New Year’s Resolution- To be More Eco-Friendly

~posted by Selby

With a new year come new year’s resolutions. Whether you want to learn to carve wood, invest in the stock market or create a will, the library probably has something to help you. One of my resolutions is to be more environmentally friendly. After reading the first two books below, I was inspired to give up as much plastic as I could and look for other ways in my life to reduce my impact on the Earth. Here are some books that will help if you have the same New Year’s resolution as I do.

Plastic Purge: How to Use Less Plastic, Eat Better, Keep Toxins Out of your Body, and Help Save the Sea Turtles by Michael SanClements and Plastic: A Toxic Love Story by Susan Feinkel are great books that will open your eyes to the ubiquity of plastics and some of the potential hazards to being in such a plastic laden world. Both books discuss the history of plastic, how certain types can harm our health and give ideas about how to lessen your use of stuff. Continue reading “New Year’s Resolution- To be More Eco-Friendly”

Why Rain Gardening might be right for you!

rain gardensMost people have heard the term ‘rain garden,’ but how many really know what that means?  Rain gardens are simply shallow depressions (6-12 inches deep) that gather and filter runoff from roofs and driveways when it rains.  Continue reading “Why Rain Gardening might be right for you!”

Clean and Green

Who knew how much you could do with white vinegar and baking soda? If you are like me, you have an accumulation of various cleaning supplies clustered under your kitchen sink. My place always needs cleaning, so I have tried many products over the years. I now want to use green cleaning materials so that my ordinary household dirt does not turn into toxic sludge. I tried out a few ideas from some of the many great books that are out there about going green and clean in your home. Continue reading “Clean and Green”

Sense and Sustainability Programs at the Capitol Hill Branch

coins-by-cc-attribution-license-joe-shlabotnikWe’re probably all searching for the magic bullet when it comes to the economy. And while there’s not much that we can do on a macro level, we just might be able to change things on our own personal micro level. Where do we start? A good place would be the Personal Finance program at the Capitol Hill branch on Thursday night, April 9th, 6-7:30 as part of the spring series, “Sense and Sustainability.” You’ll get the scoop on managing your money from Becky House, counselor for American Financial Solutions, a non-profit agency which is a division of the North Seattle Community College Foundation. But if you can’t make it, many personal finance gurus beckon us.

To get you motivated, try any of the books of that publishing dynamo, Suze Continue reading “Sense and Sustainability Programs at the Capitol Hill Branch”

Living Urban & Living Green

The greening of Seattle isn’t really new.  People have been practicing the art of green living in our emerald city for some time.  There are a range of organizations and guide books providing ideas, inspiration, and support for people exploring the various shades of green living.

urban-eco-chicGreen urban living has an aesthetic all its own.  Take a look at Urban eco chic by Oliver Heath which explores the everyday artistry of colors, textures, and functionality found in modern environmentally friendly products.       


pedal-power2Though our weather be cloudy, blustery, wet, or cold; a growing community of pedal pushers are bravely biking up and down Seattle hillsides on their way to work.  There were even a few of their tire tracks in the recent snows.  Harry Wray’s Pedal power: the quiet rise of the bicycle in American public life discusses this upswing of bicycle enthusiasm, illustrating the trend with stories from the street. Our very own Cascade Bicycle Club is a great source for classes, events, and general information on biking in the city.


365 ways to live green by Diane McDilda emphasizes the power of little day-to-day choices to keep you mindful of living green all year round.



On many a spring and summer weekend, you will find hundreds of volunteers bush-whacking through our green-belts and overgrown urban forests.  Foot by foot, they strike out yet another patch of invasive English ivy and Himalayan blackberry and other invasive species.  Organizations like the Green Seattle Partnership help support these kinds of projects, connecting urban forestry volunteers with projects city-wide.  Other programs like the Seattle reLeaf Program help to promote a healthy canopy of urban trees that reduce pollution and provide wildlife habitat.

Our city has some great options for locally grown organic foods.  Frequenting local farmer’s markets can be a fun way to live green and support local farms.  Other folks buy into the farms more directly with a subscription called a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  The subscription details differ by organization, but most CSAs are set up to supply the farmer with seed money they need in the spring in return for boxes of whatever is fresh throughout the growing season.




Living urban and green doesn’t have to be too hard.  As Josh Dorfman reminds us in The lazy environmentalist, the little things can add up.  

                                                              ~ Jay L.