In a significant move towards sustainability, library books are now being delivered across Calderdale using a cleaner and greener approach, effectively reducing the carbon footprint of the Home Library Service. The initiative, undertaken by Calderdale Council, aims to provide free book deliveries to individuals who are unable to visit libraries due to reasons such as ill health, disability, age, or frailty, as well as to caregivers.
A pioneering electric van has been introduced for the first time, replacing the outdated diesel vehicle previously utilised for these deliveries. This transition marks a significant reduction in harmful emissions and a notable improvement in air quality within the region.
The adoption of this eco-friendly approach aligns with Calderdale Council’s commitment to prioritising climate action, while embracing the principles of Clean Air Day. Clean Air Day stands as the United Kingdom’s largest air pollution campaign and will be observed on Thursday, 15 June.
Over the past few years, the Home Library Service has proven to be an invaluable lifeline to vulnerable individuals, particularly during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. With ongoing enhancements and an expanded support network, it has evolved to support a greater number of residents. This evolution now includes contributing to the Calderdale Climate Action Plan, which strives for the borough and the Council’s corporate estate to achieve net-zero emissions by 2038.
The new electric van joins Calderdale Council’s existing fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles, which serve various purposes such as community safety, adult health, and social care.
In light of Clean Air Day, the Council is encouraging citizens to take simple steps towards improving air quality within their towns and communities. Recognising the multifaceted benefits of cleaner air, the initiative not only promotes physical health and environmental well-being but also emphasises the safeguarding of brain health and mental well-being. For insights and tips on reducing air pollution, interested individuals can visit www.cleanairhub.org.uk, follow @CleanAirDayUK on social media, and employ the hashtag #CleanAirDay in their posts.
Expressing her views on the matter, Councillor Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, stated, “Our Home Library Service makes a huge difference to so many people’s lives, bringing the joy of books and human contact to those who are not able to visit their local library. Now it’s doing good for the environment too by reducing emissions. The new electric van also saves money in the library service’s budget compared to running the old diesel vehicle.”
Councillor Scott Patient, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Active Travel, and Housing, added, “As part of our continued priority to tackle the climate emergency, we’re always looking for ways to cut our carbon and seek low- or no-emission alternatives. Our new electric Home Library Service van is another example of how simple steps to reduce air pollution can have a big impact. Electric vehicles for home library deliveries are still quite a new thing for councils across the country, so we’re proud to be leading the way. Look out for our new van with its eye-catching Zero Carbon Calderdale branding.”
The introduction of the electric van signifies Calderdale Council’s commitment to sustainable practices and serves as an inspiration for other local authorities across the country. As the Home Library Service continues to evolve, it not only brings the joy of reading and human connection to those in need but also champions the cause of environmental preservation and cleaner air for all.