Green Opportunities: A Guest Post

WebJunction Illinois /

Today, we’ll be featuring a guest post from Jennifer Owens, Assistant Director of Access Services at Fremont Public Library District. Jennifer thinks green not only at the library, but in her daily life as well. WJIL appreciates Jennifer’s willingness to contribute some of her favorite resources to our community!  

It takes little or no effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We’ve been hearing this for years, but I’d like everyone to take a moment and be aware of how many opportunities to go green spring up each day.

Start here:

The Green Library: “The Green Library blog is devoted to documenting significant activities, events, literature, and projects that focus on: increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources---energy, water, and materials---while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building’s lifecycle…”

EBSCO’s Sustainability Reference Center: The Reference Center covers all aspects of being green: corporate social responsibility, environmental stewardship, government regulations on all levels, “Green” issues and initiatives, ISO 14000, LEED, recycling, renewable energy, resource conservation, sustainable business practices, social entrepreneurship and waste reduction.

SWALCO (The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County): SWALCO offers a recycle and redirect guide. Just click on “Where Should My Stuff Go?

The Freecycle Network: The Freecycle network aims to keep everything out of landfills. Throwplace offers a directory to list what you’d like to give away and allows you to find items you might need for a renovation. Also on their site is an entire page of green links.

The Salvation Army, Goodwill, the RAILS sale/giveaway listing for libraries, and craigslist are also great alternatives.

The University of Illinois Extension offers ideas on how to make the outside of your facility organically nature friendly, as well as an online pdf brochure: “101 Ways to Go Green.”

Another great site is the United States Environmental Protection Agency, with plenty of links to: green buildings, green roofs, green power partnerships, green communities and a listing of green grant opportunities.

Need inspiration? Simply type in “going green” on You Tube and watch some well- crafted videos from green groups.

Here is a project that has turned into a movie: and

After a cycling tour, with months of carrying all they needed on their bicycles, Jen and Grant decided, “we have too much stuff.” They discovered they hadn’t missed their house full of things and pledged to live waste free for one year. They did not purchase anything, nor replace anything that broke and took responsibility for all of their own garbage. The couple purchased fresh foods (bringing their own containers), made toothpaste from scratch and increased their recycle bins to ten.--- Booklist Review

This documentary has won quite a few awards.

Most importantly, bring these ideas into your library presentations on site and off. Promote how the library has made efforts to reuse, repurpose and recycle and ask for community input. Creative ideas are everywhere. You’ll find it is easy to be green.