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Taking Care of Our Home

At this time of year,  gift giving abounds as we search for the "perfect present" for a family member or friend. How about thinking bigger - how about a gift for everyone?

There has been so much in the news about climate change and the UN conference in Bali. CBC has a fabulous website with additional information on the conference itself, climate change predictions and the UN road map for post 2012.  There is still debate as to whether or not climate change is really happening. Just check out the comments in response to this much-talked-about science teacher's video on youtube about it. Many people, including scientists, argue that climate change is part of the natural cycle of the earth and is not caused by humans. Use the resources below to make your own informed opinion.

book cover for an incovenient truthIf you'd like to learn more about climate change, check out the movie "An Incovenient Truth" hosted by Al Gore. We also have his book of the same title geared to children. Here's a list of all the materials the Library has about climate change.

 Big issues, such as climate change and the environment, seem so overwhelming that the actions of individuals seem to have no impact.  The problems seem so huge and our efforts so miniscule. A new book at the Library, Me to We: finding meaning in a material world written by Craig Keilburger and Marc Keilburger, talks about the happiness and fulfillment that is derived from focusing on others instead of yourself and how one person's actions can start a movement or change the world.

There are many things we can do to impact climate change and our environment.

book coverThink that turning off lamps when you're not in the room doesn't make that much of a difference? Think again. Try borrowing one of our free Kill-O-Watt Energy Monitors and measure how much electricity you're using. There are simple changes we can make at home, such as changing to energy saving lightbulbs and installing programmable thermastats. For more ideas, check out our new book  Carbon Buster's Home Energy Handbook: slowing climate change and saving money.

  

How about making a change to impact our environment in a different way? In Gore's film, there is a brief mention of the volume of plastics in the ocean. Recently at LPL, there was a film showing of  Message in the Waves. This film is about the large amount of plastics in our oceans and the damage it is doing to animals and oceans. Did you know that there are huge whirlpools of plastics swirling in our oceans? There is an area about twice the size of Texas that contains an estimated 80 tons of plastic floating in the ocean between California and Hawaii.  You may see clips from the movie on their website. San Francisco, California banned plastic bags in an effort to prevent the ever-growing presence of these in the Pacific Ocean. The London Friends of the Coves have some recommendations for reducing your use of plastic bags.

As each individual changes their use of the earth's resources, it does change the world. Our collective individual actions can become "The Tipping Point".

If you have ideas about the human and government role in climate change or book suggestions to share for taking care of our planet and giving a gift to everyone, please consider posting them.

Happy Holidays.