Like many other valuable products in use today, the making and destruction of books can adversely impact the environment. E-readers and the availability of information through online channels have an important role to play in reducing the overconsumption of natural resources, or the amount of waste sent to landfills. But, responsibly discarding used books by ensuring their re-use, or recycling, is an important difference you can make in protecting the environment.
Did you know?
- World consumption of paper has grown 400 percent in the last 40 years.
- Paper and paper products account for 25% of all landfill waste in the U.S. and more than a third of all Canada’s waste.
- Paper manufacturing is the third largest user of fossil fuels worldwide.
- Every year in the United States, over 2 billion books are published.
- About 40 million tons of paper that could be recycled is thrown away each year in the United States.
- We have recycled/reused over 500 million pounds, or 250,000 tons, of paper. That's roughly the same weight as 41,000 full-grown Orca Whales.
- Our efforts have saved more than 750,000 cubic yards of landfill space. That's the equivalent of more than 75,000 dump truck loads of garbage.
- 4.3 million more trees exist today as a result of our work. For every tree in New York’s famed Central Park, we have saved 160 more.
- Our efforts have saved 116 million gallons of oil, 875 million kilowatts of energy, and 1.7 billion gallons of water. That’s enough oil to meet the needs of more than 260,000 Americans for an entire year, enough energy to power the entire Empire State Building for nearly 17 years, and enough water to fill 2,652 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Reuse and recycling are critical components of our work. By diverting books from landfills to be read again or recycled as another product, we’re contributing to the sustainability of communities.
Did you know?
- Our efforts have saved more than 233,000 cubic yards of landfill space, or more than 21,000 dump truck loads of garbage.
- 1.3 million more trees exist today as a result of our work. For every tree in New York’s famed Central Park, we have saved 55 more.
- Our efforts have saved 30 million gallons of oil, 312 million kilowatts of energy, and 545 million gallons of water. That’s enough oil to meet the needs of over 27,000 Americans for an entire year, enough energy to power the entire Empire State Building for almost six years, and enough water to fill 826 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
"Yesterday, an Australian blogger named S Peter Davis wrote a piece for Cracked (the surprisingly interesting online offshoot of the old comedy print magazine) called
"6 Reasons We're In Another 'Book-Burning' Period In History." It's not about the destruction of books based on content or community objections; it's about the destruction of books because libraries (and sometimes bookstores) don't know what to do with them, or don't know what to do with them that makes economic sense.
The situation as Davis describes it is basically this: Libraries have a certain amount of space and a certain amount of money. The careful culling of books is painstaking work." ~
LINDA HOLMES, NPR
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