Some recent research studies show that green spaces do more than “pretty up a neighborhood.” Researchers noted that living near parks, no matter how small, does make a difference and helps reduce inequalities regardless of social class (i.e. poorer areas tend to be more unhealthy.) In the recent 30 years park areas have seen a decline and researchers urge people to realize the indirect effect green spaces have on health which also saves money by preventing illness, reducing stress, lowing blood pressure, and perhaps even promoting faster healing after surgery. So what can libraries do? Think about having a green space around your library; a native garden, reading/sitting area. If you are building, look for a site that backs up to a park. Use this research to backup your requests for more green landscapes around your library. Not only would this green space be positive for your neighbors, and patrons, but also your staff.
Did you see Google’s Halloween themed energy savings calculator? In a Halloween-y way the short form offers ideas on saving energy and money at the same time. Google also has a page more energy saving tips arranged by topic such as computer equipment (ex: Buy a Climate Savers certified energy efficient computer), electronics (ex: Turn down the brightness on your TV and computer monitor), government programs(ex: Map of government and utility programs that provide incentives for energy efficiency investments) and more. You can also read this CNET article and user comments on Google’s plan to fix the US energy problems called Clean Energy 2030.
The non-profit group Global Green and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) have started a pilot project initiative to create green schools which serve low income children in the Los Angeles area. Two schools have been complete and 3 more are in the works. Global Green is also pushing the initiative for greener schools in New Orleans. Their goal is to create healthier classrooms and more energy efficient schools. This will not only protect the environment and reduce carbon emissions but improve student performance and save money for school districts. Read more about their green urbanism program.