Eating Green

Looking for local, sustainable, organic food to cater a library function, night out with your staff, or when traveling for work? Here are two sites to check out: Local Harvest and Eat Well Guide. Both allow searching by zip code or keyword.

The Eat Well Guide has a nice travel planning guide so you can find good eats while on the road.  If you are traveling to a big city (such as DC for Computers in Libraries, Seattle for ACRL, Chicago for ALA), you can choose a  local guide by city or excursion to download.  Another nice feature:  find out what is in season in your local area. Why not add this info to your web site for your patrons letting them know what is in season each month?

Local Harvest caters to farmers and CSA, providing information on these topics as well as search for products.  They also have an online store if what you need is not local.  Be sure to search their events calendar and perhaps your library can become involved in these type events (a local farmers panel presentation @ your library? A CSA drop off point? Cheese making workshop?)

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Students exercise to generate power for campus

Oregon State University (3/4 of their power is from renewable sources already) is harnessing the energy of exercise machines from students working out, to generate and convert it to electricity and to feed it back into the power grid. The effort will produce an estimated 3,500 kilowatt hours of electricity in a year. It’s the first university to do this. Check out the full article. Hmmm, a  library’s electronic resources and servers powered by exercise?  Multitasking at its (greenest)  best.

SustainLane

SustainLane is a  people powered, social network guide to sustainable living, with news,  jobs, search for local business, product reviews, and how-tos, with  personal stories and pointers on better, greener living.  One popular aspect of this site  is their City Rankings – includes top cities, most improved cities, or search by category such as air & water quality, transportation, waste management, etc . The Product Reviews tab offer searches by zip/address or browse categories such as Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Beauty & Fashion, etc. I personally enjoy the How-to sections’ ideas such as Learn How to Make your own Household CleanersHow to Organize your Garage with Recycled Laundry Bottles, What to Look for When Choosing your Lotions, or How to Green Your Pets or Your Pregnancy – and you can search this section  for various topics or browse.   Don’t miss the discount coupons for sustainable products.   You can sign up on SustainLane, so you can post reviews, add green products  & business, find members, receive their e-newsletters, etc.

Green Action Project: Recyle CFLs

ComPaks

ComPaks

The Green Action Project is a new program that allows non-profits, schools, and community organizations (including libraries!) a place for recycling CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs) at no charge. Though its a small amount (about 4 milligrams in each) CFL bulbs contain mercury which is harmful to you and the environment and the more CFLs being used, the mercury amount adds up. Many places have trouble recycling them properly. So free of cost to those who qualify, a ComPak Recycling Center can be acquired through the Green Action Project.

Check out the map for information on who is currently using ComPak Center,  read the benefits of this program, or view the FAQs if you have more questions.

Learning For Sustainabiliy

The goal of this site – Learning for Sustainability –  is to provide a practical resource for those who work with communities  to help them identify and adopt more sustainable practices. It’s basically a portal of information on sustainability containing  researched information, methods and approaches, definitions, frameworks, tools, reflection & evaluation.  The site has grown from originally a PhD  dissertation to now a very useful guide for anyone looking to sustainable development. The sustainable development section explains what it looks like, trends and pathways, possible barriers, and resources to assist. The toolkits for social learning area provide checklists, techniques and tips to using social learning to involve your community. Don’t miss the online games for learning about sustainability!

Green Library in Second Life

Ever visited the 3-D virtual world of Second Life (SL)? If you do, check out Emerald City, the environmental city of SL sponsored by the Colorado Association of Libraries, research firm TAP Information Services, and the Alliance Library System in Illinois. And while there, look for the Sustainable Living Library created by Eileen Dumas (of Aurora Public Library, CO) and Victoria Petersen (of Mancos Public Library, CO) in January 2009. The Sustainable Living Library (blog) provides resources, host classes, displays exhibits, and even provides an organic green market.  They hope to soon create virtual vegan clothing made of organic cotton and hemp. Everyone is welcome including the public,  librarians, students and even teachers who could bring in their class for a lecture.  Read more in this  SLJ article.

Environmental Booklists