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As detailed in its Climate Action Plan, Evanston is committed to raising awareness of environmental issues. Our city is one of a handful of communities nationwide that have mandated LEED building standards for privately-funded commercial buildings. Our Ecology Center is heavily used and fiercely defended, and  our schools host “Go Green Olympics” and CFC bulb drives. Yet it can be tough to translate the desire for a more sustainable lifestyle into action.

In addition to offering many resources on the challenges of global climate change, the Evanston Public Library has been pleased to participate in One Book One Northwestern, a community-wide reading program hosted by Northwestern University’s Initiative for Sustainability and Energy. Free events, discussions and exhibits related to the topics of energy and sustainability continue to be open to the public throughout the academic year.  This year One Book will culminate in a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, at Northwestern University, with keynote speaker, Jean-Michel Cousteau. <>  

As part of our contribution to the sustainability effort, The Evanston Public Library invites you to join local author Ken Kaye for a stimulating discussion of Northwestern University’s One Book selection, Hot Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman, on Saturday, April 24 at 2 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room at the Main Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.  The discussion is free and open to the public, and registration is not required. To reserve a paper, large print, or CD copy, call  Reader’s Services at 847-448-8620, or check out our digital collection, MyMediaMall at to reserve a WMA audiobook.  

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Thomas Friedman makes a wide range of challenging environmental topics accessible to the general reader in Hot Flat and Crowded.  In this internationally best-selling book, he argues that a green revolution can bring about a sustainable environment and a sustainable America.  He claims that “the same habits that led us to ravage the natural world led to the meltdown of the financial markets and the Great Recession.  The challenge of a sustainable way of life presents the United States with an opportunity not only to rebuild its economy, but to lead the world in radically innovating toward cleaner energy…summoning the intelligence, creativity, and concern for the common good that are our greatest national resources.”  

Ken Kaye says “although I am passionate about conservation, I will moderate a discussion about Friedman’s book, rather than whether his cause is right.  How persuasive is the book?  How well does he muster evidence and logic to convince us of each of his arguments?  I hope Evanstonians with a wide range of views on the subject will read the book and participate in the discussion-of Hot, Flat and Crowded, as a book.”  

More information on the book, including a discussion guide, is available at www.thomaslfriedman <http://www.thomaslfriedman/> , com. Yu can also watch a video of Friedamn discussing the book at

Need more help incorporating sustainability into your everyday life? Citizens for a Greener Evanston can measure your carbon footprint using their ZeroFootPrint Calculator. Try it yourself online at <> , or stop by the library either Saturday April 17th or May 15th at noon. Volunteers will walk you through four easy steps to measure your footprint., and share tips on reducing it.
For still more expert assistance, come hear Carole Caplan of Live by Choice, speak on Sustainability and You. Ms Caplan helps her clients make empowered choices for sustainable environments including low- toxic “green” building products, water filters, air filters and cleaning products. As a consultant, she works with individuals to take informed steps towards a healthy, more sustainable life–whether strengthening their bodies or building a green home. Ms Caplan will share her sustainable living tips with you at EPL onat 3 p.m. on May 2.