Project Green The Riverside Public Library strives to be economically and ecologically responsible. We now have a Green Committee to watchdog purchasing and use of materials, as well as to examine ways to conserve, reuse and recycle more. Here is a list of our recent efforts to do our part to preserve our earth: - First and foremost, the library is the ultimate recycling system – check out books, videos, magazines, newspapers, etc. – which are then returned and reused again and again and again. There’s no such thing as "one-time use" at the Library! - Discarded books are sold on our book sale shelves, donated to the Riverside Junior Woman’s Charity for their book rack at the train station, or given away. - Our staff re-uses paper in the printers for sloppy copies. - Over the past 3 years the Library has obtained three Illinois Clean Energy Lighting Grants from the State of Illinois and re-lamped the entire Library using energy efficient fixtures and bulbs. As part of the Grant, we gave away lights bulbs and had a program on energy saving tips given by A&M Lighting as well as children’s program promoting energy conservation. - We recycle paper throughout the Library, have a plastic and aluminum refuse container in the staff room, and recycle all boxes when we cannot reuse them for other storage. - We are a drop-off spot to retire old flags, recycle eyeglasses & hearing aids, print cartridges and cell phones. - DVD cases that are not needed get sold in our book sale or are given to RBHS for their use. - We have canvas book bags to check out to patrons and no longer offer plastic bags unless they are recycled from some other source. - Staff uses thermal cups instead of disposables, along with silverware and dishes. - Our Youth Services department constantly comes up with clever crafts from paper towel rolls, milk rings, and lemonade containers. (Including our Christmas tree decorations!) - Expanding e-mail lists for Youth Services’ info/newsletters allows us to reduce our use of paper. In 2008 we hope to offer monthly e-newsletters and cut back issuing the paper newsletter from four times to two times/year (saving paper and postage!) - Our website offers up-to-date information on programs and activities in the library. Patrons can save gas/energy by renewing or ordering materials online. With online order requests, we have stopped printing postcards to be mailed...a faster and more ecologically-minded solution. - We are planning to move to paper cups for refreshments at our programs. While Styrofoam is more economical, we will offer hot and cold cup alternatives. We are now asking patrons to "bring their own mug/cup" to our programs. Our movies offer free popcorn, served in reusable, washable cups. - Tablecloths used at Library events are cloth, and on occasion when we need to use plastic, we always wipe them down and reuse them until they are exhausted. - Our staff memos are all via email now as well as our calendar schedules, and other in-house information. - We have installed UV protection on the west windows in the Quiet Reading Room to conserve energy. - Whenever possible we offer educational programming. In the past we have hosted a program on corn-fed meat, global warming, etc - We would welcome input regarding other areas in which we can improve our conservation efforts.