The Grand Forks and District Public Library goes green

The library has been implementing some environmental friendly measures in the last few months.

Spring is in the air.

We’ve got rising rivers, blossoming buttercups and plenty of sunshine.

Most of all, there’s a lot less white and a lot more green, which is my roundabout way of getting to what I really want to talk about today, which is “green.”

These days, of course, green is synonymous with “environmentally responsible.”

I’m of the opinion that all individuals, organizations, businesses and governments should be doing their part to be as green as possible. Public libraries are no exception.

If you stop and think about it, libraries are inherently green.

Rather than everyone in town buying the new Michael Connelly book, we keep a copy of it here for everyone to share.

Same goes for the latest issue of Maclean’s, season 3 of Downton Abbey, and so on.

But we are going above and beyond that. Over the course of the last few months, we have been implementing some changes here at the library. For one, we are buying 100 per cent recycled paper and envelopes (post-consumer recycled, when possible).

In fact, we are currently trying out a brand-new kind of paper (Step Forward Paper), which is made of leftover wheat straw from the prairies.

We have also begun composting all of our food waste and are making an effort to reduce the amount of garbage bags – an easy first step towards achieving this was simply removing half of the garbage cans from the library, and now we are using pre-used plastic bags for the remaining bins.

We are also trying to buy locally as much as possible – not only does it support the local economy, but it also cuts down on emissions generated during shipping.

Our new children’s shelving, for instance, is made in the Boundary by Kettle River Woodcraft, and it is made of reclaimed barnboard.

Second-hand products are naturally a greener choice, which leads me to a request.

We are interested in upgrading the furniture in our main reading area, and would like to know if any of you have tables/chairs/couches/etc that are in excellent condition and that you are interested in selling. If so, please give me a call at 250-442-3944.

Happy Greening!

– Avi Silberstein is library director of the Grand Forks and District Public Library