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Make every day Earth Day at the Topsfield Library

There are many things we can do to protect and save our planet. Positive and lasting change can feel overwhelming and seem insurmountable at times, especially when reading/listening to the news or doom scrolling on social media. When you are inspired to make a change, sometimes it’s easier to start small and focus on one or two actions at a time.

Never fear, the library is here! In honor of Earth Month, I wanted to share some of the ways that the library can help create greener and more resilient communities. Stay tuned for weekly posts about reducing waste, small actions that yield big results, enjoying nature while saving nature, and more!

According to a 2018 report by the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American generates almost 5 pounds of waste per day. Out of those 5 pounds, approximately 32% gets recycled and composted. If we do the math, that’s about 3.4 pounds of trash produced per person every day. Over the course of a year, that’s 1241 pounds of trash! Per person! Yeah, that’s a lot.

Did you know that one of the best ways to reduce waste is to prevent it before it happens? A very simple way to do this is by consuming fewer resources. Seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? Maybe a bit oversimplified? Perhaps. Even still, the library can help! All it takes is your library card.

  • Instead of buying the latest book, borrow a physical or digital copy from the library.
  • Instead of buying magazines, check out our magazine collection in the Periodicals room or via Overdrive, if digital magazines are more your speed. And yes, you can borrow our magazines.
  • Love the New York Times or Wall Street Journal? You can read them online or peruse them in the library. We have other newspapers, too.
  • We have an ever-growing Library of Things collection where you can check out games, technology, instruments, and more. Try it out before running to the store or buying from Amazon; if you love it, you can always go buy it. If you hate it, it is one less item getting tossed.

Do you prefer to buy books? I’m right there with you, I totally get it. Try shopping the continuous book sale on the first floor of the library. The books are gently used and looking for a new home. Prefer a bigger sale or have books to donate? The Strawberry Festival book sale is fast approaching in June. Gently used books will be collected during the week leading up to the sale. Drop off books during that week and then replenish your collection on the weekend! All proceeds go toward supporting library programs and initiatives.

Over the past few years, many of us started doing jigsaw puzzles or picked up a new hobby. Some people have been doing them all their lives. If, like many others, you have a closet filled with puzzles and craft supplies, bring them to the library! We have a puzzle AND craft supply swap on the second floor. As long as the puzzles aren’t missing pieces and are in a box, we’ll take them. Don’t worry; you don’t have to bring a puzzle in order to take a puzzle. We have plenty to share! And craft supplies? As long as they are clean, in good condition, and of decent quantity, we’ll take them. Just bring them to the Reference Desk and we’ll take it from there. And while you’re here, grab some yarn, fabric, or other craft supplies instead of purchasing new supplies. We might not have what you’re looking for, but it never hurts to check.

Reducing what we add to the waste stream can seem like a Sisyphean task sometimes, but we all have to start somewhere, right? Not every action has to be some grand gesture or purchasing the latest eco-item on Instagram. It can be something as simple as using your library card. Think of the impact we could make if we used more of our shared resources than buying individual items. The less we consume, the less we need to dispose.

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