As the holiday shopping season begins, I’m going to step away from the topic of green copywriting and Internet marketing for just a moment. You see, my friends and I struggle with an environmentally-devastating addiction….
We’re book fiends. Reading addicts. Info-junkies.
Oh, we’ve tried the e-book answer…and wound up printing them out…sure, it’s usually on 100% post-consumer recycled content paper, but still, printing them out! There’s just something about the feel of a volume in our hands that pixels on a screen cannot duplicate. And so our Christmas giving habits, collectively, could level a forest…a painful thought.
But thanks be, I’ve stumbled upon an answer! Actually, two answers, both as green as can be.
You know, of course, that Amazon offers used books from various booksellers. This actually is a green answer of sorts…no new trees are dying for the books you buy this way, and you certainly save a bundle.
But you can do better! Take a look at these two options…
Better World Books also sells used books – so far they figure they’ve kept 5 million pounds of books out of landfills – and they charge nothing – as in zero, zip, zilch, nada – for shipping in the U.S. (just $2.97 flat rate, worldwide). But this isn’t all they do. The profits from your Better World purchase help to fund literacy programs around the world, and a few cents tacked onto every purchase pays for carbon offsets to cover shipment. Rather than the trucks of UPS or FedEx, the muscular legs of your postal carrier carry your purchase to you, thus saving on fuel and carbon emissions!
If this still isn’t quite enough, you can go a step further. Eco-Libris has taken the carbon-offset concept and applied it to books – I guess you could call it cellulose offset! For just $5, you can plant five trees to compensate for five books…$10 for 10 books, and then there’s a price break as the numbers grow ($23.50 for 25 books, and so on). Eco-Libris works with Sustainable Harvest International, Ripple Africa, and The Alliance for International Reforestation to plant trees in developing countries where deforestation is a crucial problem and where the trees planted provide many local people with sustainable opportunities for a better future.
If your Christmas giving list, like mine, often looks more like a bibliography, why not let the planet share in your giving this year? Check out these new options, save the forests, and benefit disadvantaged communities…truly a gift to the world!