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Green Up Your Act!!! How are YOU being Eco-Friendly?

How are Canton Public Library patrons Greening Up Their Act? Let us count the ways! Here's your chance to share the things--big and small--you're doing to be eco-smart in the post-"Inconvenient Truth"-era. Try out some of the ideas you see here, and be sure to post your comments, ideas and the not-so-random acts of kindness you're bestowing on Mother Earth: 1. BAG IT! Bring a sturdy, reusable bag with you to the Canton Public Library to carry home all your checked-out items. Don't have one? We sell roomy canvas totes for $3 apiece. Other good choices: Most local grocery stores sell reusable bags in the $1 to $3 range; check out Meijer, Kroger and Holiday Market. Buy several and use them whenever and wherever you shop. The next time you're asked: "Paper or plastic?," you can say, "Neither!" 2. CATCH IT! If your shower is anything like mine, it takes a good two minutes (sometimes more) for the water to warm up. Why not catch--and reuse--all that otherwise wasted cold water? All you need is two buckets to catch the water before it's warm: Swap a full one for an empty one. Then use your full bucket to water house plants, fill your dog's water bowl, rinse dishes in the sink--you get the idea! 3. LIGHT IT! Most have heard that CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs are far more energy-efficient than their incandescent counterparts. Despite their higher cost per bulb, you'll save money on electricity in the long run. But there's one VERY BIG CAUTION: CFL's contain small amounts of mercury and MUST be treated as hazardous waste when they burn out. Please don't throw CFL's away in your regular trash--ever. As of blog time, the IKEA store in Canton accepts used CFL bulbs in their recycling area. 4. RECYCLE IT! Designate one of your household wastebaskets as the paper-only recycling container. Place used paper, envelopes, magazines and newspapers inside. When it's full, bring it with you on your next trip to the Canton Public Library and empty your paper basket into one of the two Abitibi dumpsters located in the parking lot near the southwest corner of the library (next to Staff Parking). Please note that the Abitibi bins don't accept cardboard or telephone books. So, you're feeling better already about saving the landfill from all that reusable paper, right? Wait, there's more! Canton Public Library gets paid for each dumpster of paper collected. So we can get more cool stuff for you to check out. Speaking of which... 5. BOOK IT! Save a tree (or ten or twenty) by borrowing your books from the library instead of buying your own copy. When it comes to the popular catch phrase "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," libraries invented the "Reuse" part way before it was cool to do so!!! 6. WIPE IT UP! Paper towels are so yesterday, plus they're so expensive! Why not replace them with reusable terry cloth towels? You can buy a bunch (each about the size of a small dish towel) in a bag--look for them in the hardware or auto dept. at your local store. They're great for all but the grossest messes your family can dish out! We keep about a dozen towels folded neatly in a decorative wicker basket on the kitchen counter right next to the sink. Just use and toss in your laundry basket!