Better World Books was founded on a triple bottom line premise: people, planet, and profit. Sure, our core business is a form of reuse—finding new homes for old books. But did you know that we maintain detailed internal metrics on our sustainability impact?
Here are seven of our most salient stats, updated for April 2013:
- Tons of carbon offsets: 37,591
Did you know that when you check out at our website, we offer the ability to carbon balance your order? It’s typically only a few cents extra.
- Tons kept out of landfill: 73,121
The EPA says that approximately 2 billion pounds of books each year go to landfill. We never throw a book away—whether we can sell it online or not. Just imagine if everyone recognized the continuing value in the books they don’t need any more!
- Trees saved: 1,722,423
Many readers prefer a book that’s used, but not just because it’s cheaper than buying new. Buying used allows you enjoy the same story without creating new demand for mushing up more trees. A gently-loved book can be loved again!
- Water saved: 917,300,399 gallons
Water is conserved as a byproduct of reducing paper consumption and using more reused and recycled materials. For more information, see the Paper Calculator.
- Cubic yards of landfill space not used: 236,833
That 73,121 tons of landfill that we’ve helped to keep book-free translates into almost a quarter million yards of landfill volume. If you’re having trouble visualizing that, it’s about 1.38 Titanics’ worth of space.
- Electricity Saved: 351,158,888 kWh
Also calculated via the Paper Calculator. Less paper use and other ongoing practices help save on power usage as well. Not to mention the little things—like lights that automatically turn off when not in use at our facilities.And finally, the big one…
- 99 million books reused or recycled.
Look how close that one is to a nice, round number that takes it up another digit. Thanks to everyone who’s put a book into one of our drop boxes, all our library partners, our drop box hosts, and student book drivers, we will be crossing another milestone soon: our 100 millionth book reused or recycled. Not to mention every customer that found a new home for a used book.
One hundred million! That is a lot of books. So many books that we don’t even need to tell you how many Titanics it is. Be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter to see when we cross over. Could you be the buyer of the 100,000,000th book we find a new home for?