Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock on Mars, you know that books are made of paper, and paper comes from trees, and cutting down too many trees is bad for the environment. Now to tell you something you might not already know- there is an organization called Eco-Libris that offers book-readers an interesting way to donate money for the greater greener good. For every book you read, you can donate one dollar which will then be used by one of three nonprofits (The Alliance for International Reforestation, Ripple Africa or Sustainable Harvest International) to plant an ecologically appropriate tree in a developing country or community which is in particular need of reforestation. These three organizations work mostly in Guatemala, Honduras, and Malawi.
The company’s ultimate goal is to make the publishing industry more environmentally friendly by encouraging the use of recycled paper. Eco-libris sites some good news: “50% of the publishers in the U.S. have environmental policies in place and goals for increasing their recycled/FSC-certified paper usage.” If this “balancing out books” phenomenon takes hold, we might catch the attention of more publishers and see a positive environmental change.
Your gift for being a do-gooder and giving money to sustainable reforestation causes? A sticker that says “one tree has been planted for this book” and a feeling that, in a small way, you have made the world a greener place.