Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22 since 1970. Read more about whats happening for earth day or ideas on what you can do today such as getting outside for a walk,  turning off all electronics for at least an hour (cell phones too!) or,  any one of these ideas I posted in the past.  

other resources: 

Earth Day @ your library

Tomorrow April 22 is officially Earth Day (though some places like my university celebrate it today!)  Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970,to  promote awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. For information and ideas on celebrating Earth Day visit   www.earthday.org

Some library ideas:

  • presentations by local groups on climate change/initiatives/etc,
  • promote your online resources so users don’t have to drive gain access,
  • eco-storytellers,
  • screening and discussion of environmental documentary,
  • plant a tree(s) or gardens – a children’s garden;
  • host a used book sale,
  • sell backyard compost bins and rain barrels to library users,
  • offer recyclable crafts activities and a presentation on learning how to recycle
  • 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!!

Earth Day!

Are you doing anything for the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day tomorrow @ your library?  Many libraries are hosting green themed programs, having outside celebrations, recycled trash fashion shows, showing a sustainable film, planting trees, educating their community, or asking people to sign a commitment to be green.  Browse ideas …  EPAs Earth Day page, EarthDay Network, Earth Day Crafts, WhiteHouse Earth Day page, Nature Conservency’s Earth Day page … just to mention of few sites.   Celebrate yourself, by simply taking time to stop and reflect on the world around you and be aware of the impact of your daily routines on the world in which we are all completely connected.

Soles4Souls

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this week, Soles4Souls (a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and people!) hopes to collect over 150,000 gently used shoes!  They are partnering with mall around the county and you can find the location nearest to you to drop off a pair.  I wonder if any libraries are partnering to collect? Why not create your own fundraiser?  Many schools and organizations are getting involved. What a great idea!

Must Watch Film: Earth Days

posterLast night we hosted the first of our monthly Sustainability Film & Dialogue Series for the year and showed the film Earth Days an informative, fascinating look at the the start of the environmental movement in the US from the 1950s to today –  before going green was in the mainstream; when it was a bipartisan topic; when (pre-internet !) grassroots youth efforts organized the first Earth Day in 1970.

Personally I wish I could get everyone to watch this film. It’s an educational look at history of conservation movement, in a non-preachy, realistic way as eco-activists – including scientists, astronaut, politicians  – tell their stories, loaded with beautiful imagery and historical footage.  Hear about the technological innovations people in this country were doing years ago (did you know GM was making an electronic car 50 years ago?!); the political realization of the environmental movement in the 70s (Nixon creating the EPA;  Carter putting solar panels on the white house ); the sadness of loosing years of eco-efforts as political leaders changed (Regan removing the solar panels); how we still haven’t learned from the past (remember OPEC embargo of the early 70s when politicians said lets not rely on oil and look at other sources for renewable energy …. what happened?!)

So, as the 40th anniversary of Earth Day is only 10 months away, think about hosting this film at your library followed by a lively discussion… maybe people in your community will become inspired again or at least educated – and realize we are only harming ourselves, our kids, and future generations by not taking this concept seriously. Watch the trailer for more information.

10 easy things you can do for Earth Day

  1. Turn off the lights when you leave the room.
  2. Unplug rechargeable devices such as cell phone chargers, digital cameras, etc., even though these devices are in standby mode.
  3. Plug TVs, DVD players, electronics, and computer equipment into power strips and turn off at night or when you leave to avoid the phantom/vampire power that is constantly lost.    Also, screen savers fo NOT reduce energy use by monitors – switching to sleep mode or manually turning off monitors is always the better energy-saving strategy.
  4. Switch out incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent (CFLs) which us 75% less energy or light emitting diodes (LEDs) which use 90% less energy.
  5. Open the windows for some fresh air when the weather is pleasant instead of running the mechanical heating or cooling system – better for your health too.
  6. Turn off the energy-hogging heated dry cycle on your dishwasher.
  7. Walk or bike to where you need to go. Or just to enjoy the outdoors. Pick up trash while you are at it.
  8. Do you really need to print that document? If so use back side of scratch paper or double side you printing.
  9. Bring that reusable coffee mug and water bottle instead of throwing away one each time.
  10. Celebrate green reads via a display of books or online web site of resources and sustainable information.

(from Greenstrides and 100 Ways to Make Your Library a Little Greener)

Green @ the library

Our Green Library Group came up with a list of ways to be green @the library to tell students (& promote the library) in honor Earth Day. We created a bookmark with the ideas (which also promotes our sustainable film series):

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Save Gas. Talk to your librarian online.
Buy Local—Borrow Local. Why pay for your books when they are available for free?
Do the Commute Challenge. Bike lanes and buses end right in front of the library.
Unplug. (and visit the library.) We’re open 24 hours and paying the heat and electricity anyway. Ditch your utility bills for ours.
Want a cheap night out? Come see a (free) sustainable film.
Save a Tree. Ask your professor about emailing your paper or uploading it to blackboard.
Don’t pay for entertainment. Borrow movies from the TLC (5,000+ popular DVDs for free)
Get exercise. Climb up nine floors of Jackson Library.
Stop your junk mail, catalogs and magazines. The library has them in the Reading Room.