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updated: 8/25/2011 4:14 PM

Mount Prospect helping residents go green

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Bigger isn't always better, at least not according to renowned author and architect Sarah Susanka.

Susanka, author of the "Not So Big House" book series, has earned acclaim for her approach to house design, which suggests that we need one-third less space than we think in our homes.

She'll talk about it during a special presentation next month at the Mount Prospect Public Library. Her talk will be part of a series of programs on sustainability, energy efficiency and conservation that the library and the village will be hosting in the coming months.

"We're really excited about these programs," said Carolynn Muci, the library's marketing director. "Residents should find plenty of information that applies directly to their daily lives."

Soon after the visit from Susanka, the library and village will host a Green Fair that will include seminars on community farms, wind power, electric cars and other topics, along with exhibits about sustainability from more than a dozen organizations.

Other programs will follow, lasting into 2012. Library officials also hope to create a "green" website and workstation at the library that will give residents information about getting better gas mileage, reducing energy costs at home and more.

"It will be a fantastic resource," Muci said.

The programs are being funded by a $489,600 federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant awarded to the village in 2009. The village used the grant for a number of other projects, including a home weatherization rebate program that ended in 2010 and the installation of efficient LED streetlights on Prospect Avenue and in the Kensington Business Center.

The village also wanted to use grant funds to provide educational programming about sustainability, so village leaders turned to the library to help develop some activities, said Mike Dallas, an administrative analyst with the village.