Green Corner: Go green with alternative source for textbooks

In just a few weeks it will be time to line up to sell back purchased books, or return rented copies and start the search for the next batch of required reading. If you’re looking for a more socially conscious and environmentally friendly source for textbooks, Better World Books is an excellent alternative.

Aimed at making an impact by improving the literacy rate of global citizens, and by reducing the amount of books in landfills, this organization takes the books you donate on campus and redistributes them to dozens of locations around the world. According to the map on the company’s website, shipments have been sent to aid schools in countries in South America, Asia and Africa in order to develop reading programs for students. The carbon emissions from transporting the books are offset by support for sustainable wind power, and online purchases have the option of being shipped through local offices of the National Postal Service, which is the most energy-efficient method.

Proof of the impact of this organization is seen clearly in the number of books that have been saved from landfills, either by being given a second chance with new users or by simply being recycled. This number, found on the top of every page of their website, is constantly being updated as more consumers make the choice to go green with their texts. The current total is more than 114,000,000 books. Since the program was embraced by Rider in 2011, its contribution has been significant. In fact, during the 2012-2013 academic year 2,223 books were collected.

As impressive as these statistics are, an even more eye-opening benefit is the amount of saved resources that is represented by this book total. The recycling or reusing of Rider’s book donations in the past year is equivalent to saving 35 trees, nearly 20,000 gallons of water, or more than 7,000 kilowatts of electricity. Additionally, this initiative reduced about 4,700 pounds of carbon from the atmosphere, as stated by a report conducted by the company.
When finals are over in a few weeks, and you’re ready to get rid of the books that have piled up on your desk, be sure to consider making a donation to Better World Books using the boxes in the BLC. Help our campus, and more importantly, our global community to be more environmentally conscious by diverting your waste from landfills.

Lexi Reynolds

Lawrenceville Campus Eco-Rep

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