Read Your Planet Into Shape: 3 Planet-friendly Reading Habits

intro-earthday-2015Did you know that the simple act of reading can be an effective way to help keep your planet in good shape? It’s true. Here are a few ways that your love of reading can have a positive impact on the planet, just in time for Earth Day.

1. Are you done reading that? Share it with someone else. We make it easy to get books back into the “cycle of reuse” by placing book Drop Boxes in cities around the U.S. These are sold on our website to keep them going. When you prevent a book from being thrown away, you reduce paper waste.

2. Consider buying used. Sure, a bookseller with lots of used books would say that, wouldn’t they? But just because a book has been “pre-loved” doesn’t mean it’s in bad condition. On the contrary, we have high standards for the books we let into our warehouse. Also, contrary to (un)popular belief, many older editions of textbooks can still be used for classes. Ultimately, buying a used book extends its lifecycle and gets more value out of it. Why not let someone else reuse it, instead of letting it collect dust on a shelf?

3. Never throw a book away. Most book-lovers would never do such a thing, but the fact is that a staggering amount of books are winding up in landfill each year. Our business is founded on the precept of never, ever, ever (this is worth a few more “evers,” but we’ll spare you) throwing away a book. We will recycle a book if and only if we cannot sell it on any of our marketplaces, and it’s not in good enough condition to donate.

But can the simple act of reading really make a difference? As of the end of March, book-lovers who have embraced these reading habits have helped us to prevent almost a quarter of a billion pounds worth of books from going to landfill. That’s over 180,000,000 books! So that’s an emphatic yes. Not to mention that we offer carbon offsets on each order for a few cents extra—with a cumulative of nearly 50,000 tons of carbon offsets achieved so far.

How you read matters, and we are proud of all our planet-friendly readers who contribute to this impact with every book you read.


  1. JODI PETERSON says:

    The best planet-friendly way to enjoy books is to USE THE PUBLIC LIBRARY! They can get almost any book for you, and in many cases the more books that are checked out of a library, the more funding they can get. Using your library helps keep it alive and well for everyone.

  2. Judith Lautner says:

    You can also free books. Join bookcrossing, register, read, and release – anywhere! It’s fun to see where they go, and if you never hear from them again you can still imagine. It gets easier and easier to let go of books and when someone finds one unexpectedly you might have made their day.

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