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Monday, January 7, 2008

Quick quiz for a Monday morning

Q: How do you know that's a fake clip art photo of a woman paying bills?

A: Because she's smiling!

I don't know about you, but I dread the mail this time of year. The credit card bills soar during all that unrestrained Christmas shopping but worst of all is the heating bill. You're probably not thinking about it today, as we enjoy unseasonably warm temperatures in the mid-60s. But you were thinking about your heating bill last week, when we shivered through temps in the teens and 60 mph winds that gave new meaning to the phrase "wind chill."

During those frigid times, it's tempting to crank the thermostat up and chalk up the high bill to life in the Midwest. But more and more, we learn that's not only a waste of money but a drain on natural resources. Blasting the heat all winter not only effects your personal finances but the state of the world's environment. What can the average homeowner do about it? It's a question many of us ask and now the city of Des Plaines is offering answers through its "Deep Green" initiative.

The library is very proud to be connected with "Deep Green" and many of the group's upcoming events will be held right here in the library's meeting rooms. Join "Deep Green" on Thursday, January 17, for a visit from the Energy Detectives. The Energy Detectives are behind a company called "Informed Energy Decisions." The Energy Detectives' years of expertise in building science, architecture, construction and home inspection give them insider knowledge on the ways we waste energy in our homes and commercial buildings, and in this program, they will pass that knowledge on to you. This free program won't cost you a thing except time, and you may just come away with tips and tools to help make your home and opening that heating bill a lot more comfortable. No need to register, just drop into the library's first floor meeting room area on January 17 at 7 p.m.

"Deep Green" is sponsoring an additional program on February 21, also at 7 p.m. in the library meeting rooms. This program is called "Mythbusters," and will feature a presentation highlighting the facts about environmental issues, to help consumers move beyond hype and hearsay. For more information on "Deep Green," or any of these programs, contact Mary Rohde at (847)803-6912.

The library is not only proud to host these programs, but we're also proud of our own "green" efforts. We are already "greener" than you might know. For example, we primarily use CFL bulbs in our lighting - our elevator lights are even timed to shut off when the cars have not been used for 15 minutes. Our building heating zones are set to 68 degrees during the winter months. We use glass/plastic plates and metal flatware in our lunchroom, rather than disposable items which would pile up in a landfill. We also use as many recycled paper products (paper napkins and towels, file folders, etc.) as possible.

You may have noticed recently that we're encouraging you to be more "green" in the library, too, by asking you to recycle the plastic bags we distribute. When you return books to the library in a plastic bag, just place the bag in the stainless steel recycling bin underneath the atrium book drops. Here are some of the library's Green Team members, unveiling the new bag recycling program.

So, if your New Year's resolutions involved going "green," the library has lots of ways we can help you stick with that decision. Of course, the library has useful and informative books on these topics, too. Click on the links that follow to try some of our "One Click Searches" on environmental topics. And stay tuned to PlainTalk for more ways you can change your life and change your world in the new year.


Organic living

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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