Roll Out the Rain Barrel

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We'll get the rain, it won't run (away.) It's time for the Huron Rivers Watershed Council's annual Spring Rain Barrel Sale. Buy your rain barrel online from HRWC and pick it up on Sunday, May 4, 2008, between 1 -4 p.m. at Huron High School. You'll get a credit on your storm water bills, water for your gardens and help reduce the overflow into the storm sewers.

Gelman Cleanup Update

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The Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public meeting on Monday, April 28, 7:00 p.m., at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District Center to update citizens on the status of the dioxane contamination cleanup. The groundwater contamination has expanded in Washtenaw County to an area over three miles long and one mile wide. The remediation of this site is likely to take an additional 20 years or more based on Pall Corporation and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality estimates.

What does being "green" really mean?

"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew." ~Marshall McLuhan, 1964

Today, April 22 is the official anniversary of Earth Day which was first observed in 1970. Since then, both national and local groups hold celebrations, usually either the weekend before or after. In Ann Arbor, Earth Day festivities will be sponsored by the Leslie Science Center on Sunday, April 27. To become more knowledgeable about enviromental issues, check out the Library's wide ranging collection of materials on global warming and energy conservation.

Star Dreams: Exploring the Mystery of Crop Circles

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Huge, sweeping patterns of intricate, geometric shapes appear in fields of standing wheat and barley over night. No tracks appear leading to the shapes. The crop circles are perfectly formed - with mathematical precision and utilizing ancient symbols - they have created a following of “croppies” all over the world. Star Dreams investigates the phenomenon, interviewing true believers (in the other-worldly artists) and researchers, and providing dozens of aerial shots of the most breath-taking circles. Though you may argue about how they get here, there is no doubt they are mysterious and beautiful. Hundreds of circles appear in England every summer and you can track each one as it is reported. For more on crop circles try Secrets in the Fields: The Science and Mysticism of Crop Circles.

Go Team Go!

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Winter is really over now -- it's time to get going on your Commuter Challenge strategizing. Get your team going to by visiting GetDowntown, register and develop a plan to use every sustainable transportation method for getting to work in May. You may just win one of the fabulous prizes! But wait -- there's more -- plenty of Curb Your Car Month events for everyone including a Free Transit Day and a Downtown Main Street Walk.

Free Energy Efficiency Seminar at The Ark

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DTE Energy is offering a free energy efficiency seminar at The Ark in Ann Arbor. You’ll get suggestions and solutions from experts, suppliers and installers on managing energy costs for your new or existing home. As another resource, check out the new book This Cold House: The Simple Science of Energy Efficiency.
Saturday April 12, 2008, 11am. Doors open at 10:30 am. Free.
Make sure you register for the seminar here!

Earth Hour

Did you notice Google turned its lights off? The website has been temporarily revamped in order to raise awareness for Earth Hour, an international event coordinated by the World Wildlife Fund. They are encouraging all people to turn off their electrical lighting on March 29th from 8 to 9 pm, with the purpose of making a statement about global climate change. If you are interested in the greenhouse effect, you may enjoy reading An Inconvenient Truth, The Ice Chronicles, The Change in the Weather, and The Two-Mile Time Machine.

Going, Going Green!

You may have noticed that at AADL we’re into green: our new branches feature elements of sustainable design, such as bioswales and convective cooling, and our newest branch, Traverwood (opening this summer!) even boasts the use of ash trees reclaimed from the site. This January we also transitioned from disposable plastic bags to more environmentally friendly, reusable canvas totes, which are available at any circulation desk for $2.

Following that train of thought we’ve added “green living” to the records of titles that focus on practical applications of environmentally friendly ideals—like alternative energy for your home, reducing your carbon footprint and even raising your children “green.” A simple keyword search for “green living” does the trick, bringing up over 70 recent titles. Standouts include Organic Housekeeping and How to Live Well without Owning a Car, a favorite of the people at GetDowntown.

Graphic novel depicts one way to save the earth...

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As the world burns: 50 Simple things you can do to stay in denial, a new book by Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan is a satirical take on the well known book 50 Simple things you can do to save the earth. It goes further to point out that there is more to “saving the earth” than recycling, riding your bike to work and buying compact fluorescent light bulbs. In a quirky and fun way (I know, scandalous!) gold carrying robots, bunny plotists, two smart young girls, corporate bigwigs, and the president demonstrate that there is a bigger picture that many of us are in “denial” about. It’s typical Derrick Jensen, but in comic form! Perhaps you’ll laugh, perhaps you’ll cry.

It's Easy Being Green

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Over 90% of Ann Arbor households recycle on a regular basis. Now that's impressive. Even more impressive is how easy it is to do it right -- just watch Recycle Right on CitiTV Channel 19 and explore the ins and outs of recycling in Ann Arbor. The premiere of this sure-to-be-nominated-at-next-Sundance documentary is Saturday, Feb. 23 at 8:30 p.m.

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