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 over-consumption of natural resources and the amount of waste sent to landfills. But, responsibly discarding used books by ensuring their re-use or recycling is a critical 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 US 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 US, more than 2 billion books are published.
- About 40 million tons of paper that could be recycled is thrown away each year in the US.
- We have recycled/reused more than 500 million pounds – or 250,000 tons – of paper. That’s roughly the same weight as 41,000 fully-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 1,750 million 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.
Environmental Source Data:
The American Forest and Paper Association
The Environmental Paper Network/Environment Canada
Purdue Research Foundation and US Environmental Protection Agency
Cornell Management Institute