Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 33 of our Green Year: Going Second-Hand With Books

Layla and I love books. They are amazing. They can take you into so many different worlds, you can learn so many things and all it takes is the time to go and find the books you want. However, books are not always good for the environment. In fact for every 116 books that are made, one tree is cut down. That may not seem like much, but when you think about how many books have been sold in just more popular book titles and series, the quantity of trees lost is astonishing.

If we add together the number of books printed for A Tale of Two Cities (200 million), The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (150 million), The Da Vinci Code (57 million), Harry Potter (400 million) and To Kill A Mockingbird (30 million), we have 837 million books, which comes to 7.2 million trees lost JUST to print those books. Now keep in mind that millions of books are sold each year and we begin to see a problem. Granted, there are books sold through green book publishers, and some are printed on recycled paper, but that is not always the norm.

As a result, Layla and I have decided to only buy second-hand books or go to the library for what we want. Today there was a big book sale in our hometown and we bought over a dozen books for only $7.50. We will be going back tomorrow. This saves them from being thrown out, gives them new life and keeps us from buying new books in the store. For those books we want to read that just come out, then we will either get them from the library, or we will order them through a green book publisher like our friends at Eco-Libris ( who plant a tree when you buy a book.

If you go to a second hand book sale of your own, make sure to take a picture and send it to us so we can add you to our bandwagon! Send pictures of all your green activities to