Earth Day Activities in Libraries

What is your library doing for Earth Day next week?

Whatever your plans, add them to the Earth Day Network site so it can be searched by keyword, location or date. A keyword search on “library” showed numerous posting of events such as:

  • presentations by local groups on climate change/initiatives/etc,
  • eco-storytellers,
  • screening and discussion of Story of Stuff documentary,
  • plant a tree(s),
  • a “Wait-Wait-Don’t-Toss-That” event (how to reuse items),
  • collection of recyclable materials/shred-a-ton/sneakers-for-turf collection,
  • quiz/contest with prizes from local eco-friendly companies,
  • community expo of local green organizations,
  • potted flower and herb giveaway/fundraiser,
  • Recycling Our Reads” or book swamp,
  • howto/DIY workshops,
  • farmers market, games/crafts/stories for kids,
  • geocaching for teens,
  • create recycled jewelry,
  • ArtCan! (sculpture building competition of canned/boxed goods – then donated to local food bank)
  • reading of The Lorax by Seuss & plant a sunflower seed to take home,
  • trash clean up, invasive weed clean up,
  • composting workshop,
  • solar energy generated stage for local music
  • .. and much more!!

YALSA also has some suggestions too.

Top 10 Affordable Green Retrofits

From Green Strides Blog Post:

The Environmental Building News just issued it’s top 10 affordable green retrofit strategies that are useful even if your building doesn’t undergo a professional energy audit or major operational changes:

  1. Fluid applied roofing products that can be applied over existing roofing to extend its life, increase reflectivity and reduce cooling loads.
  2. Solar-Control Window Films (like those used on the headquarters building for the American Institute of Architects, pictured here) which filter out the sun’s heat without blocking visible light.
  3. Entryway Track-Off Systems that will extend the life of indoor flooring, as well as help maintain good indoor air quality.
  4. Low-Flow Showerheads can save as much as 6.4 gallons of water per minute in older shower facilities.
  5. Dual-Flush Flushometer Valves will cut water usage and utility savings associated with toilet flushing (the largest single use of water in most buildings).
  6. Duct Sealants will help you stop throwing money out the window with those energy-wasting, leaky ducts.
  7. Condensing Boilers (okay, this one isn’t that cheap, but neither is the waste from conventional atmospheric-combustion boilers).  The GreenSpec directory can help you find a high-efficiency condensing boiler when replacement is needed.
  8. Lighting and Plug Load Occupancy Sensors will reduce lighting energy use.
  9. Energy Dashboards are great energy-saving devices.
  10. Use of LED Exit Signs is another way to reduce energy consumption.

Hybrid Only Parking Spots

You have seen parking spots for handicapped only permits, and then ones for parents with young children… but in the past year more companies and cities are now offering hybrid drivers only parking spots!!  Ikea, Home Depot, and the Green Exchange are some of the companies offering this to encourage more hybrid purchases. Some cities allow hybrid drivers to park for free or discounted and use their HOV lanes. California, a leader for hybrid sales, offers free parking to any vehicle with the California Clean Air Vehicle Decals. Any libraries offering hybrid parking only yet?2694323659_81a50f1b0b_m1

National Geographic: Energy Conservation Feature

National Geographic published in March 2009 a feature on Energy Conservation.  There is an interactive 8 question quiz on carbon cutting to see how much you know about carbon emissions and how to reduce them (wow, there was a lot I didn’t know!)  The green life interactive shows a house with highlighted areas you can click on to find out the carbon counts (how much CO2 is emitted each year) as well as clicking on the other tab showing highlighted areas for energy savings tips.  Be sure to check out the interesting photo gallery(by Tyrone Turner) some using thermographic photography to show where energy is being wasted and the article by Peter Miller on tracking  his personal carbon emissions for a month. There are also some  graphs on cuts that save money and cuts that cost money.