ALA Conference Sustainable Offerings + Tips

General tips in being sustainable traveling to the conference:


  1. Bring your own water bottle  – You can fly with it – go through security with it empty and fill up on the other side! Many airports refill stations.
  2. Bring your own coffee mug  –  Many place offering discounts for BYOM)
  3. Bring your own snacks on the plane or rail or car .. and for hotel room: snack mix, fruit, granola bars, nuts, instant oatmeal, popcorn (Usually its cheaper, better and healthier!)
  4. Try public transportation  – use BART! (more info here)
  5. When eating out try for local, sustainable, eco-friendly places  – Check out this list (see the downloadable spreadsheet) – and remember you can always ask a place about their policies!)
  6. Limit your swag and picking up promotional materials or handouts that will just be tossed. Can you access the handouts online? Do you really need extra plastic swag?  Also note, if you are flying, carrying all that material back home uses energy which really does add up if everyone were to bring back a few extra pounds.
  7. Take a break and meditate –  the Think Fit Meditation Room free for use and open Saturday and Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm and Monday 9:00am – 2:00pm.
  8. Join the Sustainability Round Table of ALA (SustainRT) events! 



SustainRT events:

  • SustainRT Membership Meeting, Saturday 6/27/15, 1:00 – 2:30 pm (MAR – Pacific Suite E)
  • SustainRT field trip to the Prelinger Library! Meet up as the membership meeting ends 2:30pm for a 15 min walk – or meet us at the library by 3pm (301 8th Street  – near Folsom Street –
    Room 215 – MAP)
  • SustainRT Lightning RoundsMonday 6/29/2015,  1:002:30pm  (location: MCC-2012 (W))
    • Lightning Rounds Presentations:
      • Green Spaces in the Library (Lisa Ancelet – Albert B. Alkek Library, Texas State University)
      • The Human Library (Madeleine Charney – UMass Amherst Libraries)
      • Growing and Sustaining a Library Composting Program (Uta Hussong-Christian – Oregon State University Libraries & Press)
      • Zero Waste Librarian (Elena Maans – Moraine Valley Community College Library)
      • Talk Green to Me (Mindy Reed – Recycled Reads, Austin Public Library)
      • RETHINK: Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling at the MCL (Lisa Seel – Millvale Community Library)
      • Green Grant, Green Building, Green Programming (Jodi Shaw – Greenpoint Library/Brooklyn Public Library)

Composting (pizza boxes) in the Commons

My university library – the campus, the city too – does composting, which includes pizza boxes! Background: The library started a small composting project in the staff lounge about a year ago with fabulous results  of over 469 Gallons Composted (plus 110 pizza boxes) since March 31, 2014!  The success of this project lead us to consider composting library wide – with our users.Other libraries have initiated similar ideas (DU libraries, JHU Libraries)

Before we began, a waste audit was conducted this spring by our sustainability/recycling folks on campus in our busiest area, the Learning Commons, and  during the end of “dead week” and finals, when the traffic normally doubles. The results of this audit showed the recyclable/compostable materials made up 47% (by weight) and compostable materials alone made up 34% (by weight) of the waste stream that day. But before we launch into a full-blown composting program we started with a small a pilot project in the Learning Commons area, just to collect and compost PIZZA BOXES for that last week of the term. We posted signs around the library to bring them to the Info Desk. In the end we collected 72 boxes total! Next… can we do composting in the Learning Commons all term? We will start with a pilot this summer…. stay tuned!