Sustainability at Hampshire Libraries

Supporting the community for a greener future.

Some of the world’s most influential people have been gathering in Glasgow for the United Nations 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26). We wanted to share with you what we’re doing to make our libraries more sustainable, and how we can help you join the conversation too.

Making libraries greener

As part of a decarbonisation scheme, we have installed energy efficient lighting throughout our buildings and replaced all windows with double glazing to reduce our energy usage. There are smart meters installed in every library so that we can be mindful of the energy we use, and the solar panels installed on the roofs of several of our libraries ensure that the energy we do use is as clean and green as possible. We even have a fleet of electric vans to make sure that our book deliveries are eco-friendly.

Creating a space to learn

We’re not just thinking about how we can be more sustainable; we want to help you do the same too. Sitting at the heart of the community, our libraries play an important role in providing access to information on climate change, sustainability, and other environmental issues. To help you learn about the topic we’ve curated a special Earth Heroes collection full of really interesting books for children and young adults, with a third collection for adults coming out soon!

Supporting community action

Hayling Island Library is home to the Hayling Island Community Centre Association’s Community Pantry scheme designed to tackle food deprivation in the area. The pantry offers a range of donated fresh and frozen food as well as dried goods and sold at a far lower cost than shops or supermarkets and all funds are put back into the scheme to keep it running.

With support from Hampshire Libraries, Plastic Free Ringwood and Ringwood Actions for Climate Change also recently opened a community fridge and freezer at Ringwood Library. The initiative accepts surplus food from local businesses to be redistributed throughout the community, helping to reduce food wastage in the area. The community fridge saved 1 ton of food from going to waste in the first three months that it was open!

Written by Isaac Fravashi