Monday, October 6, 2008

Day 168 of our Green Year: Getting A Library Card

We are big book lovers, as can be seen by the fact that when we gave away most of our books, it amounted to five or six large boxes. We have already made the commitment to buy only second-hand books and we have to ask ourselves the purchase questions before we buy anything. All in all, this makes it very hard to read new books. We either can't find them in second-hand book form, and if we do, we have to ask the purchase questions, resulting in usually not buying the book since it is not badly needed.

Hence, we have decided to do something very environmentally-friendly, and something everyone can do; get a library card. Since we moved from B.C. to Alberta, we no longer have library cards, which means on our trip to town next Monday, we will be getting a library card. In B.C. library cards are free, but here in Alberta it costs $10.

Getting a library card is actually a very green thing to do. You can read as many books as you want, without ever buying new books simply because you share those books with everyone else in the library. You get the books for three weeks, and if you are not done reading them, you can renew them from home, without ever going into the library. The way Alberta's libraries are set up, you can find any book you want from any library in the province and have it shipped to you when they do their book shipments to the libraries. This does create CO2, so for every book we have shipped from another location, we will pay into the green jar to offset it.

If you do not have a library card, get one. It is one of the best things you can do for your mind, and for the environment.

Sad news about the environment today. A recent study has found that one in four, or 25 percent of all mammals are threatened with extinction. On top of this, the population of one in two mammal species is declining. That means 50 percent of all mammals are on the downward trend with extinction. For those of you with young kids reading this, this means that when they are my age (28), as much as 25 percent or more of the animals we know and love will be gone.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has also been updated, and now includes 44,838 species, of which 16,928 are threatened with extinction. Of those threatened with extinction, 3,246 are critically endangered, 4,770 are endangered and 8,912 are vulnerable.

Since 1500, 76 mammal species have gone extinct.