Last week, we covered the many eco-friendly options available for going green with your library, ranging from large-scale, structural renovations to small-scale, internal process adjustments. There’s no set path for going green with your library, but with the wide array of opportunities available, most libraries prefer to start small and stick to a pace that fits their budget.
For the benefit of all soon-to-be-green libraries, we’ve delved into the smaller stuff first: the green strategies that don’t require any restructuring, remodeling or relocating of your facility. This week, we’re focusing on the much simpler changes for going green with your library.
- Encourage Biking
Provide secure bike racks for visitors, showers for staff and changing/storage facilities.
- Promote Carpooling
Organize a ride-share program. This not only helps the environment, but it can help others with limited access to transportation.
- Promote Public Transportation
Provide information to your patrons such as bus and train schedules.
- Recycle Paper Materials
- Offer the blank side of single-sided printed pages (flyers, newsletters, printer test pages) for patrons to use as scrap paper.
- Offer damaged book pages as creative wrapping paper, scrapbook paper or crafting materials for interested patrons.
- Promote Eco-Friendly Bags
Offer reusable or paper bags to those patrons who check out multiple books at a time.
- Provide Environmentally Friendly Technology
Consider book scanning, scan to mobile, and cloud technology as an alternative to print options. This can reduce waste while keeping your library up to date with new technology.
- Encourage staff and patrons to refill water bottles.
- According to the Container Recycling Institute, "86% of plastic water bottles used in the US end up in landfills."
- By using refillable bottles, landfill waste can be drastically reduced.
- Use fair trade paper products/utensils for library events.
- Provide food sourced from within 100 miles of your community.
- Locally sourced food supports local farmers and businesses, strenghtening the local economy.
- Locally sourced food cuts down on pollutants caused by long range shipping.
- Partner with local, non-chain coffee shops, food co-ops, etc.
- Grow/promote a community garden on the property.
- Bring in experts and offer classes on environmental issues and efforts.
- Host kids’ arts and crafts programs using recycled materials.
- To reduce waste and maximize the library catalog, promote book donations as an alternative to throwing out finished books.
Adopting eco-friendly practices is a process, and in order to be effective, the changes should be implemented in an order that makes sense for your library. Take the transition slowly, work within your budget and recognize any limitations. Above all, remember that no matter how small your eco-friendly efforts may be, they’re sure to impact the environment in a big way.
Ready to get involved in the green movement? Click here to download the free Scannx guide, Growing Into A Green Library: Your Eco-Friendly Library Technology And Management Guide, and discover several unique approaches to going green with your library.