Green People: Jill Bourne

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Green People

Jill Bourne
Name: Jill Bourne
Title: Deputy City Librarian
City: San Francisco

Your branch library: The fabulous Sunset branch

Favorite Book: The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

Favorite library resource:  The librarians!

Is it easy being green? My son has pretty green eyes, and I now see being green through him.  I think it is simple when you see sustainability or environmentalism from a child's perspective and remember how you felt when you were a kid.  You feel empathy for animals and all life. You understand sharing resources (maybe after age 3). 

What do you renew, recycle, reuse? Right now I’m knitting stuffed animals from frogged (unraveled) old sweaters and recycled organic pillow stuffing, using patterns in books I got out of the library. My favorites so far are the shark and wombat. 

What motivates you to be green?  Ultimately, my desire to be a force for good in the world.

What one thing would you encourage others to do to help the planet?  Seriously, use the public library!  Instead of buying all those books, cds, movies - all that plastic and paper – share resources with your community. Recycle knowledge!

Who is the person who has had the most influence on your environmental philosophy?  Probably my mom. She wasn’t an environmentalist, but she was a birder, gardener, sometime animal rescuer, and amateur astronomer.  She taught me to sew new things out of old things, to make or grow what I needed, to see and understand the beauty around me, and not to waste anything. 

Was there a key moment when you knew you had to become involved in environmental activities?  My personal awareness had evolved over time, but one day I found myself responsible for the public education component of the Seattle Central Library LEED Silver application.  I realized how naturally the idea of sustainability fit within the role and mission of the public library and how important it is for libraries to provide this information because we reach all demographics and provide access democratically. 

What is the most important issue facing the planet? How to transform a global economy built on mass production and consumption.

What local green resources (stores, organizations) do you support?  The Nature Conservancy California, Friends of the Urban Forest and Green Arcade (for gifts like a solar powered laptop bag or a portfolio made from old billboards, etc.)

What’s your favorite eco-focused website and why?  Nature.org because the Nature Conservancy is smart and handles complex environmental issues brilliantly.  Plus, the baby eagle cam is a must. 

If you could live at any time in history or the future, when would it be?  When there is no war, all information is free, and the first female president takes office.

Favorite place:  The Ferry Building early on Saturday morning.

Perfect meal:  Green curry tofu.

Favorite tree:  Quaking aspen

Favorite animal:  Black-capped chickadee.  Or bunnies.

What’s your secret?  Avocados.

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