Skip to Main Content

Environment: Protect the Environment

The Endangered Species Act

The U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) mandates that state and federal entities protect all species threatened with extinction that fall within the borders of the mainland and its outlying territories.  The Act is administered by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service
The ESA prohibits unauthorized harvest, custody, trade, and transport of endangered plants, animals, and other at-risk organisms and allows for the application of civil and criminal penalties.  Currently there are 1,300 species listed as either endangered or threatened under the ESA. Read more about how a species gets the Endangered or Threatened designation.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) provides a list of endangered species by state; click for the list of species "believed to or known to occur" for Missouri and Kansas

Living Green

Teen Vogue's suggestions on How to Take the Trash Out of Your Beauty Routine.

"Green" alternatives such as cork flooring can reduce or eliminate air particulates that cause allergies.

Read about The Best Products for an Ecofriendly Kitchen, According to Experts.

The US EPA can help consumers looking for information on how to live a "greener" lifestyle.

"Everything You Need To Know About Sustainable Beauty" in Elle magazine.

Save money, reduce air pollution and maybe win a prize by participating in RideShareKC's Green Commute Challenge (starts May 6).

The Energy Star Program helps consumers buy energy-efficient products, which can save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. has a Hybrid Vehicle Calculator, a "Cheapest Gas" locator, estimates on vehicle fuel-efficiency, information on hybrid and electric vehicles, and much more.

Read about the personal choices we can make to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and affect climate change.


The RecycleSpot blog provides tips on disposal of hazardous household waste, proper recycling and composting and more.

The EPA's AirNow program monitors the level of air pollution and provides a daily Air Quality Index for the area. The public can receive updates via email, social media and media outlets to help those with respiratory issues protect their health.


Use RideShareKC's Commuting Cost Calculator to determine the financial and environmental impact of driving in the KC area.

Plastics Pollution Calculator was developed by the Earth Day Network for the 2018 campaign, "End Plastic Pollution".  The website includes a plastic pollution toolkit and personal planner.


Earth-Now displays a 3-D model of Earth; users can visualize recent global climate data from satellites, including surface air temperature, carbon dioxide, water vapor, gravity and sea level variations (iOS and Android).


EJSCREEN (Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping) combines publicly-available environmental and demographic information for a specific area into a single dataset.






University of Maryland Climate Calculator
What will climate feel like in 60 years?  Use this interactive app that predicts how the climate will change in 540 U.S. cities by the year 2080. Read the accompanying article published in Nature Communications (2019).


Litterati map




Identify, collect and geotag litter with Litterrati, an app to crowdsource-clean the planet; users from over 100 countries have registered. Available on the Apple Store and Google Play.

The "Barometer of Life"

The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species.  The group's Red List, established in 1964, classifies species into nine categories according to their risk of extinction: 

IUCN Chart 

The IUCN has assessed 96,500 species for inclusion in the Red List; their goal is 160,000 species by 2020. 

At Linda Hall Library

"Let There Be Light"

In 2018, the Library updated its lighting, replacing older 32-watt fluorescent lamps with more energy-efficient, 10-watt LEDs.  The change saves an estimated $28,000 per year in utility costs, lowers energy consumption, and provides greater protection from UV rays.  In addition, switching to plastic lamps is safer than the glass tubes used in fluorescent lights. (The Hedgehog, Fall 2018)

Outdated electronics such as desktop computers are offered first to LHL staff; any items not claimed are then sent to local electronics recyclers for proper disposal.

The Library also recycles paper, plastics and aluminum cans.  Cardboard boxes are also broken down for recycling.