As we have been discussing ways to decrease our impact on this planet, I realize that I have been practicing a fun way to limit my impact for years without ever recognizing it. Ever since I was a child, I have loved going to the library! I never thought of it as a small building full of weathered books, but more of a sacred vault filled with tall tales, adventures and bright futures awaiting the eyes of interested readers. A couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to rediscover that magical feeling when I began taking the little girl I nanny to her local library. We have been captivated by everything from enlightening books about dolphins to inspiring books about animal rescue clubs. It is the most wonderful feeling to see a child get so excited each week about visiting the library and planning ahead which books she can’t wait to get her hands on. Of course she always has loved her books at home, but now most of those have become old news. Like many of us, she doesn’t enjoy reading the same book over and over again, which makes the library a perfect option. Not only do we enjoy every exciting excursion to the local library, but the environment appreciates it, too. Our next step to making this an altogether low impact activity is to ride our bikes there!
Today’s society provides so many opportunities to make environmentally friendly choices, but ultimately it is up to us to make those decisions. When it comes to books for any age, there are many alternatives to buying a brand new book at Crown Books, or Barnes and Noble. Think of how many new books are being purchased at the expense of so many trees, when there are a plethora of those same books that other readers have enjoyed. For some readers in our fast paced society, a major concern with using the library is that, when they want a book, they want it NOW! For these individuals, I encourage finding used books on AMAZON, which tends to tell you the condition of the book and to offer it for an extremely low price. For me, it is not about the crispness of the pages: it is about the words in the story. When I borrow from the library or buy a used book, I know that I am saving the extraordinary world that these phenomenal authors write about.
FIND YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
BUY A USED COPY
As a side note, another option to consider is the E-book, whether using the iPad, Kindle, Nook, or whichever electronic book device you have. Some say that, unless you read more than 23 books per year, it is more environmentally sound to purchase used books, when considering the electricity it takes to run this type of device, and how and if it will be recycled at the end of its use before the next big thing is introduced. There are definitely pros and cons to both, and after a lot of research no one really has come to a conclusion yet. For me, I will continue to go to the library or purchase my used books online. As for children’s books, I believe in allowing children to experience the physical book, as novels have been one of the most important aspects of our culture and society for centuries upon centuries.