“greener” 3d printing materials?

We just got a 3d printer in my library and though I do hate that we are printing with ABS plastic,  at least it can be  recycled (though you might have to search for a nearby place to recycle it with). But reading about the possibilities to print on PLA or polylactic acid, a bio-plastic, starch based material. Sounds like this material does clog often which is not a plus, and it’s hard to recycle (it’s meant to break down eventually).  Openmaterials has a lot of ideas for DIY experimentation for various materials that could be used.  But the coolest news is the possibly “robot” to turn trash into 3D printing material called Filabot!

For a real entrepreneur check out this story in  Inhabitat  “West African Inventor Makes a $100 3D Printer From E-Waste” – How inventive, creative and green!

DIY Crafts & Upcycling

Maybe not really “Green Library” related but I love the idea of reuse and art projects.  Anyone with a Makerspace in your library should really check out these ideas.  Care2 has a great post about upcylcing and art projects that could be fun for any library:

10 DIY Crafts for Old Altoids Tins (oh the miniature zen gardens are a fabulous idea)

25 Ways to Upcycle Old T-Shirts (the t-shirt to yoga pants – awesome!)

24 ways to reuse old sweaters (I think the sweater skirt would be easy enough for me to do)

15 Ways to Reuse Old Pillowcases (I like the pillowcase belt, but I think my cat wants the hammock)

and of course…

20 upcyclying idea for BOOKS from picture frame to a purse to a tablet cover and more… get creative @your library





Register by March 15 for the USAIN conference!

14th Biennial USAIN Conference

Sustainable Agriculture: Stewardship of Our Information Ecosystem
May 4-7, 2014  *  Burlington, Vermont

The conference schedule is here http://usain2014.sched.org/ Early-bird pricing ends Saturday, March 15, 2014. Click Here to Register   Check out the  pre-conference workshops or  local tours, too (like a bird walk and Ben & Jerry’s tour!).

…and a fabulous librarian at U of VT is the conference chair ! I hope other librarian can attend this conference as well.


UN Sustainable Development in Action newsletter + knowledge base



United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development puts out a free newsletter:  Sustainable Development in Action. Volume 2, Issue 2 – February 2014 was just released, concentrating on  actions from members of Rio+20 (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development). There is a call to “Share your Sustainable Development in Action” for one of their upcoming Newsletter issues.

Also worth checking out is their  searchable Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

Note: IFLA is involved in the creation of these UN sustainable development goals!

Top 10 Books on Sustainability

top-10_sustainability_f2The 2014 Top 10 Books on Sustainability  By Donna Seaman, Booklist online, is now out! Check out these titles to share with your library community or yourself. Here is Donna’s summaries:


Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? By Alan Weisman. 2013. Little, Brown, $28 (9780316097758).

Weisman considers the conundrums of population growth as climate change intensifies in frank conversations with religious leaders, scientists, and public-health experts in more than 20 diverse countries around the world.

Cows Save the Planet and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth. By Judith D. Schwartz. 2013. Chelsea Green, paper, $17.95 (9781603584326).

As Schwartz reveals a wealth of detail about soil’s extraordinarily beneficial properties, she also presents compelling findings about how proper soil management can end escalating worldwide desertification and combat global warming.

The Incidental Steward: Reflections on Citizen Science. By Akiko Busch. 2013. Yale, $25 (9780300178791).

Hudson River Valley native Busch shares her discoveries of environmental change in that verdant region and chronicles her involvement in the invaluable and gratifying practice of “citizen science.”

Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet. By Todd Wilkinson. 2013. Lyons, $26.95 (9780762784431).

Wilkinson is the first to tell the whole story of Ted Turner’s innovative, philanthropic, ecohumanitarian efforts supporting clean water and sustainable energy initiatives, and restoring and preserving vast ecosystems and diverse endangered species.

Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist. By Bill McKibben. 2013. Times, $26 (9780805092844).

Writer and activist McKibben vividly contrasts the deep benefits of such sustainable endeavors as chemical-free beekeeping with the toxicity of tar-sands oil production and Washington politics.

Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change. By Andrew T. Guzman. 2013. Oxford, $29.95 (9780199933877).

Legal scholar, educator, and economist Guzman delineates the wide-ranging and catastrophic consequences that will occur if we persist in ignoring the realities of climate change.

The Rise of the U.S. Environmental Health Movement. By Kate Davies. 2013. Rowman & Littlefield, $38 (9781442221376); e-book, $37.99 (9781442221383).

Davies explains with eye-opening precision just how very hazardous to our health toxic waste, air pollution, and pesticide use are, and what the growing environmental health movement is doing about it.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. By Elizabeth Kolbert. 2014. Holt, $28 (9780805092998).

Kolbert brilliantly and engagingly combines science and travel writing to fully reveal how our use of fossil fuels is rapidly changing the atmosphere, the oceans, and the climate, potentially forcing millions of species into extinction and putting our own future at risk.

Traveling the Power Line: From the Mojave Desert to the Bay of Fundy. By Julianne Couch. 2013. Univ. of Nebraska, paper, $19.95 (9780803245068).

Couch investigates such established sources of energy as nuclear, natural gas, and coal as well as cutting-edge technologies involving wind, solar, hydropower, tidal, and biomass production in this accessible guide to urgent energy challenges.

The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance. By William McDonough and Michael Braungart. 2013. Farrar/North Point, paper, $24 (9780865477483).

Drawing inspiration from nature’s endless food chain, where one creature’s waste becomes nutrition for others, zero-waste and sustainability innovators McDonough and Braungart offer blueprints for a future in which, instead of destroying the environment, we add to the earth’s abundance.