Project Green - Riverside Public Library

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
- 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
- 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
- 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.