Duel Purpose Upcycling idea!

photo from/of Miami-Dade Public Library System’s Country Walk Branch

I love this idea I read in the Programming Librarian newsletter.  Crafty events are fun. Crafty events with recycled materials is a win win.  Crafy events with recycled materials that are giving a useful resource to those in need tops it all!

At the Miami-Dade public library system “Helping Hands is an arts and crafts program that meets the needs of two communities — older adults and homeless populations — at the same time. Older adult participants socialize at the library while they make sleeping mats from upcycled plastic bags. The mats are then given to nearby homeless populations.”

Interested in learning more: The article on the Programming Librarians site give detailed instructions, planning guidelines, marketing tips, advice, a video on how to, budget (for this one ZERO!), and a nice write up on the library in the right nav bar (check out the link “Photo Slide Show” that pops up some images from their event)

Growing Smarter (and easier!)

UrbMat-Clean-Full_I saw this article in my Terp Alumni Magazine (MLIS UMd 1997!) about alums who have created a blueprint garden called a Nourishmat (check out their funded kickstarter). It’s a 6×4 foot UV treated polypropylene mat with pre-cut holes, labels and grid to tell you where to plant what and helps combat weeds. It comes with 98 seed balls – a variety of herbs and veggies and outfitted with an easy to attached hose to its drip irrigation system. Basically an easy way for ANYONE to start gardening! Looking recently for more info on the product I see it is now called UrbnEarth. You can order a variety of non GMO seeds too!

Green Gift ideas!

Various ideas to consider with the holidays coming….

  •  World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, The Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy and others allow you to adopt an animal or buy gifts that benefit the organization and its conservation work.
  • Give the gift of outside! Such as membership in an outdoors club, rock climbing lessons, a deluxe tune up for their bike, or maybe even that kayak they have always wanted to buy.
  • You can give all kinds of water- or energy-saving tech that’s fun to use and green. Learning thermostats or smart light switches can be a good choice for people who love gadgets.
  • Give someone a living plant! A terrarium, herb plants, plant a tree, etc.
  • Make a gift, reuse, upcycle it! Candles, lip balm or jewelry (i like the spoon rings!) Some great ideas off the Fun in the Making Blog “green” crafting. 
  • If you struggle with making it yourself, buy from others who did such as Uncommon Goods.
  • Find something local to give.
  • Give the gift of experiences such as wine tasting, bike tour, pottery class, cooking class, movie tickets or show tickets.
  • Gifts that cut back on waste like reusable snack bags, bamboo utensil set, reusable water bottle, etc.

Gardening Resource

This infographic below (from Care2.com but created by Goodtobehome) could be a fun resource to hang in your library or use to start a garden with your school, public library community or campus. OR, use this example as a template to create one of your own for your area. Note that the infographic is for a zone in Great Britain so it might not correlate directly to your area. But some things I like about this are the visual display of companion plantings, the “did you know” section or tips, and even the planting legend and chart showing spacing, propagation, etc.

UK housing energy fact file infographic

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





Creative holiday crafts with recycled Library materials

Saw this great post on the library as incubator project blog on folks at North Park University’s Brandel Library using discarded library materials to create holiday decorations:









This post that lead me to a link of a Pinterest board of many library recycled holiday craft ideas:






But I also have to give a shout out to my own library and Ms Elias’s amazing creations using recycled sheet music:


Recycle a Book Cover into a Tablet Case!

I just saw this article in Lifehacker and I love it! Recycling the old for the new.

  • find an old book whose cover you like
  • make sure it is the right thickness to be a cover for your tablet (don’t forget to include the added thickness of the  Sugru… see next bullet)
  • get some  Sugru (moldable silicone that can fix or improve just about anything)
  • cut the pages from the book but do not damage the spine (use Sugru to help reinforce the spine)
  • recycle the book pages or try an art project with them (example, example, example…)
  • lay your tablet in the book and pencil the four corners
  • stick the Sugru bits on the marked corners and place your tablet  – wrapped in cling wrap! – between them.
  • pull them down slightly to make hooks and leave 24 hours to dry
  • after 24 hours, remove tablet, take off cling wrap, and replace tablet in the hooks

Need a visual? Check out the step-by-step photos from instructables on how to do this recycled book cover tablet case!

also check out for fun how binder clips can be reused for so many things