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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Perils of Going Green, Or, BYOB

First, to clarify: in this case, BYOB stands for "Bring your own bag."

I've told you in the past about some of the Library's efforts in becoming a greener place in the community. Most recently, we've begun providing a place where you can recycle your TechnoTrash ("Getting Where You're Going..." from July 2008), items such as old VHS tapes, cassettes, CDs, cords and chargers. Late last year, we began offering a place where your plastic bags could be turned in for recycling. (And yes, they are recycled, through a partnership with our local Jewel food store.) In April, for Earth Day, we shared our "going green in the workplace" video with you and helped the city distribute free CFL bulbs to homeowners. We also now offer you a "Going Green" resource guide on our Web site.

So far, it's been smooth sailing and we're proud not only of our efforts but for your enthusiasm and support, too. A few months ago, we made another big decision, and that was to do away with the 25,000+ plastic bags we were giving away every year. That's a lot of plastic. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away 14.4 million tons of plastic every year (click that link to see just "What's In Our Trash."). You don't have to be a scientist to figure out that that's a bad thing. As part of the community, we want to do our part and the first step is eliminating the free plastic bags.

We also don't want to leave you stranded on a rainy day with your arms full of books, your handbag or your children's hands to hold, a stroller to push, an umbrella to balance. Our decision was to provide inexpensive reusable bags for purchase. Sounds good so far, right? We found a company that met our specifications: a place where we could order many bags, with the Library logo printed on them, bags that were not just reusable but washable and recyclable. We also wanted some assurance that the bags weren't made in a sweat shop or by child labor. Oh -- and could we get them for around $1.00 apiece? We found all of that with a company called 1 Bag At A Time, and we received word today that the bags have been manufactured and are now being shipped. Hooray for that -- but it will be several more weeks before they are here at DPPL for your purchase. As an aside -- the company also sells bags for personal use, so if you'd like a matching set of "grocery luggage," check out their Web site. Small orders of bags ship very quickly and the bags are good quality.

So, we ask for your patience, we thank you for letting us know you want these bags when they arrive and we humbly suggest you "BYOB" until mid-September - bring your own bag for your Library books and other items. When the bags arrive, PlainTalk will let you know.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited that the library will be getting these bags. They're perfect for folding up and leaving in a purse or the car so that you always have one on hand. And unlike plastic bags they don't tear!


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