Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: Hello, I’m Erin Kernohan-Berning from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.
The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970, when millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative effects of industrial pollution. That year, the effects of smog were a focus, along with dwindling biodiversity. The same year the Environmental Protection Agency in the US was created. Since then, Earth Day has become the largest worldwide day of civic action – with governments using Earth Day to announce environmental initiatives, and activist advocating for new ones. It’s also a time for people to participate at home, cleaning up their towns and cities, and making efforts to reduce our ecological footprint as much as we can.
One way to participate in Earth Day is to learn more about our planet and it’s environment, and one way to learn more about our planet is to read a book about it. On this week’s Library Moments, Sherrill Sherwood and I will each talk about a nonfiction book that you might want to read on Earth Day.
Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: Junk Raft: an ocean voyage and a rising tide of activism to fight plastic pollution written by Marcus Eriksen is an exciting account of a scientist’s unusual fight in the growing movement against plastic marine pollution. Over the past several years, the news media has brought the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”–the famous swirling band of plastic litter in the ocean–into the public consciousness. When Marcus Eriksen and his wife Anna set out to study marine pollution, they found that the reality is even more dire: instead of a stable mass of litter, they discovered that a “plastic smog” of microparticles permeates the world’s oceans, defying simplistic clean-up efforts. What’s more, these microplastics and their toxic chemistry have seeped into the food chain, threatening marine life and humans alike. Far from being a gloomy discourse on an environmental catastrophe, though, Junk Raft tells the exciting story of Eriksen’s fight to raise awareness and solve the problem of plastic pollution, contributing to a fast-growing movement to stem the tide of trash. Eriksen writes of his voyage from Los Angeles to Hawaii aboard his homemade “junk raft,” and along the way he recounts the successful efforts to fight corporate influence and demand that plastics producers take responsibility for a problem they’ve created. Eriksen provides concrete, actionable solutions and an empowering message. This year’s Earth Day is dedicated to providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behavior about plastics.
Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: Nature Smart is a “best of” compilation of a series of popular craft books from the 1990s by Gwen Diehn, Terry Krautwurst, Alan Anderson, Joe Rhatigan, and Heather Smith. Nature Smart features both crafts you can do at any time of year, and seasonal crafts that require some planning and cooperation from Mother Nature, but all the crafts aim to teach kids something about nature and ecology – whether it’s constructing a jar to gently collect and study insects, creating a sundial to tell time, or making paints out of the dirt around your house, every craft has a natural component. The book is also filled with snippets about the natural world, from insect behaviour, to endangered species, to water conservation. The crafts in this book suit a wide range of abilities – some young kids may be able to do on their own, and others even older kids will need some adult assistance. The nice thing about these crafts is that, in the spirit of reduce, reuse, recycle, they try to use things that may already be in your house and waiting to be put to use. I was particularly interested in the daylily leaf basket craft – since my daylilies seem to spread year after year, I’m sure I’ll have enough leaves to try that one. Exploring our planet encourages us to do what we can to protect it. Nature Smart is a great book for beginning that journey in your own backyard.
We hope we have encouraged you to learn more about the planet we live on. If you’re looking for something to do on Earth Day, join us for a special Earth Day storytime on Saturday, April 21st – 10:30am at our Minden branch, and 1pm in our Dysart branch. There will be a story about our planet, and a craft using recycled materials.
That’s it for this week’s Library Moments. Thanks for listening here on 100.9 CANOE FM.
*Originally aired in April 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM