April 22, 2022 marks the 52nd birth of the modern environmental movement known as Earth Day, a nationwide celebration created to inspire the people in America to draw their focus to the importance of creating a healthy place to live. It is a call for all of us to invest in our planet and its well-being. Alvah N. Belding Library not only has resources for you to learn about eco-conscious living, sustainability, and other earth-friendly practices, but also in itself practices and promotes the following healthy planet behaviors:
Borrow Instead of Buy- Loaning items is the core of every library’s existence. On average, the Alvah N. Belding Library circulates to our community (and beyond) over 65,000 items per year, and in its lifetime, a bestselling author’s book can be checked out to over 100 people. If each of those 100 people shopped for every bestselling book every time one was released, the amount of books that would stack up would be incredible. Libraries help reduce unnecessary waste by circulating items instead, saving people money AND saving our landfills from filling up. And, at ANBL we circulate more than just books. Our patrons can borrow non-tradition items like board games, yoga mats, tablets, lawn games, golf clubs, birdwatching kits, and more!
Grow Your Own Food- In another form of non-traditional lending, our seed library is another way that the library helps take care of mother earth. We have in our collection a large variety of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds that patrons can take home for free to plant in their own yards and gardens. Once the plants have grown and bloomed, seeds can be collected and saved to plant again and again, creating a sustainable source of eco-friendly plants, as well as a source of energy.
Reduce/Reuse/Recycle-Aside from loaning items, another great way that our library applies the actions of reduce/reuse/and recycle is through our annual book sales. We actually have one going on right now, HOORAY! SHOP APRIL 20-22 DURING OUR REGULAR LIBRARY HOURS. For our book sales, we collect gently-used books that our patrons no longer want (saving them from going in a landfill), and we sell them at a greatly reduced cost, which makes it a win-win-win for our patrons and the environment. In addition to our book sales, the library creates crafts and other programming around items that we scavenge and recycle, repurposing them into something fun and creative for you. And speaking of recycle, all of our boxes, old newspapers, and other related items are saved and go out for pickup by our recycle service twice each month.
There are many ways in which we can help our planet. The library is doing our part in the best ways that we can. If you have additional suggestions or ideas that are earth-friendly this Earth Day, let us know! And, be sure to visit our Spring Book Sale and stock up on gently-used books that you can keep, trade, or pass on to someone else when you are through.