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6 easy ways your library can promote sustainability

It’s National Recycling Week and we all know how easy it is to feel like the problems of waste and consumerism are just too big to tackle. But libraries can achieve so much in creating sustainable lifestyles for their communities. Here are some of our tips:

  1. Start a worm farm: Yarra Plenty Regional Library are among a growing number of libraries with a worm farm where locals can bring their vegetable scraps to turn them into worm food. It’s a great way to encourage sustainability, build community and let nature take its course.
  2. Recycle soft plastics: Beaumaris Library (under Bayside City Council) are one library who offer soft plastics recycling, a way to stop your garbage bin from overflowing! You can dispose of soft plastics and know they’re being recycled effectively. Find out more about Bayside City Council’s soft plastics recycling and ask if your library could implement a similar scheme.

3. Recycle ewaste: Branches of Melbourne City Libraries have ewaste recycling bins where you can get rid of those old lightening cables and earphones clogging up that drawer. This is an easy win for your library to attack the global problem of ewaste and make it easier to recycle.

4. Start a vegetable garden: Libraries are community hubs and what better way to serve the community than with fresh food? Southbank Library in Melbourne have a vegetable garden where community members can pick up herbs for the evening’s meal without worrying about the impact on their household budget. As the cost of living skyrockets a library garden might be just what you need!

5. Introduce sustainable crafts: As tempting as it is to get out the glitter when Storytime rolls around, you can ensure your craft activity is good for the environment and fun too! Check out books on ecocraft for new ideas.

6. Host a clothing swap: Librarians, we know, often love fashion so why not share the love with your patrons as well? A clothing swap is a great way to clean out your wardrobe and bring people together while promoting recycling over fast fashion. Save the planet and score a new outfit!

That’s 6 easy ways your library can kick sustainability goals! We’d love to hear from you about easy wins your library has had while practising sustainability. You can share them with us in the comments or head on over to our Twitter and Facebook pages.

By Anne Reddacliff, ALIA Sustainable Libraries Group Committee Member

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