Going to ALA midwinter?

Of course if you are NOT going you are being the greenest of us all!  But if you are, here are a few green-ish sessions that might be of interest:

  • Transition Libraries: Resources for a Green Future ( At the Blair Caldwell Library in Downtown Denver  – Friday, January 23rd from 9:00-4:30)
  • Social Responsibilities Round Table All Committee Meeting, which includes Task Force on the Environment (Saturday, 8:00am-10:00am, GRAND, Sunlight Peak)
  • TF on the Environment presents “Kermit, It is Easy Being Green!  Librarians’ Perspectives and Ideas (Sunday, 1:30pm-3:30pm, RITZ Salon 3)

For ideas on being green while at ALA Midwinter:

(1) Transportation: carpool to the conference, take a train,  rent a hybrid vehicle? You could also purchase carbon offset credits to offset your traveling greenhouse gas emissions. (Visit carbonfund.org)  While at the conference can you take bus transportation or walk. Denver has amazing public transportation options including a FREE 16th Mall shuttle (which actually uses hybrid electric vehicles powered by a combination electric/compressed natural gas engines)

(2)Hotel:  Bring your own supplies and don’t use those small, wasteful plastic bottles. Reuse your towels and sheets instead of asking for clean ones daily. Make sure your lights are turned off in the room. Share a room with others. Drink your morning coffee/tea and water from your personal mug/bottle you brought with you. Check out the green hotel association Web site for more ideas.

(3) Restaurants. Here is a list of certified green places via dinegreen.com though I dont see any listed for denver specifically.  I would try these sites to find some local and organic places  -  list by ecovian or this searchable site by SustainLane.

(4) Ask you hotel and restaurants how green they are: do they recycle (many restaurants do not!), do they conserve water, do they use compact fluorescent light bulbs, etc. Check out the green hotel association Web site and the going greener restaurant site for more information.. you could even mention these Web sites to the manager of the place.

(5) Exhibits & Presentations: Thank publishers who are greening their practices using chlorine free, soy based inks, recycled materials etc. Try not to grab any freebie you see. There is so much excessive promotional material that will just end up being tossed. Try to model this behavior in hopes that if more people did the same, vendors and presenters would need to bring less paper the next time around.  Carrying it back with you takes energy too (think about how many people are there, how much excess paper they will grab and how many tons of carbon dioxide will be used to transport this extra materials!)  Many presenters will have handouts and presentations online for you to view after the conference as well.

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