Are books eco-friendly?
Books are a wonderful source of knowledge and entertainment, but they can also have a negative impact on the environment. The production of paper books requires the cutting down of trees, and the transportation and disposal of books can also generate greenhouse gas emissions.
- Deforestation: The production of paper books requires the cutting down of trees. According to the World Wildlife Fund, about 40 million trees are cut down each year to produce paper.
- Water consumption: The production of paper books also requires a lot of water. It takes about 7 litres of water to produce a single sheet of paper.
- Energy consumption: The production of paper books also consumes a lot of energy. It takes about 2 kilowatt hours of energy to produce a single book.
- Chemical pollution: The production of paper books also generates chemical pollution. The chemicals used in papermaking can pollute the air and water.
- Waste: Books that are no longer wanted often end up in landfills.
In addition to these environmental impacts, books can also be expensive to produce and transport. However, there are a number of things that you can do to be more eco-friendly while reading books. Here are a few tips:
Borrow books from your local library
One of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact is to borrow books from your local library. Libraries have a wide selection of books to choose from, and they are free to use. Additionally, libraries often have programs and events that encourage people to read and learn. Libraries are a public resource that can be used by everyone. When you borrow a book from the library, you are reducing the need to produce new books.
How to find my local library?
You would be surprised to learn that you probably have a free, public library close to your home. It’s easy to sign up, and start borrowing books! You could read new books every week without having to buy them.
- In the US, you can find public libraries near you with this link.
- In the UK, you can find public librairies near you with this link.
Buy second-hand books
Another great way to be eco-friendly is to buy second-hand books. Second-hand books can be found at thrift stores, garage sales, and online retailers. When you buy a second-hand book, you are giving it a new life and preventing it from going to landfill. Additionally, second-hand books are often much cheaper than new books.
TOP second hand book retailers
World of Books is a large online retailer of second-hand books, with a selection of over 2 million titles. It is a popular choice for book lovers who are looking for affordable and sustainable ways to buy books. You can often find books for under £5, and there are also regular sales and promotions. World of Books has a huge selection of books to choose from, covering all genres and age ranges. You can find everything from popular fiction to academic textbooks to rare and out-of-print books. Books are typically delivered within a few days, and there is a free delivery option available on orders over £25. Second-hand books can vary in condition, and it is important to be aware of this when buying online. World of Books grades its books from “good” to “very good” condition, but it is possible that you may receive a book with some minor damage, such as bent pages or faded covers. Shipping costs can add up if you are buying a lot of books, especially if you are not eligible for free delivery.
One of the most popular second-hand books sites out there, AbeBooks, is dedicated to matching sellers with buyers. Many independent booksellers use this platform, so it’s a good way to support them too. Unlike on eBay, where it’s almost completely up to the seller what details about the book they want to include, almost all AbeBooks listings come with a good number of bibliographic details—including the all-important book condition, binding, and publisher. AbeBooks has a particularly good focus on textbooks and rare or collectible books.
eBay doesn’t need introduction. It has a vast range of titles, and you can often find them cheaper on here than elsewhere. Also, you’re very likely to be familiar with how it works already, including checking seller ratings and sorting by price. The only negative to eBay, which is true to some extent for all the platforms on this list, is that you’re heavily dependent on the seller to correctly categorize the book’s quality. Is it “Like New”, “Very Good”, “Good”, or merely “Acceptable”? No matter how trustworthy the seller, misplaced expectations are a real concern. Since the seller will rarely bother to upload actual images of the book, using stock images instead, it’s really anyone’s guess how the book will ultimately turn out.
ThriftBooks is especially fantastic for getting a great deal on books that are no longer in print, and might be ridiculously expensive elsewhere. This is all because of its excellent email-notification setup. If you sign up to be notified when a book you want is in stock, you’ll be emailed instantly as soon as it’s added to the site. This way, you’ll often be able to snap up cheaper copies of books which might be more expensive elsewhere, so we can’t recommend the site enough when looking for a rarer book. There are a couple of other pros to shopping at ThriftBooks too. For instance, it has a ReadingRewards system which lets you earn points on your purchases (eight points per dollar spent), which can then be redeemed on books. There are also multi-buy offers on some books.
Like World of Books, one gigantic upside to Better World Books is that it offers free shipping on all books, no minimum purchase amount required. That holds true, no matter where you live, but the price of a book does change to reflect built-in costs. We’re impressed at its efficient, easy-to-handle search functionality, as well as the range of titles on display. Like ThriftBooks, there’s a multi-buy discount which lets you save 15% when buying four books (a percentage that rises the more books you buy in one go). Also like ThriftBooks, there’s a rewards program which lets you earn eight points per dollar spent. When you hit 500 points (or about $63) you’ll be entitled to a $5 voucher.
Trade old books for cash
Have you got a stack of used books that you’re no longer reading? Why not sell them for cash? There are a number of websites that make it easy to sell your used books, such as Ziffit, Music Magpie, WeBuyBooks, Decluttr, BookScouter, BookDeal, and Powell’s. To sell your used books, simply create an account on one of these websites and add your books to your selling list. You will need to provide the ISBN number of each book, as well as its condition. Once you have added your books to your selling list, you will be able to generate a shipping label. You can then pack up your books and ship them to the website.
Once the website has received your books, they will inspect them and send you a payment. The amount of money you will receive will depend on the condition of your books and the current market value. Selling your used books for cash is a great way to declutter your home and make some extra money. It is also a sustainable way to read, as it helps to reduce paper waste and deforestation.
So what are you waiting for? Start selling your used books today!
TOP website to sell old books
Ziffit is a UK-based website that buys a wide variety of used books, including fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, and children’s books. They offer free shipping on all orders, and they pay you within 5 days of receiving your books.
MusicMagpie is a UK-based website that buys a wide range of used items, including books, CDs, DVDs, and games. To sell your books, simply enter the ISBN numbers on MusicMagpie’s website and receive an instant quote. If you are happy with the quote, you can send your books to MusicMagpie for free. MusicMagpie will then pay you within 48 hours of receiving your books.
WeBuyBooks is another UK-based website that buys used books. If you are happy with the quote, you can send your books to WeBuyBooks for free. WeBuyBooks will then pay you within 7 days of receiving your books.
Decluttr is a US-based website that buys a wide range of used items, including books, CDs, DVDs, and games. If you are happy with the quote, you can send your books to Decluttr for free. Decluttr will then pay you within 24 hours of receiving your books.
Bookscouter is a price comparison website that allows you to compare quotes from multiple book buyback websites. This is a great way to ensure that you are getting the best possible price for your books. To use Bookscouter, simply enter the ISBN numbers of your books on the Bookscouter website and receive a list of quotes from different book buyback websites. You can then choose the website that offers you the best price for your books.
Powells.com is a large online bookstore that also buys used books. If you are happy with the quote, you can send your books to Powells for free. Powells will then pay you within 7 days of receiving your books.
Buy books from charity shops
Another great way to buy books in an eco-friendly way is to buy them from charity shops. Charity shops often sell books for a fraction of the price of new books, and the money raised goes to support important causes. When you buy a book from a charity shop, you are reducing the need to produce new books and supporting a good cause at the same time.
For instance, OXFAM has a great collection of donated books that you can browse on their website, and filter by price, category, and title.
Swap books with friends and family
If you have friends and family members who also love to read, you can swap books with them. This is a great way to discover new books and reduce your environmental impact.
Bookswap is an online platform where you can swap books with other users for free. It is a great way to discover new books and declutter your bookshelf at the same time. To use Bookswap, simply create an account and add the books you want to swap to your list. You can then browse other users’ lists and request to swap books. Once you have agreed to a swap, you will need to ship your book to the other user. Once they have received your book, they will ship their book to you.
Bookswap offers a number of features that make it a great choice for book lovers. For example, you can:
- Create a wishlist: This allows you to keep track of the books you want to read and swap.
- Get notifications: Bookswap will notify you when someone requests to swap one of your books.
- Leave reviews: You can leave reviews of the books you have swapped with other users. This helps other users to make informed decisions about which books to swap.
Bookswap is a great way to save money on books and to discover new authors and genres. It is also a sustainable way to read, as it helps to reduce paper waste and deforestation.
Read books on an e-reader
E-readers are a great way to read books in an eco-friendly way. Most popular is the Amazon’s Kindle, but there are many other brands available. E-readers do not require paper, so they do not contribute to deforestation. Additionally, e-readers can store thousands of books, so you can carry your entire library with you wherever you go. Audiobooks are another great way to read books in an eco-friendly way. Audiobooks do not require paper, and they can be listened to while you are doing other things, such as commuting or exercising.
Choose books that are printed on sustainable paper
If you do choose to buy new books, look for books that are printed on sustainable paper. Sustainable paper is made from recycled materials or from trees that are grown in sustainably managed forests.
Are books a great gift idea?
Yes! As long as you follow our tips above, and choosing second hand books, books are a great gift idea. And if you want more sustainable gift ideas, we made a list of TOP 5 eco-friendly gift ideas.