Textbooks.org Promotes Book Recycling, Waste-Reduction in Awareness Month

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College students concerned with minimizing waste and pollution should consider recycling their course textbooks.

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If students don’t plan to sell back their books, the next best environmentally friendly choice should be to recycle them.

Paper from decomposing books in landfills emits methane, a greenhouse gas more caustic to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that U.S. book publishers recycle no more than 10 percent of paper currently used.

In response, Textbooks.org, a site that helps students find the best prices on course books, is promoting a month-long awareness effort to encourage students to minimize their environmental footprint, recommending solutions for the eco-conscious students to curb pollution and waste.

“College students start cleaning out apartments and dorm rooms this time of year,” said Kennedy, founder of Textbooks.org. “If students don’t plan to sell back their books, the next best environmentally friendly choice should be to recycle them.”

Some publishers have signed the Book Industry Treatise on Environmentally Responsible Publishing, committing to a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020 with an additional goal of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Yet, 2050 may be too long to wait for some to become better environmental stewards.

Earth911.com offers a search engine for users to find local book recycling services. And Book Destruction, Book-Destruction.com, is an Ohio company that recycles textbooks and spiral-bound books, offering a notarized certificate of destruction for each load of books received, guaranteeing that 100 percent of a book is recycled.

Overall, the book industry is making strides to minimize waste throughout the life-cycle of a book. The New York Times reports that more books are being printed with soy-based inks, rather than petroleum-based ones. Many companies no longer use chlorine to whiten paper and the publishing industry has supported the growth of renewable energy, such as wind, when manufacturing paper.

If students want to make a greater environmental difference, the company Eco-Libris, at ecolibris.net, enables people to ‘plant’ one tree for every book they read.

To learn more about sustainable timber and ways to influence the adoption of more sustainable book production, visit the Forest Stewardship Council.

About Textbooks.org
The website Textbooks.org lets students compare prices on textbooks from 45+ booksellers with one simple search.

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Steven Kennedy
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