Our Voices, Green Choices is a blog highlighting green projects and programs happening at the Library as well as providing news about all kinds of "green living" topics both locally and beyond. We want to educate and inspire our community to embrace a greener lifestyle by sharing ideas and conversations with each other.
Posts by lmulford
Have any of you ever read author Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? It’s about a family’s decision to eat only foods they could grow on their own land or obtain from local sources. It’s inspirational, educational, motivational and more. Taking the “grow your own” one step greener is Maria Rodale’s book, Organic Manifesto. According to Rodale, organic gardening is the single most effective tool we have to protect our environment and our health. If you needed another reason to embrace the “go local, grow local” mantra, these books will certainly tip the scales for you.
Vegetable gardening has become a national craze and is one of the greenest things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only is it good for your wallet, but also for your health, your community and your appetite. (There is nothing like the taste of a home grown tomato!) It’s also an especially fun and educational activity to experience with children.
Here are a few things to help you dig in and get excited about starting your very own “garden of eating”:
- Check out the Library’s collection of gardening books – we have over a 100 just on vegetable gardening alone. Most of them can be found on the shelves under the call number 635.
- Attend our Growing Green programs – See the list of programs on the right. Register for our May 12, the “Talking Dirt” program will have a team of master gardeners sharing information on preparing the soil for planting, how to choose the best plants, how to plant to maximize your harvest and more.
- Chat up a Master Gardener – At the Growing Green programs you’ll have the opportunity to ask an experienced gardener questions, or you can check out information on the U of I Extension Service’s website.
- Join the Arlington Heights Garden Club – They meet every third Monday evening at the library (excluding Jun-Aug and Dec.) and are co-sponsors of the Growing Green programs. They are a passionate and knowledgeable group that can help you go green.
Check out some of these websites for more information on vegetable gardening, local seminars and plant sales:
U of I Extension Service's Hort Corner
Ten Steps to Make Gardening Easier
I hope you’re now feeling inspired to get growing. We’d love for you to share your gardening experiences either here or on our Facebook page. We can learn a lot from each other.
The first gatherings of the garden in May of salads, radishes and herbs made me feel like a mother about her baby - how could anything so beautiful be mine. And this emotion of wonder filled me for each vegetable as it was gathered every year. There is nothing that is comparable to it, as satisfactory or as thrilling, as gathering the vegetables one has grown.
- Alice B. Toklas
- Alice B. Toklas
The one who has the most in their recycling bin wins! I have to admit I used to play this little mind game with myself every recycling pickup day as I compared my overflowing green bins (I had two!) to all of my neighbors’. But all that has changed (and ended my “bin wins” game) with the new covered bins recently introduced in Arlington Heights. I recently looked out my window just in time to see the recycling jaws of the Groot truck pluck the 65-gallon bin from the curb, hoist it into the air and easily toss the entire contents into the truck. Amazing! I love these new stylin’ bins. They are covered, do not fill up so quickly, have wheels, and I know that stuff won’t be blowing all over the street come recycling day. Now that the village has made it easier for us to step it up a notch with our recycling efforts, I find myself feeling a lot more conscientious about doing more of it.
But not everything can go into that shiny new cart. We also have to be more conscientious about a growing issue – electronics recycling. I’m guessing there’s a fair number of you that recently started using at least one of the fun, new gadgets on the market these days – smart phones, e-readers, tablets, etc. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that more than 40 million computers become obsolete and are discarded every year. However, only 15 percent of these are recycled. Recycling all of the outdated electronics like cell phones, laptops, CD players, and iPods has become more important than ever. Not only do these discards create excess waste, but also introduce corrosive chemicals into landfills, which can seep into the ground.
The Library is here to help. Last Friday on Earth Day we began two recycling programs. We are collecting small electronics for an indefinite period of time, in partnership with Recycling Avenue, an organization that is run by a group of physically challenged young adults. Also during the month of May, we are partnering with EYEsee in collecting used eyeglasses for their medical missions to Third World countries. Look for both recycling bins near the Checkout Desk.
If you live in A.H. or in any of the nearby suburbs and would like to know more about other recycling options and locations, check out the website for SWANCC – the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County. Did you know that:
- If you have large electronics like TVs or computers to recycle, you can drop them off at one of their nearby recycling sites.
- If you have more than just a few items, they’ll arrange to pick up items at your home.
There’s even a free app now for your smart phone – iRecycle – that provides access to more than 800,000 recycling and disposal resources plus information on trends and ideas about recycling.
Check back here soon to learn more about Our Voices, Green Choices. We’d love to share your recycling thoughts and ideas so join in the conversations both here and on our Facebook page.
Small Electronics Recycling
The Library is collecting small electronics for recycling. We are working with Recycling Avenue, a nonprofit company run by a group of physically challenged young adults wanting to make a difference in their world. All donated items are tax deductible. Forms will be on the bright blue bin near the Checkout Desk.
- Cell Phones
- Inkjet Cartridges
- MP3 Players
- Digital Cameras
- Handheld Games
- GPS Devices
- Radar Detectors
- eBook Readers
- Graphing Calculators
- Gold, Silver, and Platinum.
Appliances, computer monitors/towers, printers are not accepted.
For questions about the Library's recycling programs, please contact Linda Mulford at 847-506-2628. Information on recycling other items can be found at Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) website.