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Green/Environment

The environment is important to Canton Public Library and the Canton community. Canton Green Resources:

Holiday Handiwork

Wondering what gifts to buy for this gift-giving season? Well, why not make your own gifts like some celebrants of Kwanzaa do. You could make ornaments, dolls, treasure boxes or candle out of old jewelry, marbles, yarn, string or other small pieces you already have around. Here are some craft books to help you along.

All new crafts for Kwanzaa by Kathy Ross; illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm

Chinese New Year crafts by Karen E. Bledsoe

Tweet-a-Watt Takes the Kill-a-Watt to the Next Level

For those that want to take the results of the Kill-a-Watt (available to check out from CPL) to the next level there is the new Tweet-a-Watt kit (available for purchase from Adafruit Industries) that lets users post the daily energy consumption of their refrigerator or TV set to a Twitter account. The idea won the 2009 Greener Gadgets Competition. The kit allows users to transmit power usage information to a computer receiver. The receiver can log, graph and even tweet that information. People can then "compete for the lowest numbers and also see how they’re doing compared to their friends and followers."

Science in the Real World

Ever wondered how things like hybrid cars or solar panels actually work? How do they help to save ethe environment? What is ethanol? What is a solar cell? Find out the answer to these questions with a series of books called Science in the Real World. To learn about hybrid vehicles, check out How Do Hybrid Cars Work? For solar panels, check out How Do Solar Panels Work?

Vampires in your home?

Did you see this morning's Today Show feature about using energy meters to suss out the energy vampires lurking in your home?

If those energy meters seem like a pricey investment, consider checking out one of the library's Kill-a-Watt meters free of charge.

Going Green Builds Wealth

We all know that "Going Green" saves our planet Earth. But there's an added benefit, "Going Green" can also help you build personal wealth. In The Green Millionaire: A Practical Guide to Achieving Real Wealth While Helping to Save the Planet, author Nigel J. Williams explains how small changes like programming your thermostat or switching to rechargeable batteries can lead to savings. Then learn how to turn those green savings into wealth.

What happened to the honeybees?

honeybeeThere has been a lot of speculation about why honeybees have been disappearing, and now scientists have a new theory: it's because of us. Luckily there are many things you can do to help foster good environments for honeybees, such as planting a diverse garden with plants that are attractive to bees. And if you're looking for honey or info on how to raise your own bees, you can't get more local than Bobilin Honey from right here in Canton.

World Heritage Sites

The new book "World Heritage Sites", is a treasure trove of information. Readers will be impressed with this all encompassing testament to world culture. It describes 878 sites from 141 countries which the United Nations has designated as culturally or enviromentally important to the world. "World Heritage List", has proved to be a valuable tool in the battle to preserve much of the world's cultural and natural heritage. Its strict criteria results in only the world's most spectacular and extraordinary sites making it onto the list. The list has been publicly available online at http://whc.unesco.org but never in a book format like this.

Simply Organic

OK, I admit it. I am obsessed with the topic of locally produced, organic foods. If you are too - and there are many reasons to be - you may want to check out "Simply Organic: A Cookbook for Sustainable, Seasonal, and Local Ingredients" by Jesse Ziff Cool. Perhaps what I like most about this cookbook is that it is organized according to the seasons and transitions between them with chapters like "Early Winter" and "Deep Winter." Plus, the ingredients are relatively simple and includes things that I actually eat (except perhaps the Raspberry Millet Pancakes). With 150 enticing recipes, "Simply Organic" may encourage you to embrace organic foods "as a lifestyle rather than a fad."

It Pays to Recycle at Local Retailers

Beginning November 1st Target will give a 5¢ discount for every reusable bag customers use to pack their purchases. Over the next three weeks CVS will also roll out a similar program in its stores. Participating CVS customers will receive $1 cash bonus on their CVS card every four times they buy something but don't request plastic bags. Smaller retailers such as Trader Joe's, Hiller's and Whole Foods have been offering financial incentives to re-use bags for some time. With large retailers like Target and CVS following suit the two programs could keep billions of plastic bags out of the environment and nudge other big retailers to take similar steps.

[Photo courtesy of AP Images]

Save money this Halloween

Take a stroll around the Children's Library and you'll find plenty of inspiration for your Halloween costume. To save money, wear everything you already have in your favorite color and be Purplicious, Pinkalicious or Goldilicious. Pull out a toy instrument for your little one and they could be a Jazz Baby. Celebrate recycling by making a robot or a race car out of a box like our bunny friend in Not A Box. Or, team up with some friends, grab a bunch of old boxes and make your own Freight Train.

Clean Energy Makeover for Ford Plant in Wixom

The Ford plant in Wixom, Michigan will be converted into a renewable energy manufacturing facility. According to earth2tech.com, the 320-acre plant is getting its clean energy makeover through a partnership between Ford Motors and Govenor Jennifer Granholm, and greentech companies Xtreme Power, Clairvoyant Energy and Oerlikon Solar. The solar plant should be up and running by 2011. To find out more about "greentech", check out the green technology resources available from CPL. [Photo courtesy of AP Images].

E, The Environmental Magazine

From heated discussions on coal and population growth to tips on skin care, cargo-ready bikes, green jobs and ecovilages, E, The Environmental Magazine has got it all. The current issue features an article on actress Daryl Hannah and her work in West Virgina and the work of ecologists to save California's giant green turtles (550 Ibs.!). The library carries last year's issues up the current or you can access their online edition.

Blowin' in the Wind: Clean Energy, Made in Michigan

The wind turbine pictured here is one of 32 harnessing clean electricity on Harvest Wind Farm in Elkton, MI. (I took this photo during a summer trip to the Thumb Area.) Michigan Wind 1, with 46 turbines, is another wind farm located just north of Elkton in Ubly, MI. Major energy companies like DTE and Consumers Energy are tapping into these and other wind farms in Michigan to supply electric power to their customers. Combined, both wind farms generate about 122 megawatts of electricity — enough to power roughly 35,000 homes.

Wind, solar and geothermal are among the most promising methods to generate clean, renewable energy. You can learn more about a clean energy future by reading Hot, Flat and Crowded, by Thomas Friedman, best-selling author and Pulitzer-prize winning columnist from The New York Times.

Green Reads Redux

Looking for more stories about kids working to protect our environment? You might find them in unexpected places. If you are a Fantasy Fiction fan try The Companions Quartet series by Julia Golding. If you like Realistic Fiction, try Night of the Spadefoot Toads by Bill Harley and Operation Redwood by Susannah T. French. If you like adventure, you might find Raining Sardines by Enrique Flores-Galbis exciting and full of suspense. You see, there are lots of possibilities when it comes to "green" reads. Enjoy!

TIECon Midwest 2009

TIECon Midwest 2009 will take place Friday, October 23 at the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn, MI. The conference is designed for entrepreneurs who "think creatively, innovatively and resourcefully to create their own future regardless of economic conditions and uncertainties."TiECon Midwest 2009 will focus on four vertical educational tracks including: Cleantech, IT, Healthcare and Emerging Concepts.

Save Money and the Environment

Looking for convenient ways to save money and increase your productivity? The Simple Dollar recently listed 21 Ways to Reduce Your Spending Without Making Your Life Miserable, including tip #2: "Do some basic energy efficiency around your living quarters". They point to the Department of Energy's "Energy Savers" site, which has many recommendations for making your home more energy-efficient on the cheap. The Simple Dollar also posted 12 Clever Substitutions That Save Money (Nearly) Effortlessly, which speaks to how versatile vinegar truly is.

Help clean up Canton

Canton Public Library just received a grant to work with the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Project S.N.A.P.! The goal of the grant project is to engage youth and families at their local libraries in environmental and arts activities. Participating families will receive hands-on environmental leadership training, the opportunity to build support for environmental stewardship in Canton, a chance to make art for a community mural and the opportunity to participate in a community-wide clean-up project. We are one of only five libraries in Southeast Michigan to be awarded this grant collaboration. Stay tuned for more information on how you and your family can get involved.

Peace Love and Planet, Inc. - your local answer to recycling garden plastics

Peace, Love & Planet, Inc. (PLP) initiated a plastic recycling program to prevent garden plastic from entering Michigan landfills and promote sustainability in our community. You can drop off your garden plastic pots and trays at convenient locations, such as the Plymouth Nursery, for recycling. You can also volunteer an hour or two to help prepare plastic for recycling on Saturday, October 10 from 10am to noon at Christensen's Plant Center, 6282 Gotfredsen Rd., Plymouth Township, MI 48170.

What's inside the food we eat?

Ever wondered what's in those delicious fast-food hamburgers? Just beef right? Not exactly. Check out the documentary film King Corn to watch two friends as they return to the land of their ancestors, small-town Iowa, to uncover the corn industry and its impact on the American diet. The film also discusses the environmental impact of industrial farming. The film may not answer all of your questions but it will surely get a conversation started.