How Green Is Your Library?

We decided to peel back the LRC’s stylish green countertops, service desks, bookcases, and carpets and investigate the true color of everyday actions in your library building.  LRC staff accrued eco-credit for:

  • using Google Documents to collaborate and conserve printouts
  • using Google Sites to formulate unit plan and meeting agendas
  • making tiny receipts for media fines, DE leases, and headphones instead of full page printouts, and forgoing fax cover sheets
  • switching to online media equipment reservations
  • using SurveyMonkey for online faculty, student, and staff surveys
  • using recycled paper, printing on used paper, and printing 2 sided
  • chopping up printouts for heaps of scrap paper used each day
  • posting handouts online and collecting homework in D2L’s dropbox
  • recycling over 1500 outdated books to Better World Books
  • collecting and recycling spent batteries from patrons and staff
  • turning off monitors on lunch breaks
  • walking or biking to work
  • taking advantage of structural efficiencies – natural light and motion detecting light fixtures
  • helping students find information on the giant Pacific garbage patch and other environmental topics
  • setting up displays on carbon footprint and recycling

But what about all that “paper” on the third floor?

Ironically, many of those books are devoted to resource conservation:  ecology, solar energy, recycling, alternative fuel, saltmarshes, you name it.  Search LOIS, the library catalog with any combination of eco terms.  LRCCD libraries also share permanent access to 10,000 ebooks that never met a sheet of paper.  Those, and a couple of million electronic articles in the subscription databases.

Instructional Media has eco- DVDs, including these and others:

But we’re not bragging. There’s a lot more we can do.  For starters, the LRC uses about 112 cases of printer paper every semester.  Conservatree estimates that 40 cartons of non-recycled printing paper uses 24 trees, so we’re chewing up 68 trees a semester.  Staff report cutbacks in their own printing, but student copying of textbooks may be up, in lieu of purchase.

Leave a comment and let us know what you think.  How does your department conserve?

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