Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Going Green? Anyone? Yes!

We see it on the news. We read about it on the Internet. It is a hot topic with this year’s presidential candidates, all the news shows, on various blogs, with our families, and even our friends. It affects the stock market, the cars we drive now, and the ones we will drive in the future. It is everywhere!

So just what does “Going Green” mean, exactly?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines environmentalism as:

1. Advocacy for or work toward protecting the natural environment from destruction or pollution.
2. The theory that environment rather than heredity is the primary influence on intellectual growth and cultural development.

There are so many ways companies are “going green,” or at least talking about it, but what are the purveyors of our beloved books doing to help? A lot, actually;

1. *Amazon recently released the Kindle. For $400 you have access to over 100,000 books, newspapers, magazines, and even blogs – all easily downloaded in minutes. It holds over 200 titles. You can send emails and save pictures. Even the bill is wireless. No paper involved whatsoever. That is pretty hard to beat. I just hope you are ready to wait; due to consumer demand, the Kindle is temporarily out of stock.

2. Random House, popular publisher of such titles as Atonement by Ian McEwan, Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy, has promised what they call “the most substantial environmental initiative in the company’s history.” They promise that by 2010 to be using at least thirty percent (30%) more of the uncoated paper it uses to print the greater part of its U.S. titles will come from recycled fibers. They currently use around three percent (3%).

3. Lastly, Scholastic Books. Wow. Now they are really doing something! Scholastic’s "Act Green" program gets teachers, kids and their parents involved in the movement.

Scholastic has printed the mega-best-seller Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on paper that contained a minimum of thirty percent (30%) post-consumer waste fiber. 65% of the paper used will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This was “the largest purchase of FSC-certified paper to be used in a single book. The decision followed lobbying by the Rainforest Alliance. Canadian and European publishers have printed the last several Harry Potter books using forest-friendly paper, in accordance with author J.K. Rowling's wishes. It is great news that the U.S. publisher is following suit.”

4. Bookmooch is a great option for recycling books. It’s a community for trading books. It’s simple; every time you give someone a book, you get a point, unless they are in a different country. Then you get 3 points. List 10 books, you get a point. With these points, you can “mooch” a book from someone else. A book from your country costs 1 point, from another country, it costs 2. The only cost to you is the cost of mailing the book out, which, if you use media mail is negligible. It’s a great way to spread around the books you love and find new ones to enjoy.

So go out, support all these efforts, and go a little green yourself!

*Despite the fact that we're no longer Amazon Associates, we still dig the Kindle for its friendliness to the environment. We can't deny it.

1 comment:

stu said...

Does recycling plot ideas count?