Every year the US publishing industry uses about 32 million trees for raw materials and then the production stage emits over 40 million metric tons of C02. At this high environmental toll, do we really need to buy books or magazines and then let them collect dust in our homes?
Our first step can be a visit to the local library. If you haven’t already, become a card-carrying member. Libraries have changed a lot since the old days of card catalogues. You can now reserve books online in advance, view movies, test-out new music and get free digital or audio books. (E-readers aren’t a perfect environmental solution but they are a step in the right direction.)
After reducing the quantity of printed material in our lives, next we can find ways to reuse or recycle what we do have. Every community has members that would love hand-me-down books or magazines – retirement homes, schools, half-way houses, etc. Or find a Little Free Library to swap and share books with your neighbors. With over 60,000 of these tiny roadside treasures, there is probably one in your area.