The OCPL Sustainability Committee offers recommendations to help you integrate sustainable practices into your libraries and communities.

Plastic has a devastating impact on our environment. Time to reconsider the way we use them in and outside of work. Most of our libraries have plastic toys and products in our children’s areas for kids to play with or use them during storytimes or programs. Plastic has its benefits. It’s durable, washable, and can outlast saliva, bites, steps, and more. Luckily, there are a number of toy companies that offer products that are more sustainable. Consider these companies the next time you order toys or products for your children’s area:

Lego recently announced that they will start making products from plant-based plastic. The new Lego products will be sourced from sugarcane and have been tested for safety and quality. The new sustainable bricks will be first available in Lego’s botanical elements such as trees, bushes, and leaves. They will eventually be used in all Lego products by 2030. And…Lego has begun investing in wind power, so that the energy that is used to make their products is balanced by the production of renewable energy.

Haba Toys produce durable beech and birch wood toys from sustainable forestry. The company harnesses renewable energy to power its manufacturing plant by using photovoltaics and wood scraps to generate heat (and to heat the homes of their employees), and use only environmentally sound materials like water soluble wood stain and varnishes to stain their products. Haba is a German-based company, but their US headquarters is located here in Skaneateles at 4407 Jordan Road, Skaneateles, NY 13152. Stop by to shop.

Plan Toys
Nothing is wasted at Plan Toys. The company constructs their non-toxic and durable toys out of rubber trees that are no longer used to make latex. Leftover sawdust is collected and turned into toys as well! Parts of the tree that cannot be used to make toys (such as roots and scraps) are fed into a biomass generator that helps power their plant and the surrounding area. On top of all that, Plan Toys is carbon neutral, thanks to their reforestation projects. Last year they planted 3,900 new trees alone!

On the subject of plastic, Governor Cuomo has banned single use plastic bags in New York State beginning in March of 2020. ‚Äč

…from Kara Conley & Lorraine Krantz