From: Task Force on the Environment, American Library Association
To: All Librarians Attending the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting
The Task Force on the Environment of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (TFOE-SRRT) wants conference goers to bring their favorite traveling mugs and water bottles in support of efforts encouraging the American Library Association (ALA) to reduce its carbon footprint. TFOE will launch this event at the upcoming ALA 2008 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia from January 11-14, 2008. The title of this campaign is "Cup by Cup for a Greener ALA." The campaign will show that ALA members are ready to make lifestyle changes for sustainable conferences and to protect the health of the Earth.
International Paper estimated in 2005 that Americans used 14.4 billion disposable paper cups for hot beverages. Laid end-to-end, these cups circle the earth 55 times. A Starbucks’ Green Team memo appearing in 2000 stated, "If only 50 customers a day in every store were to use reusable mugs, Starbucks would save 150,000 disposable paper cups daily. This equals 1.7 million pounds of paper, 3.7 million pounds of solid waste, and 150,000 trees a year."
The math is simple. A typical ALA Midwinter draws over 10,000 librarians to its 2000 business meetings, discussion groups, programs, and events. If every librarian attending Midwinter brought their own coffee cup more than 10,000 paper or Styrofoam cups would not enter already over-flowing landfills. And if the 65,000+ members of ALA did not use disposable cups they could make an impact as significant as Starbucks’ targeted per store customer waste reduction.
TFOE designed the "Cup by Cup" campaign to be easy for all librarians to join. There is nothing to buy, and only a few simple steps to take:
- Bring a reusable cup to Midwinter;
- Fill it with a favorite beverage;
- Raise your cup and tell colleagues how you are helping the planet;
- Drink, repeat & support TFOE-SRRT efforts toward a sustainable ALA.
The ALA Task Force on the Environment promotes awareness of environmental issues within ALA; addresses information exchange on the world environment; and provides services, programs and publications that assist librarians with environmental issues in the workplace and in local communities. TFOE is one of seven task forces in the Social Responsibilities Round Table. SRRT works to make ALA more democratic and to establish progressive priorities not only for the Association, but also for the entire profession. Concern for human and economic rights was an important element in the founding of SRRT and remains an urgent concern today. SRRT believes that libraries and librarians must recognize and help solve social problems and inequities in order to carry out their mandate to work for the common good and bolster democracy.
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 65,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information. ALA offers professional services and publications to members and nonmembers, including online news stories from American Libraries and analysis of crucial issues from the Washington Office.
For more information contact:
Fred Stoss, Co-Chair, ALA Task Force on the Environment
228-B Capen Hall
University at Buffalo—SUNY
Buffalo, NY 14260-1672
716/645-2946 ext. 224
Press release prepared by Monika Antonelli, Fred Stoss, and Elaine Harger for TFOE.