Go Green @ Your Illinois Library

What a great state-wide, collaborative project  – Go Green @ Your Illinois Library –  of Illinois Library Association in coordination with The Field Museum’s division of Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo), with funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The project involves libraries holding the conversations about sustainability in their communities, pursuing activities/goals that make sense to them and their respective communities, and communicating impacts, small and large, back to this project community.

Read case studies about what libraries are doing, share experiences through their Go Green blog or the Go Green IL Resource Map, or check out the section on What does Green Mean? which offers an audio post of poetry about being green.  Other information on their site: Learn to Rethink Green; Learn from the Past;Collaborate for the Future; check out their wonderful green tools and links.

Also, check out AL Focus this week  for Greg Landgraf’s video interview clips about this new project.


GreenMyParents, a national program launched on Earth Day 2010, created by youth to help families collaborate on building a greener America and for young people to teach their peers how to work together to help the economy, earn money at home, and save the planet through simple, everyday actions.  GreenMyParents works with dozens of great organizations including National Wildlife Federation,  Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR Program, Carbonfund.org, etc.

There is also a book called Green My Parents.

Follow GreenMyParents on facebook, twitter, or  subscribe to their feed.

GreenMyParents has joined forces with  the American Library Association in its effort to rebuild the Petit Goave Public Library in Haiti, which was destroyed by the earthquake last January. Read More.

AASHE conference: ways to be green at events!

I am thrilled to be attending and presenting at a (non library!) conference – AASHE, the association of sustainability in higher education. It’s very important that librarians get out and mingle with non librarians to hear what’s happening beyond our own world as well as show other just how diverse, important and relevant libraries are in so many sectors of our world today. My presentation was on a virtual sustainability conference I helped my university run last year – since virtual is greener than traveling (ironically I had to travel to present here on the subject). But I’m thrilled to learn about all the wonderful and inspiring campus initiatives for a more sustainable world: from small to large ideas, from administration to students driven projects, from small to huge universities. there are even a few librarians here and involved!. And the number of students attending – and presenting – is incredible which gives us all hope for future sustainable endeavors –  and gives them the chance to network, gain skills and respect.

As most of us do travel and attend conferences, I wanted to post about this conference’s green practices that I wish I could see more of at library events:

First of all, the Denver Convention Center is a very green place to host a conference. There are compost cans everywhere next to the trash and recycling bins. Our box lunches, including the little containers, the utensils and the box itself are all compostable. The food is healthier, (much of it local & fair trade) than usually get at events and there are way more vegetarian/vegan meals than non (majority of attendees are veggie folks). There are NO water bottles – everyone has their own reusable bottle and there are filling stations everywhere. Everyone has their own coffee mugs too. The few cups available are compostable. They parter with contractors who work hard at keeping room temps, energy output and lights set in most sustainable way as well as more sustainable measures from supply chain to offsite material usage.

AASHE presenters offer NO handouts… yup people here take their own notes (on paper or computer) and I never heard one complaint about no handouts. Everything will be online to access so attendees can choose to print later if they wish. Attendees can purchase carbon offsets if they want. There are great public transportation options here but also arranged are ride share and zimride. Hotel choices were those with more sustainable practices. Dine-arounds are at local green option places. Even the signage was done to be reused next time.

My only complaint is the lack of virtual options. I love in person networking too but maybe every other year in person,  and host a much greener virtual option in between years  to better role model what they are promoting!

(hmm, maybe ALA could do their midwinter conference as virtual to be green and save money and allow for more participation by all!)

Video Contest for high school students

From  http://www.worldof7billion.org/

Human population is set to reach seven billion by the end of 2011.  As this historic moment approaches, Population Connection is hosting  nationwide video contest for high school students.  The contest challenges students to create a video public service announcement that illustrates the impact of population reaching seven billion as it relates to environmental and global issues. Cash prizes of up to $1,000 available to winning videos. The deadline for entries is March 1, 2011. DETAILS

For teachers: If at least 10 of your students submit videos, they’ll send you a set of free classroom resources.   DETAILS

Questions?  contact  Worldof7Billion@populationconnection.org or call 1-800-767-1956 or visit the website.

Print What You Like of a web page

PrintWhatYouLike is a free online editor that lets you format any web page for printing in seconds  saving money and the environment.  It helps you eliminate printing web pages full of ads, empty space and other junk you don’t want.  Enter a URL and you get a screen with the web page image and legend of options such as to show or hide the  background, images, and  margins; change the font size and style; and save as various format. The best part – on the page itself, you can choose different areas/pieces of the page (indicated by their red box that highlights as you mouse over it) and the  isolate, remove, widen, resize, save clip or select only.  View the demo for details.