The following is a press release issued by Suzanne Pletcher:
The Willits branch of the Mendocino County Library opened a Climate Corner amongst its bookshelves on July 31 that is dedicated to helping patrons learn about climate change and take action.
The niche is stocked with a curated collection of books for all ages about climate change, a continuous-loop inspirational video featuring county businesses that use 100% renewable electricity, a do-it-yourself toolbox stocked with energy-efficiency tools and free supplies, and recycling how-to pamphlets.
“This is a topic that is very close to our hearts,” said Denise Jessie, library branch supervisor. “People in Willits care.”
In 2021, Jessie explained, the Willits library’s theme was “Obtainable Sustainable,” so the Climate Corner, sponsored by the county’s public power utility, Sonoma Clean Power, provides an extension of that educational effort.
Both Jessie and library technician Will Minor flagged their Climate Corner’s DIY Toolkit stocked with energy-saving tools and free products. It is available for checkout, just like a book. “It’s very popular,” said Minor.
The toolbox has a thermometer, voltage meter and air leak sensor plus tools to fix water leaks. The tools come back with the box, Jessie said, “but there are items in there that you get to keep.” She listed free insulation for electric sockets, high-quality LED lightbulbs and low-flow showerheads, rolls of weatherstripping, faucet aerators and instructions. Whatever products are used are replenished by librarians when the toolkits are returned.
“Many of us want to be sure that we aren’t wasting water and that we aren’t wasting electricity, so this is a very handy toolkit,” said Jessie.
The subtitled video at the Willits library Climate Corner uses the gorgeous scenery of Mendocino County and local business testimonials to promote Sonoma Clean Power’s EverGreen service, 100% renewable electricity generated by local solar and geothermal energy that the County of Mendocino upgraded their eligible facilities to in January, 2022. The upgrade to EverGreen, which included each branch of the library, was the first action taken after the county’s board of supervisors unanimously adopted a Net Zero Carbon Resolution.
Since the upgrade, the County of Mendocino has reduced its carbon footprint by more than 75,000 pounds of CO2, equivalent to not consuming almost 4,000 gallons of gasoline, according to an EPA emissions calculator.
“As a follow-up to the significant action of adopting the resolution, the County and Sonoma Clean Power explored ways to inspire the public to take their own actions to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Mendocino County 3rd District Supervisor John Haschak, who represents Willits. “That climate change awareness campaign became Climate Corners. They provide inspiration and lots of ideas, and the toolkits are a great way to take action in your own home.”
A second Climate Corner is slated to open at the Covelo branch library in August, with others staggered to open later this year. Sonoma Clean Power provided a grant to cover the library’s cost of adding more than 30 new titles to their existing collection of climate-related books. DIY Toolkits already are available for checkout at each branch library.