Okay, so one of my very favorite things in the world to do is to read. I love it. Particularly fiction, mythology, women’s issues and the myriad dimensions of religion and spirituality. BUT I have often thought about the trees that are used to allow me to read the stories I so enjoy. I mean, I love the smell of a library, but it’s almost dizzying when you walk in one and think about how many trees were cut down to provide just that one library with all those books.
So for the past couple of years I’ve stopped buying books and look at my local library as a way for me to support and participate in my community. I love going to get the next round of library books and I feel really good that I’m not personally contributing to the destruction. The only time I ever buy a book nowadays is if it’s something really social justice-y and I can’t find it in the library.
So imagine how happy I was to run across this story today about a non-profit called Eco-Libris. They are sort of like a carbon fund, but for trees cut down to produce books. For every book you buy, you can donate $1 to them to have a tree planted to replace the one that was cut down. Check it:
“About 20 million trees are cut down annually for virgin paper used for production of books in the US alone… We would like to see more (and eventually all) books printed in an environmental friendly manner on recycled paper. If virgin paper is being used, then it should only be from certified forests. You can help make this happen by writing publishers and encouraging them to do the right thing. Also, you can help by spreading the word – tell your family and friends about Eco-Libris and about the way books should be produced.” http://www.ecolibris.net/index.asp
Okay, so before the comments start flooding in, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… keep an open mind here, people. This organization is not suggesting that this is THE ONLY way to fix the problem of publishers using virgin paper for books. But I am excited by the idea that someone came up with one solution as a starting place. And just any good idea tends to grow and evolove, hopefully this one will too.