April 19 marks three months of EP recycling. From the beginning, participation has been high with the bulk of our waste being paper and cardboard. Drop-offs from start to finish (including removing non-recyclables), take an hour each and occur at a convenience center on a weekly or biweekly basis. I have made 11 separate drop-offs so far. Following refresher emails to EP staff, contamination from non-recyclables has significantly dropped (receipt paper being the most common contaminant).
I want to thank my awesome team at EP for their waste reduction efforts, and for caring! It hasn’t been my doing alone but all of us doing our part. It’s been a wonderful learning experience.
Urban Green Lab Partnership
By Kate Wingate, Richland Park Branch Library
Once the NPL Sustainability Committee formed in 2021, we were fortunate to connect with Urban Green Lab (UGL). Urban Green Lab is a Nashville nonprofit whose mission is to teach communities how to live sustainably. Through their Lab Certification program, UGL “officially recognizes community institutions — like schools, businesses, and nonprofits — as Nashville-approved “Urban Green Labs.” A lab is any workplace that proves its commitment to the practice and training of sustainable behaviors and explores new ways for making decisions that better protect our people, profit, and planet” — otherwise known as the “Triple Bottom Line.”
Through a series of initial Zoom meetings with the Sustainability Committee, Jackie Goodwin, UGL’s Sustainable Workplaces Manager, oriented our new team to the sustainability landscape here in Nashville and led us through an initial assessment so we could see what areas we needed to focus on. She then helped us develop a targeted strategic plan to take to NPL’s administrative team. The committee’s strategic plan has both inward/staff-facing initiatives, such as working toward restarting recycling at NPL branch locations and educating NPL staff about how to live more sustainably at work and at home, and outward/public-facing initiatives, such as creating sustainability programming for adults, teens, and children, and adding sustainability and environmental education materials to our collection.