New Green Practices at the Deets Library

The staff of the Harold and Mary Ellen Deets Library at Southwestern College has incorporated several practices which are very beneficial to the environment. These practices as well as their impacts are detailed in the following paragraphs.


The library celebrated Earth Day by not providing paper coffee cups for the day. Its success in encouraging patrons to use reusable cups demonstrated that the library does not need to provide paper coffee cups next year. This will save about 5,000 cups from the landfill and $600 of the library’s budget.

The library also started to use the bookseller Better World Books for some of its book purchases. Sixty-nine used books were bought from Better World Books, which saved them from the landfill. The purchases also supported world literacy programs with a portion of the sale going to various organizations.

The Deets Library at SC shipped 351 withdrawn library books or donated textbooks to Better World Books to be sold online or recycled. A portion of the sales funded Worldfund, a Latin American literacy program that the library selected to help sponsor. The resulting positive environmental impact of the Deets Library sending its used books to Better World Books included:  the conservation of 8 trees, 3,960 gallons of water, 505 pounds of atmosphere polluting gases, 4 cubic yards of landfill space, and 1,168 kWh of electricity, as well as reducing the amount of waste entering the landfill by 265 books (364 pounds) being reused instead of thrown away and 86 books being recycled with a 97% rate of recycled product per book.

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