Seymour Library beefs up selections on energy conservation, gardening

August 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Readers always have been able to go to their local library and borrow books and magazines with ideas on living better and saving money. Starting this month, Cayuga County residents will be able to borrow a device that will help them track their energy costs.

Thanks to a grant from the Cayuga Community Fund, Seymour Library has purchased 10 Kill A Watt EZ power meters. The meter is a small, easy-to-use device that plugs into an electrical outlet, measures the energy use of any appliance or device that is plugged into it, and shows the cost of the energy consumed. The devices are available to anyone with a library card at any library in Cayuga County. Check the meter out, take it home, use it and bring it back — the device is available just like a book, and can be borrowed for up to three weeks. The meters are listed in the online catalog as “Kill a Watt electricity usage monitor”; use all or a few words of that term to find and place a hold on one.

We also have purchased several new books on sustainability, covering such subjects as gardening, housing and energy conservation. The collection is being shared among the county libraries. For a full list of the books available, look for the “Go Green” brochure at the library, or visit our website,, and click on the “Go green @ your library” link under “Library Links.”

Multiple copies of the novel “Seedfolks” by Paul Fleischman. A favorite among community reading groups, the novel explores the transformation of a neighborhood after a girl plants bean seeds in a vacant lot. It’s a great choice for a neighborhood group interested in starting a community gardening project.

“GreenSense for the Home: Rating the Real Payoff from 50 Green Home Projects” by Eric Freed and Kevin Daum. The authors evaluate the cost and relative value of 50 environmentally friendly home improvements, including insulating pipes, weatherizing doors and windows, composting and recycling trash, installing a solar hot water heater, installing green countertops and upgrading appliances.

“The Quarter-Acre Farm: How I Kept the Patio, Lost the Lawn, and Fed My Family for a Year” by Spring Warren. Warren’s family thought she was crazy when she announced she wanted to grow 75 percent of all the food they consumed for one year in their small suburban yard. Full of tips and recipes, the book is a story about family, food and the gratification that accompanies self-sufficiency.

“Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter” by Lloyd Kahn. A tiny home, 500 square feet or less, is an alternative to high rent or a long-term mortgage. The book shows a rich variety of small homemade shelters, with the stories of the owner-builders who are on the forefront of this new trend in downsizing and self-sufficiency.

“The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City” by Kelly Coyne. Grow food on a patio or balcony, compost with worms, preserve your own food and clean your house without toxins, all while living in the heart of a city.

“Ecothrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life” by Deborah Niemann. A handy guide to making small changes that can have a big environmental impact and save thousands of dollars.

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