Book Jackets into Gift Bags

Last Friday at The Green Paraprofessional Conference at East Carolina University Libraries, Suzanne Metcalf presented on her project of recycling book jackets into amazing gift bags. She got the idea several years ago working at Georgia Southern University when she noticed that the decorative book covers removed from the hardback books before being  placed on the shelves. After she saw a student at the circulation desk sporting a bag made of foil Capri Sun juice pouches,  she got the idea. She graciously offers a how-to turn book jackets into gift bags (PDF).  Here is an article by Her Magazine with more information and with a photos of Suzanne and some of the awesome bags!

Community Gardens

A great resource for you and your patrons: search for a community garden near you. This web site is maintained by the American Community Gardening Association who’s mission  is to build community by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across the United States and Canada. The site also offers some resources on gardening to purchase, a how to start a community garden, and as section on action items you can take.

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):


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.

Top 10 Affordable Green Retrofits

From Green Strides Blog Post:

The Environmental Building News just issued it’s top 10 affordable green retrofit strategies that are useful even if your building doesn’t undergo a professional energy audit or major operational changes:

  1. Fluid applied roofing products that can be applied over existing roofing to extend its life, increase reflectivity and reduce cooling loads.
  2. Solar-Control Window Films (like those used on the headquarters building for the American Institute of Architects, pictured here) which filter out the sun’s heat without blocking visible light.
  3. Entryway Track-Off Systems that will extend the life of indoor flooring, as well as help maintain good indoor air quality.
  4. Low-Flow Showerheads can save as much as 6.4 gallons of water per minute in older shower facilities.
  5. Dual-Flush Flushometer Valves will cut water usage and utility savings associated with toilet flushing (the largest single use of water in most buildings).
  6. Duct Sealants will help you stop throwing money out the window with those energy-wasting, leaky ducts.
  7. Condensing Boilers (okay, this one isn’t that cheap, but neither is the waste from conventional atmospheric-combustion boilers).  The GreenSpec directory can help you find a high-efficiency condensing boiler when replacement is needed.
  8. Lighting and Plug Load Occupancy Sensors will reduce lighting energy use.
  9. Energy Dashboards are great energy-saving devices.
  10. Use of LED Exit Signs is another way to reduce energy consumption.

EcoLogical Mail Coalition

After employees leave  their job for good,  mail accumulates for them for years following their departure. Some of the mail is relevant for their replacement, but many times its junk and a waste of not only paper, but the mail room staff’s time. Check out this FREE service which helps eliminate this problem –  EcoLogical Mail Coalition. They have been around since 2002 and many companies use this service.  Some questions you might have:

Looking for green speakers?

Check out this web site (a  subset of EcoIQ – which focuses on  media and educational products and services, strategies, tactics and EcoIQ Magazinetools needed by leaders, educators)

You can search by name or  topic. On the main page is a listing (w/ photos) of features speakers. There are other great resources too such as green event planning, green lodging,  green transportation, green food,  greening your travel etc.