staff PCs.  We have reduced PC monitor brightness and we turn off monitors when not in use.  Low energy LED lights with motion sensors have been installed throughout the library thanks to an ongoing Estates Services project to convert all the lighting in the Manor Road Building to LED.  This has reduced the amount of electricity used to light the library by two thirds.

Here are our top tips for how you can help save energy in the SSL:

  1. Switch off laptops and mobile devices when not in use – simple and effective.
  2. Enable power saving settings on your laptop – do this once then save energy without even thinking about it.
  3. Turn off your device’s Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth when not in use – this will also make your battery last longer between charges.
  4. Reduce the screen brightness on your mobile phone & laptop – another great battery saving tip.
  5. Unplug any USB devices from your laptop, eg external hard drives, when they are not needed – these can still draw power when not in use.
  6. Shut down the Reader PCs after use – our new PCs are really quick to start up.
  7. Turn off the lights in the Discussion Rooms, Information Skills Training Room and Q-Step Centre Teaching Lab when you leave – our policy is to leave these lights off.

Read up

Be inspired and informed by our Climate Change Book Display located around the corner from the SSL Issue Desk.

The books have been chosen by our Subject Consultants and cover African Studies, Economics, Forced Migration, Geography, International Development, International Relations, Politics and Sociology.  They are just a small selection of the books we hold on climate change – to find more books on this topic, search SOLO.

Get involved

We can all make individual changes to our behaviour but by joining with others we can do more and have fun.  You could sign up for Student Switch Off at your college or take part in Green Impact via your department or college.  Find out more about these and other initiatives run by the University’s Environmental Sustainability Team at https://sustainability.admin.ox.ac.uk/get-involved

 

 

 

Think green: simple things you can do to help save energy in the SSL

Pull the plug on climate change imageLighting the library and running equipment such as PCs, photocopiers and laptops are two of the SSL’s most significant environmental impacts due to carbon dioxide emissions resulting from electricity generation.

We are currently reducing the environmental impact of our lighting by replacing all the ceiling lights with energy efficient LED lights.  This is part of a University of Oxford Estates Services project to improve lighting efficiency throughout the Manor Road Building.  Around 1,100 lights have been replaced in the building so far out of about 4,000.  The new LED lights use less than half the electricity of the old fluorescent lights and we estimate that this is currently saving 40,700 watts.  This equates to switching off 626 of the old lights.  Further energy savings are being achieved by new motion sensors in library study areas which automatically turn off the lights when no readers are present.

We have also taken many steps to reduce the impact of electrical equipment in the library, such as programming the photocopiers to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity and turning some equipment off during periods of low demand, but we need your help to do more!

Here are seven simple things you can do to help save energy in the SSL:

  1. Switch off laptops and mobile devices when not in use – easy and effective!
  2. Enable power saving settings on your laptop – do this once and then forget about it!
  3. Turn off your device’s Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth when not in use – this will also make your battery last longer between charges.
  4. Reduce the screen brightness on your mobile phone & laptop – another great battery saving tip.
  5. Unplug any USB devices from your laptop, eg external hard drives, when they are not needed – these can still draw power when not in use.
  6. Switch off the Reader PC monitors after use – library staff are now in the habit of turning off their monitors when they leave their desks – if we can do it, so can you!
  7. Turn off the lights in the Discussion Rooms, Information Skills Training Room and Q-Step Centre Teaching Lab when you leave – yes, you are allowed to turn off these lights and we would love you to do so!

These may seem like small actions, but collectively they can add up to make a big difference.  Thank you for your help in greening the SSL and please do tell us your top energy-saving tips.

New LED lights

New energy efficient LED lights in the Social Science Library

For further tips, a fun way to test your climate change knowledge, and a chance to win 50 tubs of ice cream for your college, try the NUS/University of Oxford Student Switch Off Climate Change Quiz which we are proud to support.

See the Greening the SSL web pages to find out more about what we have been doing to improve the library’s environmental sustainability.

To learn more about the University’s work on energy saving and carbon management see the annual Environmental Sustainability Reports.

New LED lights in the SSL

LED lights in SSL study area

Light fittings in the process of being replaced. New LED lights are visible above the bookshelves.

Work has recently started on replacing the fluorescent ceiling lights in the SSL with energy efficient LED lights.  The LED light fittings use less than half the amount of electricity when operating at 100% brightness.  Once all the lights are installed the brightness will be reduced to the optimal level and the lights will be connected to daylight sensors, so further energy savings are expected. The work is taking place outside of library opening hours to avoid any disruption to readers and it forms part of the Manor Road Building Facilities Team’s plan to improve lighting efficiency throughout the building.

Think green: how you can help save energy at the SSL

Pull the plug on climate change imageElectricity used to light the library and run PCs, photocopiers and readers’ devices is one of the Social Science Library’s main environmental impacts due to the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from power generation.

Library staff have been taking simple energy saving actions to reduce energy wastage. You can help by:

  • Switching off laptops and mobile devices when not in use
  • Unplugging chargers when devices are disconnected or fully charged
  • Enabling power saving settings on your laptop (this will help your battery last longer too)
  • Switching off the Reader PC monitors after use
  • Turning off the lights in the Discussion Rooms and Graduate Study Rooms when you leave

See the Greening the SSL web pages to find out more about what we have been doing to improve the library’s environmental sustainability.

For further tips, and to test your climate change knowledge, try the NUS/University of Oxford Student Switch Off Climate Change Quiz which we are proud to support.  You could win 50 tubs of ice cream for your college!

To learn more about the University’s work on reducing energy usage see the Environmental Sustainability Reports.

Sustainable library books at the SSL

In summer 2017, the Social Science Library conducted a survey of its new purchases to investigate the sustainability practices and commitments of the publishers who supply our broad intake of new books.

We had previously acknowledged “Resource use (paper, energy, ink) in printing and delivering books and journals acquired for the library” as one of the Library’s most significant environmental impacts.

As it is our key responsibility as a Library to provide reading materials in support of world-class teaching and research, our purchasing decisions are driven entirely by academic criteria. However, we were interested to explore the sustainability credentials of the publishers of the books we buy, and celebrate the examples of good practice we found.

During the survey we examined the new print books delivered to the library, looking for statements of responsible sourcing of materials and other sustainability policies within the books themselves. We also looked for this information on the websites of the publishers of the books we had received.

We received 65 new printed books during the period of the survey, from 29 different publishers. The library also purchased 6 multi-user e-books during the same period.

12 of the new printed books contained notes in the publication information given within the book to indicate some degree of sustainability practice in the publishing process, for example:

“This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. Logging, pulping and manufacturing processes are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.”

  • Note in book published by Palgrave Macmillan

8 of the new books were marked with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) [http://welcome.fsc.org/understanding-the-fsc-labels.27.htm] logo, certifying that the materials used to make the book are sourced responsibly, comprising material originating from FSC certified forests, as well as recycled or reclaimed materials.

A further 14 of the books contained a statement that they had been printed on acid-free or alkaline paper, or that the production process met national or international standards of Permanence of Paper [http://www.niso.org/apps/group_public/project/details.php?project_id=81] which indicates that under normal circumstances the paper should survive for several hundred years.

We found other statements and commitments to sustainable practice on our book suppliers’ websites. Here are some examples:

SSL Water Week 2017

Water splash

Water is a precious resource.  It is vital for human well‐being, economic development, and a healthy environment but we often take it for granted.  Although it seems like it rains a lot in the United Kingdom, London actually has a lower annual average rainfall than Istanbul or Rome.

Here are five suggestions from the SSL Green Team on how we can appreciate water more:

Save Water  A running tap wastes over six litres of water a minute.  Approximately ten litres of water is needed to produce one sheet of paper!

  • Top Tip: Turn off taps, and report any leaking taps or toilets.
  • Top Tip: Reduce your printing and re-use scrap paper.

Drink Water  It takes up to five litres of water to produce one litre of bottled water.

  • Top Tip: fill a reusable bottle from the water fountain in the Locker room behind the building Reception Desk.

Read Water  Choose from the Library’s booklist:

Enjoy Water  The River Cherwell flows alongside the Library – join the path in University Parks and stroll through ancient water meadows.

Campaign Water  Get involved and find out more about water conservation.

  • WaterAid is a charity whose mission is “to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • Waterwise promotes water efficiency and provides water-saving tips and fun facts.
  • The Oxford Water Network is a multi-disciplinary research community connecting 15 different departments at the University of Oxford.  Sign up to their monthly e-newsletter or check their list of events.

Green Impact logo, Green Impact Gold Award, Green Impact Special Award