One of the many aspects I love about being a librarian is supporting the concept of a sharing economy. While this idea isn’t new to libraries, it has become more popular recently as a way to reduce consumption. For example, instead of 10 people buying the same thing, one person buys that item and shares it with the other 9. Car sharing programs are a successful example of this concept. For those who don’t need a car every day, you can join a program to borrow a car in your neighborhood for around $9 an hour. Libraries have been part of the sharing economy since their inception as lending is a foundation of libraries. At Shedd by having a library that all staff and volunteers can use, we centralize our information resource purchasing resulting in reduced costs and buying less stuff!
–Alisun DeKock, Manager of Information and Services Archive
Since Shedd created a recycling center behind the scenes I’ve received more inquiries from the staff about what they can recycle, how we can dispose of something in the most responsible way, if they can bring in items from home for recycling rather than see them go into landfill at home. We encourage it - personal computers to light bulbs and clothing are added to our collection stations; some staff have even packed in their garbage in so they can add it to our compost bins!
–Susan Barton, Director of Facilities Maintenance
Whether energy, food, material things, etc.– I like to think about the life cycle of each. By making intelligent decisions about what I consume and purchase, I strive to reduce my impact on the world by helping to preserve it rather than destroy it. Sustainable living means reducing impact on the natural systems of the world and every effort helps!
–Jason Urban, Senior Production Designer
As Horticulture Manager I have many opportunities to party for the planet. I can get down with the honeybees, slip baby onions into the ground, watch the wildlife in our gardens eat and swim and renew themselves, eat fresh organic produce off the vine or just plain get down and dirty in the soil! These are all occasions for celebration. I used to think sustainability what something I created around our building. I have come to realize my greatest opportunity for sustainability has become the part of my job where I pass it forward to the youth in our summer programs. Teaching ensures that the knowledge we have to grow food, to create appreciation through observing nature and creating good habitat will help sustain our future. Plant some native plants and see what happens in your garden.
–Christine Nye, Horticulture Manager
I ask myself every single day, “What am I wasting?” Whether it’s water, or paper, or what my lunch came in...What can I be doing to reduce the waste? By trying to use my car less. (it helps me earn some steps on my Fitbit too!) I try to use my old paper bags for reuse. I just used an old paper bag to wrap a holiday package to send to my sister.
–John Buranosky, Director of Staff Training
I live sustainably by making recycling routine i.e., reading the signs in the break room, sorting plastics, etc. When working with vendors I ask if they will take back used styro boxes and plastic box liners. I just use what Shedd inspired me to do.
–Carol Rudin, Fishes Administrative Assistant
As our contribution to "protect the planet", we volunteer at a preserve to help protect plants and animals, bring our own cloth bags to the grocery stores and recycle at home.
–Dorothy Jarski, volunteer
Sustainability to me is helping the Earth become a better place for more generations to come! I want my future kids to enjoy nature as much as I was able to as a child, if not MORE! I Party for the Planet by getting outside as much as possible and trying not to leave too much of a Footprint behind. Every small act helps, like cleaning up any trash I see on park and picnic outings.
–Stephanie Franz, Learning Specialist
One of my favorite things to do for the planet is to ride my bike to work. It’s fun to be outside, enjoying the beautiful Great Lakes, and it isn’t harmful to the planet. When I can’t ride my bike I try to take the train or carpool to lower my impact. When you ride your bike, every day is a party!
–Rachel Patten, Learning Specialist
For me, sustainability is my home vegetable garden. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it provides me with healthy food and reduces my carbon footprint. A vegetable garden also provides supplies to party for the planet! For example, last year I had a barbecue using only food from my garden. I grilled corn and squash as well as drank mojitos of strawberries and mint… all of which was homegrown!
–Josh Yellin, Learning Specialist
I party for the planet by enjoying time outside! Between boating, biking and picnics, I just can’t get enough of the warm weather. Carrying picnic food in reusable containers helps reduce the waste of meals, too.
–Hillary Eggers, Learning Specialist
At home, we try to reuse as much as possible – from using both sides of printer paper to watering our plants with water from our dehumidifier and rain barrels. In an effort to share our sustainable practices with our community, the family is donating a rain barrel for our kiddos’ school auction this month. Here’s how our son’s fourth grade class decorated theirs.
–Mary Andrusyk, Interpretive Training and Recruitment Manager