Being environmentally conscious has become incredibly important in 2019. To help this goal, the Belmont Library has begun to host “Belmont Sustainable Living” lectures to help residents start coexisting with their environment.
Presenter Gladwyn D’Souza, in his lecture “Belmont Sustainable Living: Harvest Time,” taught residents how to save food during the winter by freezing, drying, and pickling different foods. Another technique D’Souza suggested is saving seeds for cookies. These techniques help maintain food freshness, which reduces the trips to the store and the purchase of more plastic packaging. D’Souza also practices what he teaches at home.
“I’ve been one of the speakers for about almost a year,” D’Souza said. “My tips are only what I do.”
During the lectures, D’Souza promotes trading tips with other people in the community. To be sustainable outside of the garden, D’Souza bikes and encourages others to bike or walk.
“The biggest thing you can do is ride a bike or walk,” D’Souza said.
Nam Weaver, a library volunteer, attended the event to learn about how she can be sustainable during the winter and is sustainable at home with her family.
“I have taken a pledge to not waste any food. I was astounded at how much food we threw away, not only in preparing food but also leftover food we weren’t eating,” Weaver said.
In November 2017, the Climate Action Plan (CAP) was implemented in Belmont. The goal was to make it easier for residents to be sustainable and create a more environmentally-friendly community. In 2005, around 167,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent were emitted in Belmont. The CAP is a plan to reduce emissions by 50% by 2035. The Belmont Library is taking steps to be more sustainable to better the community, to encourage reducing plastic and paper use and living sustainably.
“Not only are we improving sustainability as a Belmont library, but also as a San Mateo County Library. It’s one of our major goals,” said Theresa Saito, a librarian at Belmont library. “Our flyers that we’ve had in the library have decreased dramatically because we want to limit our paper use.”
According to Saito, the seed garden the library launched in August is going very well and recently had their first donation. The library demonstrates to people how they can live sustainably and aims to help them do so.