The past few years have seen the rise of powerful and inspiring young activists rallying for systemic change and legislative action to address the climate crisis, with groups like the Sunrise Movement advocating for a Green New Deal and the now-famous climate striker Greta Thunberg named Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year.
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Enticing patrons to attend lectures on climate change and sustainability can be a real challenge. It’s hard to deny: these topics can be a real downer.
But there are ways to make learning about the environment fun. This was my goal when I set out to create my library’s Earth Day programming last year.
2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, an initiative started in 1970 to encourage action to protect the environment. Planning Earth Day programs at your library is a surefire way to show support for environmental awareness in your community and can introduce patrons to resources and skills for getting involved.
Swap It Like It’s Hot is a free clothes-swap program aimed at adult patrons. Patrons bring along their gently-used clothing and receive tokens. They use their tokens to swap for others' items. All remaining clothes after the swap are donated to the city mission.
The library also offered sewing and upcycling workshops in collaboration with Conscious Layers, a local organization that works to popularize the re-use of fashion.
It’s probably not news to anyone that landfills contribute to climate change and contain wasted recyclable material. Oftentimes it’s easier and less expensive to replace an item that technically could be repaired. A lot of people — including me — just don’t have the tools or knowledge to fix things anymore.