We practice sustainability

Sharing common resources, like library materials, is a sustainable practice. Besides offering abundant choices for our community, here are some ways we practice sustainability at the library.

Staff working learning garden at Capitol Hill Library

  • We use BPA- and BPS-free, 100-percent recyclable vitamin C receipt paper for hold slips and due date slips.
  • Our copiers and printers are stocked with 100-percent recycled paper. We also use tree-free paper made from sugar cane fibers.
  • We have on-site bike parking and commuter facilities at some locations (plus showers at two).
  • We love Bike to Work month. In 2018, 54 staff logged rides, totaling 6,839 miles during the Bike More Challenge in May.
  • We save used paper so our print shop can make scratch paper for us.
  • We use environmentally friendly, nontoxic cleaning products.
  • We recycle scratched/old DVDs and CDs.
  • We support Pacific Power Blue Sky renewable energy — that’s like planting 1,533 trees or not driving a car 140,706 miles each year.
  • We recycle plastic film, like plastic bags and bubble wrap.
  • We recycle styrofoam.
  • We embrace e-books, magazines and other digital items.
  • We send old library books to our used bookstore to extend their life. Some books are donated or recycled.
  • We recycle damaged materials.
  • We use washable, reusable cleaning cloths.
  • We use reusable gloves.
  • We redistribute extra office supplies.
  • Public restrooms have electric hand dryers.
  • Filtered tap water is always available.
  • We keep dishes and utensils in our break rooms for common use.
  • We use pool vehicles, and two of them are Prius hybrids.
  • We recycle batteries and other e-waste.
  • We offer electricity usage monitors for patrons to check out to monitor their home energy use.
  • Most of our work rooms are scent-free.
  • We compost during our free summer lunch programs.
  • Hillsdale Library is LEED-certified.
  • In 2008, Central Library became the first library in Oregon with an eco-roof.
  • Rockwood and Midland libraries have electric vehicle charging stations.
  • The Rockwood makerspace has a bioswale to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water, plus lights that dim during daylight.
  • Capitol Hill Library offers a learning garden.
  • Central, Albina and Hillsdale libraries are certified gold in the City of Portland's Sustainability at Work program.

Child explores worms