Thursday, January 31, 2008

How about slow reading?

Today I read an excellent article in the New York Times about the slow movement ('The Slow Life Picks Up Speed').

Penelope Green described in the article the growth and development of the movement. If you thought that slow refers only to slow food, think again - now you can find slow design, slow cities, slow travel and much more. And it also goes online - in mid-march, according to the article, a new website - will go online and it aims to be a hub for all thing slow.

Geir Berthelsen, who is the founder of the World Institute of Slowness, a Norwegian advocacy group, and who is behind the new website, said in the article: " The time is now ripe for trying to formalize this slow revolution". It got me thinking - is there also a slow reading?

But what can be defined as a slow reading? so here are few ideas that I thought about:

1. There's the literal translation of actually reading slower.
In Wikipedia it says that "slow reading refers to practices that deliberately reduce the rate of reading to increase comprehension or pleasure. The concept appears to have originated in the study of philosophy and literature as a technique to more fully comprehend and appreciate a complex text."

2. The slow movement also has a strong theme of locality, so slow reading can be translated into supporting local independent bookstores, local writers and even your local library. Last November I mentioned
Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, which is definitely an example of slow reading in terms of locality.

3. The slow movement is also endorsing alternatives to mass production and therefore I thought that print on demand (POD) can be considered as slow reading. It also goes well with the greenness of printing on demand.

These are only few rough ideas I had and I'll be happy to hear from you what is your definition of slow reading. Feel free to drop a comment and share thoughts with us.

For more information on the slow movement you can check, the blog of Carl Honore, the author of the great book "In Praise of Slow: Challenging the Cult of Speed".

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A new movie on Wangari Maathai in a DC Environmenal Film Festival

If you like green films, you should check out the Environmental Film Festival that will take place in Washington D.C. ON March 11-22.

This is the 16th Annual Festival and it will include 100 documentary, featured, archival, experimental and children's green films. Screenings will include discussion with filmmakers and sincentists and are FREE. You can check the list of movies at the festival website -

One of the highlights of the festival will be the new film 'Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai'. The film, produced and directed by
Lisa Merton and Alan Dater, is about Wangari Maathai and the grassroots movement she founded, the Green Belt Movement of Kenya.

Here's a description of the film from
its website: TAKING ROOT travels inside the world of one of today's most respected and inspired human rights and environmental activists, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. Maathai's groundbreaking work began in the 1970s in her native Kenya, where in opposition to an entrenched dictatorship, she nevertheless mobilized over one million Kenyans to take action against the destruction of their lands and the silencing of their voices.

Now in its third decade, Maathai's
Green Belt Movement has helped transform Kenya's physical, cultural and political landscape through its advocacy for sustainable development.

Through Maathai's rich, tumultuous and uplifting life, TAKING ROOT will show how her work addresses this seminal and most urgent question of our time - how do we preserve our environment, while also meeting people's needs?

Maathai's deep understanding of the linkage between culture, conservation of biodiversity and a sense of individual dignity have been and continue to be paramount in her success as a visionary leader in Africa, and as an example to the rest of the world.

Wangari Maathai is one of my heroes and I am very excited to hear about this new film and I look forward to seeing it. Here are the details of the screening:

When: March 15, 2008 3:00PM

Where: Grosvenor AuditoriumNational Geographic Society, 1600 M Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20036 (phone: 202 857 7700)

Tickets: $15 (for National Geographic memebers it's $13). You can order tickets here.

After-film discussion: This screening will be followed by a discussion with filmmakers Lisa Merton and Alan Dater, and Chris Tuite, director of the Green Belt Movement's Washington office.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Interviewed by Daz Chandler on Radio 2SER

Last Monday (January 21) I had the pleasure to be interviewed by Daz Chandler (that's her on the left side) on her radio show 'Monday Overdrive'.

This program is broadcast on Radio 2SER ( 107.3FM, a local radio sation in Sydney, Australia.

For those of you who didn't have the chance to hear it, here it is:

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday's green book: The Green Marketing Manifesto

Today on our Monday's green book series we're talking about green marketing. Our book for today is:

The Green Marketing Manifesto

Author: John Grant

John Grant co-founded St Luke’s the innovative and socially aware London ad agency. Working with clients such as the Body Shop as well as mainstream brands, St Luke’s pioneered the view of a company’s “Total Role in Society” and operated as an employee shareholder democracy. Since leaving in 1999 he has worked as an independent consultant.

John’s previous books which all deal with ‘what’s new?’ have earned widespread praise, popularity and critical acclaim, and include 'The New Marketing Manifesto' (1999), 'After Image' (2002) and 'Brand Innovation Manifesto' (2006). John is also a prolific blogger and writer of articles and reports. His current thoughts on green marketing can be found at and he is also the official blogger for the
Green Awards.


Published in: November 2007 (Hardcover)

What it is about: According to the book description, the Green Marketing Manifesto provides a roadmap on how to organize green marketing effectively and sustainably. It offers a fresh start for green marketing, one that provides a practical and ingenious approach.

The book offers many examples from companies and brands who are making headway in this difficult arena, such as Marks & Spencer, Sky, Virgin, Toyota, Tesco, O2 to give an indication of the potential of this route.

John Grant creates a ‘Green Matrix’ as a tool for examining current practice and the practice that the future needs to embrace.

In an interview to, he explained where it all started: "I wrote the book (originally it started as a paper for a potential client project) to try to make sense of the torrent of recent green marketing initiatives. I wanted to sift out what was greenwash and what had substance – and also try to get to what was actually working, and why; and to map out the terrain a bit."

This book is intended to assist marketers, by means of clear and practical guidance, through a complex transition towards meaningful green marketing.

Why you should get it:
1. Marketing is not everything, but it is critical for the success of every green product or service.

2. The book is eco-friendly - printed on FSC certified paper and using vegetable-based ink. It's also written on its cover: Please don't put this book in a plastic shopping bag. It may sounds obvious, but it's the first book where I see such a text on the cover.

3. I like the way Grant defined it in another interview as a book "about a sustainable economy and making green normal as opposed to ‘green-washing’, which is making normal look green. "

What others say on the book: "brilliant book...that will forever change the way you look at green marketing." (, Nov 27, 2007)

"outlines how environmentalism increasingly informs business strategy" (Reuters, Nov 29, 2007)

"...the book casts new insight into green marketing" (, Tuesday 18th December 2007)

If you want to get to know better the author, John Grant, and what he has to say on green marketing, you can check his interesting blog, greenormal. Here are also few bits of him talking on the book launch in London (Nov 2007):

Enjoy the book, and if you're looking for the full list of green books reviewed and presented on our blog, check out our
green books page.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How to deal with the growing deforestation in the Amazon rain forest?

Bad news from Brazil: The Brazilian Environment Ministry announced last Wednesday that as many as 2,700 square miles of Brazilian rain forest had been cleared from August through December, meaning that Brazil could lose 5,791 square miles of jungle by this August if the rate of deforestation continued.

This data is surprising as in the last three years there was a consistent decline in deforestation. The growing logging is probably spurred by high prices for corn, soy and cattle according to environmental officials in Brazil.

President Lula da Silva called an emergency meeting of cabinet ministers to discuss the new data. After the meeting new measures were announced including sending additional federal police and environmental agents to the Amazon.
The Washington Post reports that the Environment Minister Marina Silva said that the authorities will also monitor the areas where the deforestation occurred in an attempt to prevent anyone from trying to plant crops or raise cattle there.

Reuters reported on other measures that will be taken:

1. The government will put on hold any new deforestation requests in 36 municipalities in an area that accounted for half of the forest destruction last year.

2. Landowners in the area will have to prove they maintain preservation areas, and could face penalties like being denied official credit if they fail to meet some requirements.

3. Companies like trading houses, soybean crushers and meat processors that buy commodities originating from destroyed areas of the forest will be considered responsible for deforestation.

I think that the plan is good, but I am not sure how well it can fight the economic incentives that drives the massive deforestation we see now. I think that another step to be taken is to give a counter-incentive to keep these trees alive. If local governments and municipalities will be paid to protect these trees, then they have an economic value as live trees. If this value will be high enough, then it will be worthwhile to keep them alive.

I think the measures should be based on the stick and the carrot both and not only rely on the stick. Give local communities the carrot and I promise you that you will see deforestation figures decrease again.

I also think it shouldn't be the sole responsibility of the Brazilian government to take care of it. The Brazilian rain forest is called "the lungs of the world" for its ability to consume greenhouse gases and produce oxygen, and hence I believe the world (especially the developed countries) should chip in.

Just last week we reported on
Norway's willingness to contribute about $500 million a year to projects aimed at protecting forests in developing countries. I think this kind of funding (and of course other countries should contribute as well) can make some good in Brazil and help Lula protect this precious natural resource. What do you think?

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Scoot over Barbie, Popsi's in the house!

We've been reviewing here recently several green children's books, such as Lee Welles' “Gaia Girls,” and Eric Carle's “The Tiny Seed”. Today's crop of innovative greenery comes in the shape of Popsi, the hippie dippy answer to the best selling fashion doll.

So who is Popsi?

“Mother Nature is lonely. She yearns for a daughter but, with her heavy workload, her dreams have been pushed aside. However one smoggy day, while picking up trash, she came across a pile of plastic bottles and had an idea. Magically with a sweep of her hands, she turns the plastic bottles into a soft cuddly rag doll and names her Popsi.”

Geraldine Lewis weaves a story of a modern day sustainable Pinocchio, who must help her mother clean up the environment or she cannot become a real girl. I am sure Carlo Collodi, who prior to being a famous children's author was also an active political satirist, would have appreciated this variation on his old theme.

But Lewis also brings the story to life (no pun intended) in the shape of Popsi, A real doll made of recycled plastic bottles which is sold with the book as part of a whole educational package. The goal is to teach kids the values of recycling and reusing. We've already seen here recently a similar example of a whole eco edu-kit, and only wish the trend continues and is actually picked up and used by more and more educators worldwide.

So check out the Popsi website:

Now who's going to make me some hybrid G.I.Joe's ?!?!

Take care,
Eylon @ Eco-Libris

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Harry Potter and the Finnish paper

J.K. Rowling is not only a great author, but also an inspiration to anyone who wants to make reading more sustainable.

We wrote here before on her efforts to green up the printing of the seventh and final book in her series, "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows", and even celebrated the book
back in July.

Today I learned that Rowling makes sure that the translation of Harry Potter to Finnish will be green as well.
Yahoo! News reported yesterday that Rowling, has blocked the Finnish version of the last Harry Potter from being printed on local paper because it lacks the FSC certification.

It seems that although Finland is one of the world's biggest paper producers, it doesn't have paper with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate. Finland does have Finnish paper has labels, but I guess that none of them is similar to the FSC certificate, which is the most prestigious environmental paper certification, and therefore Rowling insisted that the book will be printed on FSC paper.

I'm only wondering if the Finnish publisher will be using recycled paper (like other Harry Potter publishers around the world). I hope that they do. In any case, this is good news and it's great to know that Rowling is out there watching and making sure that Harry Potter will stay green, even when he speaks Finnish.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Respect the environment!

Ali G is always fun to watch, especially when he's talking green. Here's a short video I found on Living Small, where he talks with some guests on recycling and other green stuff. Respect!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Happy Tu B'Shevat!

Today is Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish "New Year for Trees". We started celebrating it last week with the blog 'Ima on (and off) the bima', and today we'll write a little bit more on this great holiday. The trees holiday.

Tu B'Shevat is a transliteration of 'the fifteenth of Shevat', the Hebrew date specified as the new year for trees. It is the date used to calculate the age of trees for tithing/taxing. Fruit from trees may not be eaten during the first three years of its life according to the Thora. The fourth year's fruit was to be tithed to the Temple (for god), and after that, anyone can eat its fruit.

The fifteenth of the Hebrew month Shevat was the cutoff date for determining when the fruit of the tree was to be tithed. If the tree was planted prior to Tu B'Shevat, it would be considered to have aged one year. If it was planted afterward, it would become one year old at the following year's Tu B'Shevat. Thus, 'Tu' (the alpha-numeric for the number 15) denotes that the holiday is on the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat.

Tu B'Shevat gradually gained religious significance, with a Kabalistic fruit-eating ceremony (like the Passover Seder) being introduced during the 1600s.

Customs associated with Tu B'Shevat include planting trees and eating dried fruits and nuts, especially figs, dates, raisins, and almonds. Over the years Tu B’Shevat has taken on the theme of planting trees in Israel, but because this is a shmita year (the seventh year of the agricultural cycle during which time the Torah prohibits Jews from planting the land), there won't be any plantings celebrations this year in Israel.

For more information on Tu B'Shevat please check these websites:

I love Tu B'Shevat very much. It's one of my favorite holidays and as a kid in Israel I planted trees every year to celebrate Tu B'Shevat. Today I'm happy to be part of Eco-Libris, where with your support, every day is a Tu B'Shevat.

Happy Tu B'Shevat,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday's green book: Big Green Purse

Today we have a great new book on our Monday's green book series targeted especially for green women:

Author: Diane McEachern

Diane MacEachern is a bestselling environmental writer, sought-after public speaker, and founder of She has advised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, World Bank, World Wildlife Fund, and many other agencies and nonprofit organizations focused on protecting the planet. The author of the bestselling Save Our Planet: 750 Everyday Ways You Can Help Clean Up the Earth, she lives in the Washington, D.C., suburbs in the energy-efficient home that she helped design and build more than twenty years ago.

Publisher: Avery Publishing Group / Penguin Group

Published in: March 2008

What it is about: Diane MacEachern argues in Big Green Purse that the best way to fight the industries that pollute the planet, thereby changing the marketplace forever, is to mobilize the most powerful consumer force in the world-women.

This book is a call-to-action for women to use their power as buyers (women spend 85 percent of every dollar in the marketplace) to make a difference. MacEachern's message is simple but revolutionary: if women harness the "power of their purse" and intentionally shift their spending money to commodities that have the greatest environmental benefit, they can create a cleaner, greener world.

In the book, McEachern targets 25 commodities where women's dollars can have the greatest impact, including food, clothing, cars, computers, coffee, cleansers, furniture and flooring.

Why you should get it:

1. We forget too much how much power we hold in our hands as consumers and how much good we can do with it. This book is a perfect guide for using this power in a green and wise way.

2. The book demonstrates the important concept of small steps can make a big difference.

3. You can find in the 'Big Green Purse' recommendations (both 'thumbs up' and 'thumbs down') on hundreds of green options.

What others say on the book:
"Big Green Purse explains, in layman's terms, concepts like nanotechnology, lists names of companies women can trust and walks buyers through difficult choices in everything from food to lawn care to clothing" (
Plenty Magazine)

This book will be published on March, but you can already preorder it. You are also welcome to check Diane's website - The Big Green Purse, which offers eco-lifestyle tips and shopping suggestions, as well as opportunities to join One in a Million, a campaign to encourage one million women to shift $1,000 of their household budgets to eco-friendly products and services.

Enjoy the book, and if you're looking for the full list of green books reviewed and presented on our blog, check out our green books page.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Norway presents: green vision and inspiring goals

Today I would like to praise Norway. Not only that it announced last week on a bold target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, but it also becomes one of the biggest supporters of forests' protection.

The Norwegian government announced last Thursday on a new target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, 20 years earlier than previously planned.

How will Norway get there? well, according to their plans, up to two-thirds of the emissions cuts will be made domestically and the other third will be offset by investing around 3 billion crowns ($553.1 million) per year to combat deforestation in developing countries (carbon credits).

I wrote here before about Norway's support of protecting forests as a tool to fight global warming. Norway announced its willingness to contribute about $500 million a year to projects aimed at protecting forests in developing countries at the U.N. climate conference last month In Bali. In this conference, as ENN reminds us, it was agreed to launch pilot projects to grant poor countries credits for slowing deforestation under a new long-term climate pact beyond 2012.

Now Norway is reinforcing its commitment - according to ENN, Norway's prime minister on Friday, a day after Norway set the new goal that "protecting forests and burying greenhouse gases are key ways of slowing world climate change."

So, I think Norway deserves kudos for three reasons:

1. Becoming carbon neutral by 2030 is a bold move and it's great to see a country that has the guts to do it and become a role model to all the other countries, especially the developed ones.

2. It's important that most of the CO2 reductions are based on cutting the total emissions by two-thirds domestically and only one third is based on carbon credits. This is a good balance that shows a real commitment to take steps and change what needs to be changed (although it's still very vague how these cuts will be made).

3. I'm happy to see that the carbon credits will be focused on protecting forests in developing countries. Deforestation accounts for about 20 percent of total greenhouse gases, and I think that protection of forests can definitely become an efficient and valuable tool in the fight against global warming. And not tom mention all the other environmental and social benefits that these forests have. It's good that these forests has a powerful reach ally such as Norway - they need it!

I hope to see many countries follow Norway. It's not only their future. It's our future.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

In Global Warming and War - a new green book on the shelves

We are always happy to hear from our readers and especially when it's about a green book they just published!

So without further ado, I would like to present you with the new book of Dr. John Slade 'In Global Warming and War', the second novel in the ADIRONDACK GREEN trilogy.

So what this is about? here's the author's description:

In 'In Global Warming and War', the second novel in the ADIRONDACK GREEN trilogy, the people of a small American town respond to the dying of their forest, and to the death of one of their sons in Iraq.

The 32 high school seniors boldly examine the threat to their Adirondack Park, and to the Earth itself. In addition, they meet 32 wounded veterans, back from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, during an extraordinary week of adaptive skiing on Bobcat Mountain. The reader meets these veterans face to face as they rise to the challenge of skiing without legs, of skiing blind.

The peoples of the world have a choice. We can either work together, on a global scale, to replace oil and coal with clean sources of energy, or we can continue to fight our wars for oil. Even if we win the oil wars, we may well poison our Earth to the point that Mother Nature becomes Uncle Briar Patch.

A program of international cooperation -which includes the universities of the world--will create many more jobs and stable, growing economies than plunder and war could ever create. Students around the globe are ready to rise to the challenge. Every wind turbine will bring us a step closer to a lasting peace.

The first novel in the trilogy is
ADIRONDACK GREEN, which was published on Earth Day 2006, and focuses on a small town that puts up a wind turbine, and loses a son in the war in Iraq.

About the author: John Slade has been a high school and university English teacher in America, on the island of St. Croix in the Caribbean, in Norway, and in Russia. He believes deeply in the present global generation of well educated and highly motivated students. Their Renaissance has already begun in countries around the world.

Thank you Dr. Slade for sharing with us the news on your new green book! 'In Global Warming and War', which was published this month, sounds as an interesting book, combining a green message and a good story. If you're interested, please take a look at the novels at, where you can also purchase them.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Thursday, January 17, 2008

DailyLit - books in small portions for busy people

Springwise is always the right place to read on new trends and interesting websites. Last week I read there about a new solution for busy people who also love reading - DailyLit.

The goal of DailyLit, which was created last May, is to provide busy people books in small portions every day or so by email. The creators of DailyLit explain on the website what's the logic behind it: "We created DailyLit because we spent hours each day on email but could not find the time to read a book. Now the books come to us by email. Problem solved."

The process is very simple - you select a book, provide an email address, schedule at what time you want the emails sent to you (e.g. every weekday at 8:00 AM) and that's it. DailyLit will email you a small chunk of the book (about 5 minutes of reading) on the chosen schedule. DailyLit can be read any place that a reader receives emails, including on a PDA, Blackberry, Trio, etc.

If at the end of your daily chunk, you feel an uncontrolled desire to continue reading, there's no problem at all - DailyLit will send you the next installment right away.

It is also a free service for over 400 classic public domain titles, which are offered by DailyLit at no cost. Other titles will cost you between $5 to $10 (Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin will cost you for example$4.95).

I like the creative concept and the fact that DailyLit tries to find new ways to integrate books back into the lives of busy people, who may have difficulties to find the time to read. This way, it becomes a part of your daily routine, like drinking coffee in the morning or taking the dog out for a walk. And of course, it's a very green concept, as no paper is being involved in the process!

I decided to try it by myself and so I registered and picked a book I loved when I was a kid and I want to read again - "
Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. (Jerome Klapka) Jerome. Tomorrow, at 6:40PM (my time for some rest..), I'll get the first installment and I'm really looking forward to reading it! You're welcome to check it as well.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tu B'shevat green celebration at 'Ima and (off the) Bima' blog

Tu B'shevat is still ahead of us (it's on Jan 22), but Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, a rabbi at a congregation on the North Shore of Chicago, is already celebrating it on her blog Ima and (off the) Bima.

Tu B'shevat, as Rabbi Phyllis explains on her other website 'Thoughts from Rabbi Phyllis' , is the Jewish holiday celebrating the "new year (or birthday) of the trees." The name comes from the calendar date on which it falls: Tu is the Hebrew equivalent of 15 and Shevat is the Hebrew month in which we are in right now.

In modern times, it is celebrated as a Jewish "Earth Day" - celebrating trees, planting trees, and reflecting on environmental and ecological issues.

When I was a kid in Israel, we used to plant trees every year on Tu B'shevat and it became one of my favorite holidays (well, there's also the tradition of eating dried fruits like figs, dates, raisins, carob, and almonds that helped in making it a beloved holiday..).

Therefore I was happy to hear from Rabbi Phyllis about her green celebration and to participate in it. Eco-Libris sponsored a prize of 10 trees/stickers and in order to win them you had to comment on Rabbi Phyllis blog or on any of her Tu B'Shevat posts. You just had to say something nice about trees or the earth. And for an extra entry, you could post in your blog or tell a friend about this giveaway and Eco-Libris and link back to her blog.

Well, the giveaway ended yesterday and the winner was announced today: Melody A. - the HipMomma.

Thank you Rabbi Phyllis for giving Eco-Libris the opportunity to celebrate Tu B'shevat with your readers!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

World's largest publisher of children's books goes green

While we were concentrating last week on green mooching, Scholastic, the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, announced new steps it intends to take to go green.

I learned about the announcement from and went to check the source itself. Scholastic reported in a news release on its new green policy that is meant to "further strengthening its sustainable paper procurement practices".

Scholastic's policy is based on a five-year goal to increase its publication paper purchase of FSC-certified paper to 30% and its use of recycled paper to 25%, of which 75% will be post-consumer waste.

Scholastic worked together with the Rainforest Alliance, the Green Press Initiative and other environmental organizations to set these goals, which Scholastic says are "industry-leading goals".
Are they?

I wasn't sure so I sat down and made a comparison with two other green initiatives of big publishers (Random House and Simon & Schuster) and the Book Industry Treatise initiated by the Green Press Initiative. I checked out the two most important parts in these initiatives - usage of recycled paper and FSC paper. I also checked to what year they set their goals.

And here are the results:

As you can see from the table above, although Scholastic is the last one to set up green goals, it set up very bold goals in comparison with the others. None of the other three match Scholastic when it comes to the usage of FSC paper, and it lags only in 5% behind the treatise and Random House with regards to the usage of recycled paper.

Still, I must say that if they would have gone for a goal of 30% recycled paper content on 2012, it would be much easier to agree that their goals are industry leading ones. You have to remember that recycled paper is a better alternative to virgin paper than FSC paper and therefore more important as a goal.

One more point I would like to emphasize is that unlike the treatise and S&S, there's no commitment of Scholastic to stop using paper that may contain fiber from endangered and old-growth forest areas.

All in all, I think this is a very important step and I believe that the way Scholastic has done in the last couple of years represents the whole book industry.

Although it used recycled paper for many of its books in the past, Scholastic drew fire from some environmental groups in 2005 when it published Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in the Harry Potter series. Greenpeace, in particular, complained Scholastic wasn’t using enough recycled paper and urged consumers to boycott Scholastic and to purchase the novel from Raincoast Books, the Canadian publisher, which printed the Canadian edition of the book on recycled paper.

In 2007, things changed and Scholastic worked together with the Rainforest Alliance to green up the final part of Harry Potter: every 784-page copy of Harry's final adventure contained at least 30% recycled fiber. On top of that, almost two-thirds of the 15,100 tones of paper used were certified sustainable (FSC). There were also 100,000 copies of the "deluxe edition" which were only made from recycled paper, with the factory powered from renewable sources.

And now Scholastic is taking one more important step forward and set a policy for all of its operations. This is definitely the way we think all publishers should go and of course we hope to see bolder goals in the future that will make reading truly sustainable.

Oh, and I almost forgot this part, which is also very important: "Along with the new policy announcement, Scholastic today launched its new, interactive “green” website for kids called Scholastic ACT GREEN! at" The site is designed to educate kids about climate change and sustainability and inspire them to take action to preserve the planet. Way to go!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday's green book: Wake Up and Smell the Planet

At the end of December we had our last part of the holiday green gift guide for book lovers, but we wouldn't like to stop recommending and reviewing interesting green books. Therefore, we start a new series (that hopefully will last forever..): Monday's green book.

So, every Monday we'll start the week by covering a green book that was published lately. We hope you enjoy it and if you want to review or recommend on a green book for this series, feel free to write me to raz [at] ecolibris [dot] net.

The first book on our green book series comes from Grist, one of my favorite green news sites:

Author: Grist Magazine (Author), Brangien Davis (Editor), Katharine Wroth (Editor)

Publisher: Mountaineers Books

Published in: October 2007

What it is about: Grist describes their book as a a handy guide to making green decisions throughout your day.

It's not a guide about guilt, but about making little choices throughout the day that improve the planet - what to eat, what to wear, how to dispose of dog poop or diapers, how to travel from point A to point B, where to have a post-work cocktail, and so on.

Wake Up and Smell the Planet covers a full 24 hours of confusing and often contradictory options. Like a wise (and wisecracking) friend who isn't afraid to share secret tips, the book will give you easy tips for simplifying your life and lessening your impact.

Why you should get it: Grist gives you 8.5 reasons why you should buy it:

1. You'll always have answers to the peskiest eco-questions at your fingertips.
2. It's better than The Secret.
3. Little-known fact: a book uses only half the electricity of a computer!
4. Buy it for your friends, to spread the green love.
5. It makes a handy flotation device.
6. Where else can you get the real dirt on the Jolly Green Giant?
7. Books make you look wicked smart.
8. Did we mention you'll always have answers to the peskiest eco-questions at your fingertips?
8.5. Grist's employees like to eat.

What others say on the book:

"... the guide's actual guidance is relevant, hip and chockfull of witty word play ... a groovy green heap o' advice for working, working out, eating, shopping, commuting, raising kids, raising pets -- basically, for life." (The Seattle Times)

"Like Grist, this is a quirky, humorous, entertaining, and sometimes irreverent read ... Consider this guide an off-line beacon, bringing Grist's edgy authority, impeccable research, and planetary cheerleading to a broader audience." (Jeff Reifman of Idealog)

Why I like it: Grist is one of my favorite online green resources. It's like the green friend you always wanted to have - funny, smart, knowledgeable and always make the most complicated green issues accessible and understandable. and did I mention it's funny? So this is definitely the source you want to get tips from on how to go green. And also let's not forget that the book is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper and printed with soy inks.

More reviews of the book:

- Arcadia Maximo on BellOnline

- Kayley on

Enjoy the book, and if you're looking for the full list of green books reviewed and presented on our blog, check out our green books page.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Saturday, January 12, 2008

10,000 books were balanced out so far and it's just the beginning!

I am happy to update you that Eco-Libris reached another milestone - 10,000 books were balanced out so far, resulting in more than 13,000 new trees that are being planted by our wonderful planting partners SHI, AIR and RIPPLE Africa!

With the support of our growing number of customers and partners, we'll keep working hard to make reading more eco-friendly and to spread the word about sustainable reading.

Eco-Libris is operating for about six months and we're proud in what we have achieved so far. But it's only the beginning and we're aiming high - our goal is to balance out half a million books by the end of this year. We're positive that with the growing awareness to what we're doing it's doable. As Senator Barack Obama says: "Yes, we can". So, yes, we can and we will!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Picture is courtesy of AIR (AIR's staff members at an AIR tree nursery in the village of Chuitinamit, Dept. of Solola, Guatemala).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Green Mooching! Eco-Libris is partnering with BookMooch

I wrote almost 3 months ago about BookMooch, an online community for book swapping. Back then I was very excited to learn about it from an article I read on the NYT. Now, I’m even more excited to announce a new partnership between Eco-Libris and BookMooch!

BookMooch is a very cool book-swapping community, created by
John Buckman with a simple and user-friendly points system, where every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch. Once you've read a book, you can keep it forever or put it back into BookMooch for someone else, as you wish. And yes, it's totally free. You only pay for mailing your books.

Now BookMooch and Eco-Libris are partnering to offer the BookMooch community (with its more than 500,000 members from all over the world) a special green option to earn points.

Starting today, BookMooch members can earn points by
planting trees with Eco-Libris. All you need to do is to choose the number of books you want to balance out by planting trees. For every 10 books balanced out you will receive a free BookMooch point you can then use to mooch a book online for free. If you don't have a BookMooch account yet go get one :)

The process is very simple –
Email us your BookMooch username after you make a purchase on Eco-Libris, or enter your BookMooch username in the comments box during the payment process. We will credit your BookMooch account accordingly.

As I wrote earlier, book swapping is a great concept: you can find books you are looking for at no cost, give books you want others to enjoy and of course benefit the environment. It's the same idea of a library - maximizing the usage of every printed book minimizes the need to print new ones and saves many trees from being cut down.

Don't get me wrong - we don't want people to stop buying new books, but as long as books are printed mostly from virgin paper, we would like to see maximum usage for each printed copy. Therefore, we support the concept of book swapping and communities such as BookMooch.

We also got into it - Eylon Israely of Eco-Libris is a BookMooch member for a couple of months and has already sent about 30 books so far. And of course each book you will
mooch from him is also balanced out with our sticker on it!

So check out
BookMooch blog for more details and start mooching books and gaining points with us. You will be able to receive great books from fellow members with these points and will benefit the environment at the same time. Is there anything better than that?

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See

If you're still looking for a good reason to take action and go green, sit down and watch this interesting video from YouTube (seen until now by 3,129,655 viewers), with the scary name 'Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See' (no worries, there are no difficult images, only talking..):

From I learned that this guy is a high school science teacher named Greg Craven, set up in his home with a whiteboard and a felt-tipped marker. If you want to see more of his videos (and I understand this video is part of a series with over 40 videos in it), please check Greg's YouTube account.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Eco-Libris on the podcast 'The Book of Life'

The book of life is a great podcast site about "jewish people and the books we read".

It is run by Heidi Estrin, who hosts The Book of Life podcast and also directs the library at Congregation B'nai Israel in Boca Raton, Florida.

Heidi published today a podcast named
'Empowerment for the New Year' that offers themes of empowerment, including an interview with me on Eco-Libris, sustainable reading and how eco-conscious readers can go green.

It was a pleasure to talk on this podcast that is also in the sign of the upcoming Tu Bishvat, the Israeli holiday celebrating the New Year of the Trees.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Native Forest Law is being approved in Chile after 15 years of negotiations

It took them 15 years, but it was worth waiting - the Chilean parliament has approved a law to preserve the country's forests, promote their sustainable use and foster related scientific research. reported (and thank you to Metafore for bringing it to my attention) about this happy ending for 15 years of negotiations, the longest any law has taken to pass in Chile.

Antonio Lara, dean of the forestry science faculty at the Austral University in Valdivia, Chile, who was involved in the negotiations since 1992, explained the essence of the new law, called 'The Native Forest Law': "This law introduces an ecosystemic vision that does not consider the forest just as a wood source, but as a benefit for the community, since it sets funds for forest recovery and for its non-lumber management."

Two important parts in the new law are the creation of a fund of US $8 million a year for forest conservation, recovery and sustainable management projects, and the protection of water sources by banning the felling of native forests located near springs, rivers, glaciers, wetlands, and lands with steep slopes.

This is great news from Chile and I hope that many other developing countries (and also developed countries) will follow Chile and adopt its vision. I just hope it just won't take them 15 years :-)

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Do the green thing and take the stairs in January

We turned the lights off early and had some fun in the dark in November. We bought an old thing in December. And now we're taking the steps.

Yes, our friends at Do The Green Thing keep making our green life more interesting by giving us challenging green missions. This month they ask us to be heroes and take the stairs.

Here's their explanation to what's the logic behind it:

Labour-saving machines save us labour, that’s the point. They transport us from the ground floor to the fifth floor. They take us from A to B. They wash and dry and cook and clean for us.
But these machines use energy which produces CO2. It would help if we could use them less or use them more efficiently.

Take lifts. Or rather don’t. If you work on the 25th floor of a skyscraper, fair enough. But lifts are like vertical taxis - you wouldn’t hail a cab to go 100 feet down the road so why summon one to take you a few floors up?

So use less machine power and more of your own steam power. And if you take the stairs or find a way to resist other labour-saving machines, please come back and click DONE IT so we can count how much CO2 we’ve all saved.

Check out their website for more information. They have great videos, audios and it all comes with a great sense of humor, a you can see from the following video:

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies

I learned yesterday from the New York Times on a new book in the Dummies series, and this time a green one: Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies by Eric Corey Freed.

The book, according to its website, is "your friendly, step-by-step guide to every facet of this Earth-friendly method of construction."

Eric Corey Freed, is an architect from San Francisco, CA, the founder of and principal architect at organicARCHITECT, a firm at the heart of the environmental movement that designs environmentally-friendly homes throughout the U.S.

The Founding Chair of Architecture for The San Francisco Design Museum, he teaches at the Academy of Art University and UC-Berkeley, sits on the Environmental Committee of The Commonwealth Club of California, and writes a syndicated monthly column for

The book provides an introduction to every facet of green building, from start to finish, including the materials, architecture, and construction methods of green building and remodeling for both homeowners and professionals such as architects, interior designers, and contractors.

The chapters are organized in five parts: The Need for Green, Paying Attention to Material Matters, Green Building Methods, Green building Systems and Site Planning, and The Part of Tens (top ten checklists).

I like the Dummies series and therefore I was happy to hear about this one. I agree what I read on Sustainable Design Update - this book is certainly another sign that green building goes mainstream.

Green Building & Remodeling For Dummies may not be the only book you need to read if you want to build a green house or remodel your apartment and make it more efficient and eco-friendly, but it's definitely a good place to start at. Mr. Freed according to the NYT cut out the technical complexities, so it should also be a good book to anyone who just want to get to know better what green building is all about.

You're welcome to search inside the book at and learn about it a little more.

More reviews of green books can be found on our green resources page.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Prince Charles wants to team up with Norway to save forests

Reuters reported last week on a very interesting collaboration between Prince Charles and Norway. The goal: preventing deforestation in developing countries.

The article reports that Prince Charles, who is known as the Green Prince due to its extensive support of many green issues, offered to Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg to work together on saving forests in developing countries. The offer came after Norway's announcement earlier in December that it aimed to provide about 3 billion crowns ($541.2 million) per year to prevent deforestation in developing countries.

Both Prince Charles and the Norwegian government see prevention of deforestation as an effective . Prince Charles said in the past that "the world's rainforests is key to combating global warming" and Norway has said that "fighting deforestation is a quick and low-cost way to achieve cuts in greenhouse gas emissions blamed by scientists for global warming, in addition to maintaining biodiversity and securing people's livelihoods".

Prince Charles is very involved with efforts to save forests lately. Last October he launched a new organization called Reforestation Project that calls for a new green economics that recognises the world's rainforests are worth more alive than dead.

The Gurdian reported that "The Prince's Rainforests Project will bring together environmentalists, scientists and leaders from the developing world in an effort to halt mass deforestation - a bigger contributor to global warming than the world's entire transport sector, including aviation."

Norway want to see the fight in deforestation in developing countries becoming a global concern and not only a local initiative - it has said that commitments to reduce emissions from deforestation in developing nations should be included in a global climate change regime from 2012 and that it will work to develop funding and certification systems to promote the effort.

This is great news for everyone, and I hope the Norwegians and Prince Charles will succeed in their mission to prevent as much deforestation as possible. And let's not forget that some of these trees are cut down for paper, so less virgin paper used for printing books can definitely help to make Prince Charles and the Norwegians' job easier.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New subscription option on Eco-Libris website

We open the new year with a new option that we add to our website - subscription.

If you have a big library at home and you want to green it up one bookshelf or bookcase at a time, this is a great option for you.

The process is very easy and similar to one-time purchase: On
the subscription page you choose how many books you want to balance out each month. Then just click on the 'Buy' bottom and complete the payment process on the PayPal page (you DON'T need a PayPal account and can also pay with your credit or debit cards). That's it. Now, every month we'll balance out for you the amount of books you chose by planting trees. You will also receive a confirmation email from PayPal on the monthly payment, and of course you will also receive our stickers on monthly basis.

If and when you'll decide that you want to suspend your subscription, you will be able do it easily and quickly on PayPal site.

We are very happy to offer this option to all the eco-conscious readers out there who want to balance out many books, but want to do it step after step and not all in once. If you have any questions about the subscription option, please feel free to email me at:
raz [at] ecolibris [dot] net.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Plant a tree for every book you read!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

How green is your New Year's resolution?

There's nothing like a fresh start. Fresh start is a hope for a better future leaving the hurdles of the past behind. And what date is better than January 1st for a fresh start?

Many people have their own New Year's resolutions promising themselves and the world to be better this year. And this year, for many better means greener - half Of U.S. adults, we learn from a new survery, will make a green New Year’s resolution.

Thanks to
Environmental Leader I learned about a survey conducted by GfK Roper that checked how much Americans are thinking of going green this year. The results were published on a news release of Tiller, LLC, and here are some of the interesting findings there: 49% of all American adults say they will make a green New Year's resolution this year. It's more popular within young Americans (58% of Americans 18-24) in comparison with older ones (40% of Americans 65+).

Here are some of the green resolutions cited by responders and their popularity within the responders:
reducing household energy usage (75%)
recycling more (74%)
reducing the use of harmful household chemicals (66%).
reducing one's "carbon footprint" (43%)

Carrying fabric bags to the supermarket (42%)

Another interesting factor that was checked was guilt - according to the news release, 31% of the responders admitted to feeling guilty in recent years about not living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Women (36%) are more likely than men (26%) to feel "green guilt."

Well, it's great to see that so many people are feeling committed to change their lifestyle. Let's just hope the willingness will really transform into action. Now more than ever it's time for action. Green action. If each and every one of us will take few steps this year to go green, 2008 might become the year of change.

We hope of course that going green this year will also include a step or even two towards sustainable reading. We look forward to seeing eco-conscious readers as well as publishers, writers, bookstores and others go green with Eco-Libris and in many other ways.

Let's make it together a year with less deforestation, less greenhouse gasses, less waste, less pollution and more trees and hope for a brighter and greener future.

Happy New Year,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Plant a tree for every book you read!

Picture Courtesy of RIPPLE Africa