Monday, February 15, 2010

Enjoying a good read ...

Here's an interesting fact: "The U.S. book and newspaper industries combined require the harvest of 125 million trees each year and emit over 40 million metric tons of CO2 annually; equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of 7.3 million cars." from The Green Press Initiative.

On these cold winter days, there's nothing better than curling up with a good book ... losing one's self in a story or learning something new. The feel of a book ... the smell of the pages ... it is, for many of us, a link to our earliest memories. Unfortunately, it requires a lot of paper and resources to go from an idea in an author's mind to a book in our hands. Yes, we can now read books online or buy reading devices but, for many of us, there is nothing better than holding a book.

Here are a few ideas to minimize the environmental impact of books:

  • Use the library. If you haven't been to a library for some time, you might be surprised. Today's libraries are user-friendly, organizing isles by subject and interest.

  • Consider buying a "used" book. If owning a book is more appealing than "renting" one from a library, check out used book stores. Prices are typically lower and many stores offer cash for your trade-ins and/or points towards other books.

  • Check out thrift stores. Many people buy a book, read it once, and then donate it ... so "almost new" editions can be found.

  • Consider trading books. There are now many online sites dedicated to book swapping. Check out these sites (graciously provided by our bloggy friend Brian, at Eazy Cheezy):

Book Mooch
Swap Tree
Title Trader
Paperback Swap

  • Create your own swap club with friends and family ... once a book has been enjoyed, pass it on.

Living "green" is often a matter of balance. A book, by it's very nature, is less than environmentally friendly but ... by adopting these ideas we can minimize our impact ... all while enjoying a good read.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!