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Greenburgh Public Library Blog

Quiet Environmentalism: Recycle and Reuse

by Cristina Ramos-Payne on 2021-11-05T12:00:00-04:00 in Adults, Environment, Digital Collections | Comments

I used to carry my coffee mug everywhere. If I stopped for coffee somewhere, I had it refilled rather than waste a cup. We were a family on the go, and I tried to do my part for the environment along the way. With my mug and reusable bags, I did my best to reduce my carbon footprint.

Then the pandemic hit. 

We built our bubbles to keep ourselves safe from the virus. That was a difficult time. It’s hard to be a steward of the earth when you are limited to what is available in the store and you aren’t allowed to bring your own bags or cup. I cringed whenever I saw a disposable mask or gloves on the ground. I watched as stores emptied of the earth-friendly brands I used and replaced them with brands I had never heard of. Then they put it all in a plastic bag. Yikes!

As with any change, you need time to adjust and find new ways to accomplish your goals. I made use of my pile of old shirts and fabric scraps to make masks. Now that we can bring bags again and I’m getting better with the sewing machine, I will attempt to make grocery bags. (I saved a lot of old shirts and jeans.) I can still bring my mug to work and use it there instead of paper cups.

The library was one place where I always felt like I made a difference. Borrowing books and movies rather than buying them is a great way to recycle. I also started to use the eLibrary more often to download books and audiobooks. It doesn’t always seem like these little steps make a difference, but if it makes me aware of the world I’m living in, I believe it’s worth doing. Explore new ways to reuse at the library yourself:

  • Browse and reserve our new materials here.
  • Check out our eLibrary here.
  • Search and reserve books, here.


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