Earth Week is coming up April 16-22, and we thought it might be a good idea to submit our eco-friendly résumé to you to offer an overview of some of the many ways the Poudre River Public Library District is working to reduce our overall environmental impact, improve sustainability, and encourage internal green practices.
We care about our library customers as individuals and also about our community, so we strive to decrease our overall footprint in both small and large ways – through recycling efforts, ongoing staff education, local partnerships, and even the types of materials we have in our collection (think downloadable eMedia options as well as the new Gadgets & Things Collection).
Here’s a few of the highlights from the Library’s efforts. We’re curious…what would your personal or family eco-friendly résumé look like?
To actively pursue eco-friendly thinking and green practices throughout the year to reduce the Library’s overall environmental impact and improve sustainability
Green Team – 2010 to present
Internal volunteer team established in 2010; tasked to be a resource for staff to answer questions and provide ongoing education and information on “going green.”
- Coordinate all recycling efforts to reduce the environmental impact of day-to-day library operations
- Host staff challenges such as the Employee Drive Less Challenge and the “Good-on-other-side” Printing Challenge to create awareness of easy green activities that positively affect the library and community
- Provide sustainability and recycling orientation for new library staff members
- Monitor the “Bin of Confusion” where staff place items when they are unsure how to properly recycle them; the Green Team helps educate the staff on what to do with these items
Ongoing efforts by staff to reduce waste, reuse materials, and recycle everyday items.
- Recycle materials like cardboard, paper, glass bottles, cans, and hard plastics using staff-areas’ large recycle bins.
- Use personal recycling bins at staff desks for easy recycle efforts
- Reuse and “upcycle” materials for library programs including the Summer Reading Challenge, STREAM projects, and art programs
- Think twice before purchasing new materials to determine if they are necessary and if existing ones can be reused/repurposed
- Provide public area recycling containers to encourage library customers to participate in everyday efforts
Actively work with local businesses and organizations to recycle large quantities of materials not accepted through regular recycling pickup.
Activities & Collaborations
Bike to Work Day Station, FC Bikes and Bike Fort Collins (2011 to present)
The Library District serves as a bike station with breakfast, bike repairs, and information for community members participating in Bike to Work Day.
ClimateWise Partner, City of Fort Collins (2009 to present)
Work to create best practices for achieving sustainability goals and use local resources to reduce impact and save money. ClimateWise partners also participate in ongoing educational opportunities, trainings, and networking.
New Belgium Brewing (2016 to present)
New efforts with New Belgium Brewing focus on compostable materials. Most recently, the library dropped off five 30-gallon trash bags worth of compost materials at the brewery!
Poudre River Friends of the Library (1939 to present)
The Friends volunteer group handles community donations of used books, CDs, and DVDs to the library. Through books and media sales throughout the year, they are able to not only give new homes to these items and keep them out of the landfill, but they also raise money that supports library programs and events like the Summer Reading Challenge. The Friends also coordinate printer cartridge recycling through the library; proceeds from those efforts benefit young adult reading programs.
Silver Anvil Engineering, TerraCycle® & Others (2015 to present)
We enlist local and regional businesses to help recycle “hard to recycle” items like soft plastics, laminated paper packaging, CDs and DVDs, or electronics. These companies can often strip materials and process them for use by other companies. For instance, Terracycle is able to take our laminated paper and reproduce it for items like park benches!
Timberline Recycling Center, City of Fort Collins (2016 to present)
The new recycling facility on Timberline allows the library to quickly and easily recycle shredded paper, plastic bags, and shrink wrap – materials the library generates frequently. These materials can then be mixed with sawdust to create decking material!
Awards & Recognition
Platinum Level – City of Fort Collins ClimateWise Program
For achievements in Energy, Social Responsibility, Transportation, Waste, and Water
Platinum Level – LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
Be sure to check out the Library’s traveling interactive Earth Day display and let us know how you “love the Earth.”