By Renee Mahon and Willow Fitzgibbon
Much has changed since Kermie owned this color, and even the Irish, Jealous, Seasick, Inexperienced and Aliens have all made concessions, sharing their chartreuse hue with Sustainability Champions. In fact, Pantone named “Emerald” the 2013 color of the year, and considering April has historically been “Green Your Life” month on our turf, Fayetteville Public Library could not be happier.
Before the Blair Library building was even a sparkle in Fayetteville’s eye, it registered with the U.S. Green Building Council. No easy task; 99 percent of construction waste was recycled or reused which included making furniture from the trees removed from the site. These efforts earned the building silver LEED certification in 2006.
The built-in, green-design features have continued to pay off. The library’s green roof reduces heat in the building by 20 degrees and water collected on the roof is reused for landscape irrigation, saving about 500,000 gallons of water a year. In 2010, solar panels were installed on the library through a grant from the City/County Management Association, saving more than $5,000 in electricity in its lifetime. To learn more about the solar project visit www.fplsolar.org.
All of these efforts are a community achievement, but on a personal level going green doesn’t require major alterations to your home or lifestyle. Turn the lights off if you aren’t using them? Yes. Keep reusable shopping bags handy? Sure. Recycle? Absolutely. Go off the grid? Uhhmm …
If that isn’t part of your plan, that’s OK. You can find inspiration and useful strategies for things you can actually do to make a difference in your life and the world around you. To become a deeper shade of the “color of the year,” here are a few of our newest books ready for check out.
In “The Zero-waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less,” (link to: tinyurl.com/bq7fjan), author Amy Korst and her husband live their lives for one year as waste-free as possible. Her book shares steps from their experience that anyone can follow for how to create less trash by buying less, reusing items and recycling.
Ever thought about making your own cleaning products? Try “The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques that Save You Money: Folk Wisdom for Keeping Your House Clean, Green, and Homey,” (link to: tinyurl.com/cloqd4b) by Richard Freudenberger and the editors of BackHome magazine. This book provides formulas and recipes to use in the home and garden as well as ideas for saving money on energy bills and home repairs.
“Shift Your Habit: Easy Ways to Save Your Money, Simplify Your Life, and Save the Planet” (tinyurl.com/cvfp83h) by Elizabeth Rogers with Colleen Howell. A mindset of moderation, efficiency, saving money and living simply is the basis for green living. This book includes hundreds of suggestions for modifications any family can try.
These are merely a locavore’s taste for what is actually available through FPL. More reading suggestions can be found on the website’s “Sustainability” Recommended Reading Pathfinder (link to: www.faylib.org/content/sustainability)