In the past few years, the concept of "Going Green" has become a really big deal. When Al Gore released An Inconvenient Truth in 2006, I for one was moved. Each and every one of us can do a little something to help save our planet before it is too late. If you check out the Inconvenient Truth website, there are plenty of little things we can do each day that will help out. I try to do my part with recycling, changing our regular light bulbs to the energy-saving bulbs, and cutting the temperature in the house. I still drive an SUV, though. Trust me, if I could afford a new car right now, I'd be buying a hybrid. Especially now that the price of gas is through the roof. But I didn't know my favorite habit could be destroying the environment!!
Yesterday, I read this article in The Guardian about Book-Swapping sites. Did you know that only 24 books are produced from one tree! Sheesh, I have 24 books on my dining room table right now! " In 2003, Greenpeace launched its book campaign, producing evidence that the UK publishing industry was inadvertently fuelling the destruction of ancient forests in Finland and Canada. It found that one Canadian spruce produces just 24 books, which means that if you get through one book every two weeks your reading habits destroy almost one large tree every year. (In the same year, Greenpeace persuaded Raincoat Books to produce the Canadian edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on recycled paper, saving an estimated 39,000 trees.) "
How is it that it never even entered my head that actually buying books could be a BAD thing?? Stay with me folks....I'm in the midst of a panic attack! However, there is a little bright side to this post. It does look like most of the major publishers are trying to do a little something to help....with Random House leading the way. From a HappyNews Article, it states that "in 2006 when Random House, Inc., said that it would dramatically increase its use of recycled paper, saving more than 500,000 trees a year."
'Virtually all of the major publishers have taken some steps, from Hyperion switching to soy-based ink, to Penguin Group (USA) using wind power, to Scholastic, Inc. printing the deluxe edition of ''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'' on 100 percent post-consumer waste fiber. Simon & Schuster and the Hachette Book Group USA are among those using e-book readers instead of paper manuscripts. The Random House Publishing Group is experimenting with sending books online to media outlets."
I personally don't like e-books. You just can't curl up on the couch with them. Looks like I may have to rethink that whole Kindle idea. But we can also do our part other ways. Check out the publishers and find the ones are doing their part. The Guardian article suggest using sites such as BookMooch and Paperback Swap to get used books instead of buying new. And there is always my favorite: using the library.
Finally, you can go to Eco-Libris and donate to plant a few trees. Seems like a really good thing to do.
I can honestly say, reading these articles has made me think. And that's all I'm really asking you to do, whether it's at the bookstore when you are browsing for your next read or when you shut off a few lights in the house to save a little energy. It's going to take all of us to save this planet!!