Claire Mahler owns 86 Plastic.

Claire Mahler owns 86 Plastic.

Photo provided by the Troy Public Library

Troy library promotes sustainability with challenges, programs

By: Sarah Wright | Troy Times | Published May 23, 2024


TROY — Patrons of the Troy Public Library can learn about the different ways to implement sustainability into their lives through programs offered by the library in collaboration with 86 Plastic.

Sustainability refers to the different changes that can be implemented over time within a person’s life in order to make environmental, economic and social improvements for themselves and the world around them, according to the library.

“Our patrons care a lot about sustainability, but figuring out where to begin can be tricky,” Olivia Olson, head of community engagement at Troy Public Library, said in a press release. “That’s why we decided to create a fun and educational activity for anyone trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. With help from Claire Mahler at 86 Plastic, we came up with some easy, realistic activities for people of all ages, and the feedback has been fantastic.”

A sustainability challenge is being offered to library patrons of all ages until May 24. There are challenge checklists for kids, teens and adults. Once participants complete 10 of the activities listed on the checklists, they can turn it into the Adult Reference Desk or to receive a sticker. A few random winners will receive a special grand-prize basket.

Some of the sustainability suggestions on the checklists include utilizing library services more often as the library offers a wide variety of things to check out beyond books, researching ethical environmental changes through different forms of media, picking up litter, and spending more time outside, among other suggestions.

86 Plastic store owner Claire Mahler said in an email that Olson asked her to meet to see how they could collaborate on some sustainability events and projects for the community.

“We brainstormed some ideas and landed on a sustainability challenge for Earth Month through the library,” she said in an email. “Olivia also mentioned that holding a class about sustainability would be a good tie in with the challenge.”

“I want to be involved in the community in as many ways as possible, but especially when people want to learn more about environmentalism,” Mahler said in an email. “Through my store I have learned that reducing waste and being more conscious is all about learning the impact of what we consume, what to replace it with, and ultimately, know that no one is 100% zero-waste. We need to be kind to ourselves, over-consumerism and plastic pollution are problems that we did not create, but there are things we can do to be a part of the solution.”

Mahler hopes that the library and other public spaces, businesses and schools will continue to invite her to talk about reducing plastic waste.

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