Green Publishing

Early in June, the BookExpo America took place in LA with many session this year on going green. Seems the publishing industry is trying to be greener by using more recycled paper in their books (aiming for 30-percent use of recycled paper – right now around 13%) as well as sustainable packaging.  They are also marketing e-books/readers (though the sales are still down for this product for many reasons) and producing their catalogs in electronic form. A huge use of paper is still used with advanced reader copies but some companies (such as netGalley) are trying to make these available digital for download instead.

For more info:

Recharging your gadgets

Some unique, new ideas to recharge gadgets w/o electricity ideas from Inhabitat:

For USB devices try the hand crank Super Battery (available from Datexx) – good for traveling, when your loose electricity, or when you want to work your arm muscles 🙂

Or go solar with the 58″ long waterproof solar roll which recharges anything electronic (available from Brunton). It’s a bit pricey but worth checking out for a fun idea anyway. Now we can run our library’s virtual reference desk while fishing on remote lake in Canada or climbing in the Himalayas!

Try wind power for something new: this personal wind turbine (available from Hymini) can be hooked up to various devices when you are on the go to recharge by wind power.

Put more human power into recharging by using the Weza Foot Powered Energy Source (available from Freeplay) You can generate enough power to start a car as well as your cell phone, GPS, or iPod. Libraries off the grid? Not such a crazy concept anymore, eh?

One more idea for recharging … your own personal kinetic energy! (from Cnet) “Music company Orange and GotWind, a firm specializing in renewable energy, have teamed up to create a device called the Dance Charge. Weighing 180 grams (about 6.3 ounces), you strap it around your arm. Dance Charge then uses the kinetic energy generated by your body in motion to juice up your phone.”

More Recycling…

This blog I subscribe to How Can I Recycle This? is a great place to check out recycling ideas of all kinds: from gadgets (How can I reuse or recycle broken digital cameras & MP3 players? ) to art (How can I make a notebook out of recycled materials?) Have something odd at your library you want to discard – why not search their site and see what is suggested as a way to reuse or recycle it or add your own ideas.  If nothing else, it’s fun to see how creative people are!


Rechargeable batteries (Ni-Cd ,Ni-MH, Li-ion, and some small sealed lead ) can be recycled through the Call2Recylce Program. Use their online search to find out where to take them nearby.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs can now be recycled through Home Depot – they shouldn’t be just tossed out, since they do contain a small amount of mercury.

Computers can be donated to many places that refurbish and then make them available for low income schools, non-profits, etc.  Search Tech Soup’s Web site to find who near you will take old computer components and more information on donating computers.

Anything else … try the Earth911 Web site.  Their search box on the top of every Web page, allows you to search by what product and location.

PBS series: E ²

E ² : the Economics of Being Environmentally Conscious is a PBS series of half hour episodes on sustainable solutions in design, energy, food, water, transportation, and places. These episodes can be downloaded from Itunes, bought via DVD, or watched via PBS on TV. Intriguing ideas that are really happening today, interviews with amazing inventors, leaders, and innovators who are greening the world, and explicit information on how going green is smarter and more economically. There are strong implications to libraries in many of these episodes . One episode on Chicago discusses how Mayor Daley in 2004 established all government (that’s libraries!) buildings must be built green – LEED certified.

Not only is this a good DVD for your library to own but worthwhile to view yourself especially if you are thinking about new or renovation of your library building. Visit the Web site for more info.

(thanks Ameet for suggesting this DVD to me!)

Green Yellow Pages

You can stop getting unsolicited copies of the yellow or white pages dropped off automatically several times a year, by visiting this organization’s YellowPagesGoesGreen Web site and signing up to be taken off the list.  Why? Directories are available online and the waste of trees and energy from printing these books which many people don’t ever use is just filling up many landfills (NOTE: the Yellow/White Pages Industries DO encourage recycling of their old books.)  Perhaps keep one solicited copy in case your internet connection goes down, but you don’t need several dropped off during the year.  This is similar to the National No-Call Registry.   (thanks Valerie Y. for this info!)

Too Much Green Noise?

There is a really good recent article in New York Times on green noise or green fatigue. The overloading of how to be green or more environmentally friendly is seen everywhere nowadays, along with the overwhelming amount of information, and the need to simplify the message (a cheat sheet on going green?). Some people are beginning to roll their eyes over “not another green message” and others are feeling too overwhelmed to even know where to start, along with many mixed messages on which is the greener option. There is no simple answer unfortunately. But hopefully the greening of our world is not just a fad and hopefully it will not result in too much “green burnout” either. Some groups are trying to simplify greening and allow tiers of information to be shared (such as NRDC’s Simple Steps Blog) so you can choose tidbits or follow up with more information in areas as you wish.

This greening your library blog’s goal is to find environmentally friendly ideas, news, and links from all the green noise that is out there, which can be relevant to some type of library and post that information in a short, simple manner. You can read every post or choose to search on a topic of interest to you at the time. Hopefully that will help you avoid some green burnout and supply you with some easy, money saving, fun solutions to implement in your library. Check out the NYT article for more on this era of green noise.