Plant Trees by Reading Books

Reader Contribution by Aly Van Dyke

Eco-Libris takes the guilt out of the guilty-pleasure of reading for some environmentalists.

Books today can be made of recyclable material, but chances are, the new best seller you’ve been waiting for is printed on virgin paper (meaning it’s never been used before). In fact, each year, 30 million trees are cut down to supply the paper for books sold in the United States alone.

However, Eco-Libris offers an alternative, so you can still read those new releases with less of a guilty conscience.

The company lets you off-set the paper used for your book by paying for trees to be planted in its stead. The system works on a relatively equal proportion – $1 for 1 book plants 1.3 trees. (I know, how can they plant 1.3 trees? The company does this so that for every $10, 13 trees will be planted in case some don’t make it to maturity). Eco-Libris calls this “balancing out” your book and sends you a sticker, printed on recycled material, to put on the book. The trees are planted in developing countries by a series of planting partners within a year of the purchase.

Eco-Libris started almost a year and a half ago, and has already contracted book publishing companies to balance out the companies’ books, the newest addition being Flux. Their goal: plant 1 million trees for 1 million books by 2009.

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