Archive | March 2014

Green Books 2: Greening the Publishing Industry

In my last post about Green Books, I looked at how individuals can share books and cut down on the carbon footprint of their reading habits. In this post, I’ll discuss what the publishing industry is doing.

More than 30 million trees are cut down every year to make books in the USA. Currently under 10% of the paper used in the US book publishing industry comes from recycled sources*.

Eco-Libris aims to reduce the carbon footprint of reading. You can read a lot about the publishing industry’s attempts to become greener on their website here. The Eco-Libris blog discusses taking a greener approach to printing and publishing.

Eco-Libris work on many different levels. They collaborate with book clubs, book shops, publishers and authors, encourage people and companies to plant trees and educate readers about the carbon footprint of their books.

Some individual publishers take a sustainable approach to the environment. Two Ravens Press for example, operating in the Scottish islands, focuses on publishing contemporary books about nature and the environment and has a robust environmental policy (though it is varely mentioned on their website).

If you review books, you can mention the environmental criteria of the books you review (This is something I always intend to do when I review books on my Crafty Green Poet blog, but as yet, don’t regularly do!).

If you have a publisher then discuss environmental issues with them! They may not be able to do much, but at least you’ve raised their awareness of the issues. If you’re self publishing, look for a local print company and ask them about their environmental policies. More and more printing companies have environmental policies these days, which should cover things such as using recycled paper and environmentally friendly inks.

In my next post, I’ll compare E-readers vs Paper Books in terms of environmental impact.

(This series of posts is based on a similar series i wrote for Brighton Blogger in 2012).

As ever, bold text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can read more.

Green Books 1: Sharing Books

Anyone who reads a lot must be aware of the amount of paper that is used in making books! How can we reduce this environmental impact?

The public library is perhaps the best known form of large scale book sharing. Libraries offer access to books for people who otherwise couldn’t afford them. Writers whose books are borrowed from public libraries in the UK are supported through the Public Lending Rights Scheme.

Bookcrossing is a fun way to share books. This international website and real-life project revolves around people leaving books in public places for other people to find. Each book has its own unique number and can then (theoretically at least!) be tracked as it travels the world! Bookcrossing Meet-Ups offer a chance for booklovers to discuss andshare books without the worry of them possibly disappearing without trace.

Many coffee shops, pubs and community centres have shelves of books that people can borrow, or buy for a very small price.

I often swap books with my Mum and with some of my friends, which always leads to good conversation even though we don’t always agree about what we like and dislike!

Charity second hand bookshops in the UK offer a cheaper alternative to the high street bookstores (and often a better choice for those of us with eclectic reading tastes!). Quality of the books can vary and where a public library would get rid of books that are too battered, some charity shops have no such concerns – but this can mean good bargains! It’s good to take your books back to the 2nd hand shop after you’ve finished them so someone else can enjoy them.

There are also a lot of second hand shops run on a business basis, including online. You can sell your books online at Green Metropolis, which offers you the option to either make a bit of money for yourself or to raise money for a variety of charities including the Woodland Trust.

So plenty of ideas there for sharing books to cut down on their carbon footprint (and to save a bit of money too!) Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments section!

The next post will look at how the publishing industry can reduce its carbon footprint!

(This series of posts is based on a similar series i wrote for Brighton Blogger in 2012).

As ever, bold text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can read more.