Love the Planet, Use the Library

Lower your carbon footprint one check out at a time

When we think of bound packages of paper, sustainability is probably the last thing that comes to mind. As book lovers, it can be difficult to balance our love of reading with our love for the planet, especially if we eat up books like candy. Thankfully, libraries provide an eco-friendly reading alternative for bibliophiles. Plus, using a library not only positively affects the planet, but the whole community at large.


Library Books Are Reusable

Some people greatly appreciate handheld books. Unfortunately, largely distributed copies of novels bound by paper can be hard on the planet. However, when it comes to libraries, every book is used, redistributed, and returned. Plus, most libraries offer their services completely free of charge.

The appeal of free reading paired with recycled books makes libraries the most sustainable resource for bibliophiles. Plus, hard-working librarians make sure every book is clean, well-maintained, and accessible. Libraries thrive on the concept of sharing and giving back to the community. When reading library books, you can be content knowing a well-loved story continues to be discovered by generations of readers after you’re finished with it.

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Libraries Promote Community Engagement

Libraries aren’t just buildings with a lot of books, they’re community centers. Several libraries offer extracurricular activities for people of all ages. These include clubs, events, and fundraisers. When it comes to sustainability, libraries play a significant role in the education of others, including community members.

If you think about it hard enough, libraries can be anything that community members want them to be; a classroom for busy college students, a refuge for the financially insecure, or a museum for people interested in local history. Their effect on the planet goes as far as printing and computer services. Without the need for excess materials, people can utilize a library’s public services instead of accumulating more stuff, such as personal printers.

Free, Accessible Resources

As previously mentioned, libraries require little to no charge for their services. This isn’t just designed to help you reduce the amount of money you spend on books, it’s there to help you save money on public knowledge. For example, if you’re a college student writing a research paper, your local library offers access to databases that typically require paid subscriptions.

Sometimes, libraries offer special services that are unique to their location. This can include 3-D printers or Circuit machines that allow you to perform special projects without having to buy expensive tools yourself. For people interested in a new hobby, they can check out tutorial books at their local library instead of spending more money on a lightly used book. Libraries provide access and help you reduce your spreading and consumption.

The Best Libraries Embrace Complete Sustainability

Some libraries are admittedly behind when it comes to sustainable infrastructure, but that’s beginning to change. Many libraries are starting to add sustainable building measures to their remodeling. These sustainable choices help solidify the library’s purpose as a reusable, public service for all people.

For example, some remodeled libraries have used recycled materials for the project. Others added LED lights with motion detectors to save on energy. Some libraries have even included gardens with specifically chosen plants that require the building to rely on natural resources. If you’re interested in using sustainable library buildings, do some research around your area to see if you can find one nearby!

Library Books Teach You How to Help the Planet

Libraries are all about paying it forward, and that can be practiced by using library resources to learn more about sustainability. Whether you’re interested in getting involved locally or want to know what you can do to help, libraries are a fantastic place to get started. Many libraries offer informational books, computers, and classes that are completely free to the public.

Interested in gardening your own fruits and vegetables? There’s a book for that at the library. Not sure what a carbon footprint means? Check out a book on environmental science and learn more about our planet! If your local library offers it, consider taking a class on sustainable living.

The Convenience of Centralized Locations

Most libraries are completely available for the public and placed in very centralized locations. This is by design, making it possible for people to use public transportation to reach them. Thus, instead of spending money on gas, books, and public information, people can use the library by taking a bus or utilizing public transportation. Sometimes, libraries are so centralized that they can be accessed by bike or walking, reducing carbon emissions even further.

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