What’s Going On Here?
Surprise surprise…the greenest way to read is by borrowing books from libraries, sharing them with friends and donating those you’ve already read!
What Does This Mean?
With all this time on our hands (don’t worry I won’t be mentioning the C word), I’m sure a lot of us are intending to read more. Indeed, what better time to start a new book…But making a one-click book purchase on Amazon, having it delivered to your door in a petrol guzzling van, reading it once and then hoarding it on your bookshelf until the day you pop your clogs…you can see how this isn’t the most sustainable of activities.
There’s a long list of factors to consider when comparing the environmental impact of print books with ebooks (check out this article for a much more in-depth analysis).
Why Should We Care?
One study of the US book industry calculated that approximately 30 million trees are cut down a year for publishing. In the UK, it’s been calculated that each book on average produces 3kg of CO2 during its production. As well as putting forests at risk, producing huge amounts of wastewater and the pollution that comes with ink production – there are also the emissions from deliveries. The good thing is that once a book is made it can be shared with literally hundreds of people in its lifetime .Ebooks, such as the famous Amazon Kindle – don’t seem to be much better. In their production, you have the mineral extraction (often from war-torn countries), water use and energy consumption (around 100 kilowatt hours of fossil fuels is needed to make just one e-reader). There’s also the energy consumed while using the device, as well as disposal at the end of its life (adding to the growing problem of electronic waste). ⚠️
I’m not saying literary consumption is bad for the environment (there are definitely worse things!), but there are some ways we can reduce the impact of our reading…
Check out the libraries near you before purchasing a book (saving you £ too!). And if you do want to buy a book, buy second hand or at independent &/ local bookstores.
- Try book swapping with your friends, fam and colleagues!
- Check out this cool map of London’s Bookswaps. From converted post boxes to tube stations, you can take a book for free or leave one for somebody else to enjoy (or both!).
Our curious recommendations…
???? There is No Planet B by Mike Berners Lee
???? The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace Wells
???? Feral by George Monbiot
???? On Fire & This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
???? Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Orekes
???? The Future We Choose by Christina Figueres
???? Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmera
???? No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
???? This Is Not a Drill by Extinction Rebellion
???? Why Women Will Save the Planet by Friends of the Earth
Join Curious Fran’s (@envirobite) virtual environmental book club – she’d be delighted to have ya!