Books travel with us our whole lives whether it be a textbook from school or our favourite novel that we re-read each year. For me, books are a huge part of my life. I use them every day, write about, think about them, buy them, and collect them. While there has never been an official count, I would not be surprised if I owned more than 300 books. Almost one for every day of the year. The books I own have come to my possession as gifts, second-hand bargains, freshly bought from the bookshop, and wrapped up in a parcel from an online store. Sometimes I buy certain editions of books because of the cover art, the size of the book and the font, if the book comes with extra information on the author and the text, if it’s hardback of paper. Sometimes I buy the books because I like to support local bookstores and other times I get them express delivery from online sites like the Book Depository because they are more affordable or in edition I want.
Until recently, the ‘green’ factor never really came up in my book-buying thought process. And by ‘green’ I do not mean the lovely colour that is created when you mix yellow and blue together, but rather how the paper is made for the books, and if the publishing company that produces these books uses sustainable methods and gives back to the environment. This is a fairly new field for me, so I wasn’t really sure what these ‘green’ initiatives might actually mean. And there does not seem to one simple answer. I have found that publishers like Penguin are fsc.org certified and according to FSC’s website that means:
FSC certification ensures that products come from well managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
Other sites like Green Press Initiative have a list of publishers, big and small, who work and produce sustainable literature.
For someone who recycles, tries to reduce waste, and uses other sustainable products where possible, I am amazed that I had never really thought about this issue before. I guess I got too caught up in the books to think about how and where they were being made, until now.
Do you care if the book you buy is produced through sustainable methods? Have you never not bought a book because it didn’t pass your green test? How do you find sustainable publishers and their books? Remember to always share the reading love.