Check out the “Spread the Word at Work” resources from ENERGY STAR. Includes a “Green Team Checklist”
Steve Nygren, one of the founders of Serenbe, a “conservation community,” in Georgia, was the luncheon speaker at the Library Journal’s 2010 Design Institute in Atlanta, GA on April 30, 2010. Due to technical difficulties his time was cut short but even in the short time he was given he managed to capture me from start to finish.
I had this ridiculously huge grin on my face throughout the presentation as he described what has to be one of the most well thought out community development projects in America, if not the world.
“Serenbe’s ultimate goal is to demonstrate how development can accommodate the need for housing with minimal
impact on nature—Serenbe’s land plan call for a preservation of at least 70% of the acreage, while
accommodating as many or more people as traditional subdivision-style development, which would
disturb nearly 80%.”
Thoughtful design of housing, landscaping, forests, food and – at the core of it all – a community.
“Serenbe is 1000 acres; at least 70% will always be preserved green space. geo-thermal heated buildings
This market sells organic & local goods, including produce from the Serenbe Organic Farms Next door, the Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop is the smallest Silver LEED certified building in the nation Walkability: everything in Serenbe is connected via a walking path All homes are EarthCraft Certified Native plants & organic landscaping (no lawns = no chemicals) Underground trashcans sort trash, recycling & compost Serenbe: Green at a Glance outdoor lighting regulations = clear, starry skies”
There is a “trash concierge”: homes have in-ground trash receptacles where color-coded bags for recyclables, trash and compost are discarded. Instead of a noisy dump truck rolling by every week, this garbage is picked up by a “concierge” on a golf cart. The compost is used as fertilizer on the farm. Others are taken to a recycling center or a city landfill. [from an article in Savannahnow.com]
While blown away and hungry for more – one thing struck me… there was no mention of a library in the community…
Tomorrow is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, to mark the occasion I am doing a Greening Your Library workshop for my member libraries and have brainstormed the list below:
40 Easy Ways to Go Green @your library for the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day
1. Establish a “Green Team” at the library to brainstorm ways the library could be greener
2. Develop a recycling policy for your staff (paper, plastic, cardboard)
3. Ask the board to pass a green policy that encourages and validates the exploration and investment in energy saving and resource saving options
4. Create a routine maintenance plan for major systems (roof, HVAC, etc.)
5. Create a building plan to predict timelines for long-term goals – replacement of HVAC, roof, expansion plans – this will give you more time to find green options
6. Recycle bins for paper next to printers (for staff and the public)
7. Purchase recycled paper for printers and copiers
8. File as much as you can electronically rather than in paper files (be sure to have an offsite back-up solution and schedule!)
9. Add a footer to your email signature that urges people to think twice before printing out an email message: “Please consider the environment before printing this email”
10. Recycle bin for plastic and glass in the staff break room and meeting rooms
11. Encourage staff to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles at work
12. Offer an enewsletter option
13. Turn off lights in offices and meeting spaces not in use
14. Only purchase ENERGY STAR computers/appliances
15. Do not water the grass
16. Use native plants in your landscaping so you don’t have to water them extra.
17. Recycle book sale donations that don’t sell
18. Recycle printer cartridges
19. Appropriately dispose of e-waste (computers, monitors)
20. Use Century Gothic font (it uses 30% less ink when printing than Arial)
21. Turn off all equipment (copies, printers, computer towers and monitors) at the end of the work day
22. Use “smart” power strips to cut off power completely when equipment is off
23. Use the energy saving features through your operating system to put computers into standby/hibernation
24. Turn down the temperature on the hot water heater
25. Wrap the hot water tank with insulation to reduce heat loss from the tank
26. Green the cleaning – purchase “Green Seal” cleaning products
27. Use biodegradable soap in the bathrooms
28. Only purchase formaldehyde free furniture
29. Use low-VOC paints in the library
30. The next time you replace your vacuum, get one with a HEPA filter
31. Plan story hour crafts that can use recycled paper, cardboard, “found items,” etc.
32. Invite a local walking or cycling group in to do programs at the library
33. Partner with local environmental groups in your community to do programs at the library
34. Offer a program on energy efficiency incentives from the state and federal for homeowners
35. Highlight books from your collection that help families go green (green cleaning, eating locally, energy efficient home ideas)
36. Encourage families to “turn off” (the TV and computer) and hang out together at the library
37. Have the library property assessed for geothermal and solar placement.
38. Schedule an Energy Audit to get professional recommendations to reduce energy usage in your building ($100) Usually available through your state energy authority
39. Get your hands on a Kill-a-Watt to discover ways to cut back your electricity bill (we got one to share with our member libraries)
40. Get your hands on a thermal leak detector to discover air infiltration in your building (we got one to share with our member libraries)
Welcome to Sustainable Libraries. Libraries + Green/Sustainable Buildings is something I strongly believe in.
Libraries connect communities, provide opportunity for anyone interested and are in just about every community in the country – what better place for people to learn how sustainable building practices can change the world.
My day job involves helping libraries find sustainable support to keep their doors open in the form of funding and people power. So it’s all related for me: Sustainable Libraries are libraries that invest in themselves and their legacy throughout their organization – the facility, community connection, collection, technology and staff.
I hope you’ll join me as we watch and collaborate with libraries around the country who are doing their best for their local and global communities.