Thursday, December 31, 2009

Annual assessments of Eco-Libris' planting partners are available online

(photo from
the Eco-Libris' planting areas in Panama, courtesy of SHI: Nursery of 2,000 trees including mahogany,cedro espino (Bombacopsis quinata), cedro amargo (Simarouba amara) and chime tree)

This is our last post for 2009 and we're happy to close the year with an update from our website - the annual assessments (2008-9) of our planting
partners are now available online!

Here's a little bit more about these assessments: as part of our pledge to quality service to our customers, we decided at the beginning of our operations to conduct annual assessments of our planting partners.The two main goals of these assessments are: 1. to verify the quality of the planting operations and to make sure the high standards we promise to our customers are kept and 2. to provide our customers with details on the tree planting operations they support to balance out their books.

This is the second year we're conducting these assessments. We do it under the guidance of our environmental advisor, Gili Koniak, and you are invited to read them via the links below. Links to both the first year's and second year's assessments for each of our planting partners on our planting partners page.

SHI's assessment:

RIPPLE Africa's assessment: Africa_Assessment_2008-9.pdf

AIR's assessment:

(photo from the Eco-Libris' planting areas in Panama, courtesy of SHI: Mr Guadalupe shows off his cedro espino)

s we reported earlier this year, we visited this year SHI and their planting operations in Panama. We will continue next year to work closely with our planting partners and we plan to visit at least one of the organizations on their planting sites.

We will keep you posted of course with more data, photos and hopefully also videos from the planting operations! Thanks again to our planting partners and to everyone that was involved in the work on the assessments.

Happy New Year!
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Green printing tip no. 28: Green printing resolutions for the New Year!

We're back on our weekly series of green printing tips, where we bring you information on green printing in collaboration with Greg Barber, an experienced eco-friendly printer.

Today, as 2009 is about to end and we're on our way to celebrate a new year (and a new decade), Greg is offering his new year resolutions for greener printing. We'll definitely try to follow suit and we hope you'll join us as well!

Green printing resolutions for the New Year

Tip #28

Well, we are at the final day of 2009. It was a very challenging year. I would like to see if we can all make a few New Year's resolutions.

Here is my potential printer list for you.

1. Recycle More.

2. Use more PCW content in your next print job.

3. Make sure the paper was environmentally bleached.

4. Make sure you use non toxic inks or toners.

5. Ask if the plant is FSC certified.

6. Ask where the plant derives their energy from.

7. Ask the printer to tell you if your size is best for their press.

8. Ask the printer for suggestions on paper that is more environmental.

9. Check with Greg Barber on what we think.

10. Ask Eco-Libris what they think.

Happy New Year! And don't forget to be more Green next year.

For additional information on green printing, please call Greg Barber at (973) 224-1132, or email

Also, if you have any questions you would like us to address in future tips please email us to .

Latest tips:

Green Printing Tip #27 -
Can you save money on paper on your next greeting cards order?

Green Printing Tip #26 - What can we do to reduce the carbon footprint of direct mailing campaigns?

Green Printing Tip #25 - Can you Green your print advertising?

You can find links to all the tips we published so far on our green printing tips page, which is part of our green printing tools & resources.

You can also find further valuable information on Greg Barber Company's website -


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our top green publishing and printing stories for 2009

2009 is almost over and we want to take a minute and remember the stories we had on the two issues we mainly cover here: green publishing and green printing.

We had an exciting year with many news stories, so we sat down and chose the ones we found most interesting, important, creative and funny, or to make it short - the stories we loved! We hope you love them too. So here it is, one story for every month of 2009:

January 2009 -
The invitation to the inauguration is printed on the greenest premium paper in the world

The inauguration of President Barack Obama took place on January. This was not only an historic and special event, but also a green one, at least when it came to the invitations to the inauguration, which were printed on the eco-friendly CLASSIC CREST papers of
Neenah Paper, who says it's the greenest premium paper in the world.

February 2009 - A green publisher beats the recession!

Did all publishers do badly on 2008? Well, apparently not.
Chelsea Green Publishing, a publisher that is focusing on politics and the practice of sustainable living, actually had the best year ever! Margo Baldwin, the president and publisher of Chelsea Green Publishing, explained on the connection between the topics of their books and their success in times of recession: "Our books do very well in recessionary times. If you want to eat, you learn how to grow your own food. If you want a house, you can learn how to build it yourself. If you want to reduce your energy use, you can figure out how to harvest your own power. Survival is a wake up call and we have the books to educate people on that front. "

March 2009 - When economic constraints meet Planet Earth: HarperCollins' catalogs are going digital

One more time savings are meeting the environment: The HarperCollins Fall catalog is going paperless, or in other words: no more printing and mailing physical catalogs. From now on, it's all digital.
And it actually has many advantages: HC's digital catalogues will, in addition to featuring the standard information in print catalogues, include reviews, interviews and promotional videos. Josh Marwell, president of sales at HC, said the new online catalogues mark the "next step in the evolution of how we bring our books to market.

April 2009 -
Green news for Earth Day: the book industry is announcing carbon reduction goals

The Book Industry Environmental Council announced a goal of reducing the U.S. book industry’s greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020 (from a 2006 baseline) with the intent of achieving an 80% reduction by 2050. This industry-wide commitment is a global first in publishing.

May 2009 -
The latest alternative to printed books is announced in Japan

No, we weren't talking about a new technology or a new book reading device. This time we were talking about a story printed on toilet paper. Each roll carries several copies of a new nine-chapter novella written by Koji Suzuki, the Japanese author of the horror story "Ring". "Drop," set in a public restroom, takes up about three feet (90 centimeters) of a roll and can be read in just a few minutes, according to the manufacturer.

June 2009 -
Creative recycling: THEY are making a book from waste paper in the Netherlands

How you can make products out of waste? how you can recycle creatively?
THEY, a communications agency of the Netherlands, presented an option. They designed a book for one of their customers, where the inside of the book is entirely printed on paper that’s been used for test prints. They explain that on average with every printing run 1-2 percent of the paper gets used for testing. So printing 100.000 sheets leaves 2000 sheets of waste paper. THEY collected different types of test paper and printed 500 books on the backside of the test pages, using Japanese stab binding, by which you leave the old, ‘wrong’ side on the inside and the ‘right’ side, the side you want to read, on the outside. The cover of the book is made of misprinted packaging for juice and milk.

July 2009 -
Green printing is going mainstream!

We were happy to read that green printing is now not only the quest of a small number of printers, but it's also on the agenda of the the world’s largest graphic arts trade association - Printing Industries of America.Yes, Printing Industries of America is providing now its members with a new tool for who wants to go green: The Green Guide for Graphic Communications.

August 2009 -
Scholastic make an impressive progress to meet their sustainable paper procurement goals

Good new from Scholastic - the global children's publishing, education and media company announced that significant progress has been made toward the company-wide sustainable goals!
Scholastic announced in January 2008 the following goals for 2012: to increase its purchase of FSC-certified paper for its publications to 30% and its use of recycled paper to 25%, of which 75% would be post-consumer waste. Their progress toward these goals is impressive
- already in 2008 19.7% of Scholastic’s paper purchased was FSC-certified, and recycled paper's share of paper purchased was 15.1%.

September 2009 - New report finds Kindle greener than physical books - is that really so?

Last month Cleantech Group published a report that was supposed to put an end to an ongoing debate on the question if the Kindle and other e-readers are actually greener than physical books. The release following the report gives you a good idea on the report's conclusion -
E-readers a win for carbon emissions. This was supposed to be the life cycle analysis many people, including myself were waiting for, and I decided to read it and see if it's really over. I found a well-written analysis that integrates many pieces of information,creating a more coherent picture. At the same time the validity of the findings was unclear.

October 2009 -
Mohawk Fine Paper became the first paper company to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Mohawk Fine Paper, one of the two largest premium paper manufactures in North America, is a leading force in the pulp and paper industry when it comes to sustainability. The company enforced its leading position when it left the U.S. Chamber of Commerce due to the Chamber’s position on climate change. George Milner, Mohawk's vice president for environmental affairs, explained this move to AP, saying that "it hurts the company's credibility as an advocate for environmental protection when it belongs to an organization that vigorously opposes action on climate change."

November 2009 - It's cool and even greener to read books on a mobile phone, but can a 3.5 inch screen beat the Kindle?

An interesting article was published
on the New York Times about the growing popularity of the usage of cellphones as e-readers. It looks like more people are willing to read books on a 3.5 inch mobile screen and some wonder if mobile phones are indeed the ultimate Kindle Killers. This can be a new round of a struggle between a device that is basically limited (almost) to just one main function to a multi-functional device. Another element to be taken into consideration is that it's much more environmental-friendly to use a multi-functional device because then you just need to manufacture one device and that's it. And the same goes to ending the life of the device - it's almost always greener to deal with one device than two or three devices. But, and this is a big but, can we really read books on cellphones?

December 2009 -
ForestEthics is releasing its annual Naughty / Nice list of companies in the direct mailing industry

An irritating byproduct of the holidays season is the growth in junk mail. So much waste of paper that in the best scenario will go directly to the recycling bin and in many cases will just end up in the landfill. Some companies are better of course than the others, but how can we know who is good and who is bad? Fortunately
ForestEthics comes to our help (like they do every year) with their annual Direct Mail Industry Scorecard that grades companies according to their paper choices and the steps they're taking to minimize their direct mail's footprint.

Looking forward to more great green publishing and printing stories on 2010!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Green book of the week - Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto by Adam Werbach

Today we review a green book that is actually more of a blue book. It's a must to anyone interested in the way business need to change to meet the challenges of the next decade and the ones afterwards.

Our book today is:

Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto

Author: Adam Werbach

Adam Werbach is widely known as one of the foremost experts in sustainability strategy. In 1996, at age 23, Werbach was elected the youngest-ever President of the Sierra Club, the oldest and largest environmental organization in the United States. Since then, Werbach has declared environmentalism dead, built and sold three companies, and merged with global ideas company Saatchi & Saatchi to create the world’s largest sustainability agency, Saatchi & Saatchi S.

As Global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S, Werbach guides sustainability work from China to South Africa to Brazil, advising companies with nearly $1 trillion in combined annual sales, including Walmart, Procter & Gamble, General Mills and WellPoint. Werbach worked with Walmart to engage the company’s 1.9 million Associates in its sustainability effort, creating the Personal Sustainability Project (“PSP”).

Twice elected to the International Board of Greenpeace, Werbach is a frequent commentator on sustainable business, appearing on networks including BBC, NPR, and CNN, and shows ranging from the The O’Reilly Factor to Charlie Rose. He lives in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights with his wife Lyn and children Mila, Pearl and Simon.

Publisher: Harvard Business Press

Published on:
July 2009

What this book is about? (from the publisher's website) The definitive work on business strategy for sustainability by the most authoritative voice in the conversation. More than ever before, consumers, employees, and investors share a common purpose and a passion for companies that do well by doing good. So any strategy without sustainability at its core is just plain irresponsible - bad for business, bad for shareholders, bad for the environment.

These challenges represent unprecedented opportunities for big brands - such as Clorox, Dell, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, Nike, and Wal-Mart - that are implementing integral, rather than tangential, strategies for sustainability. What these companies are doing illuminates the book's practical framework for change, which involves engaging employees, using transparency as a business tool, and reaping the rewards of a networked organizational structure.

Leave your quaint notions of corporate social responsibility and environmentalism behind. Werbach is starting a whole new dialogue around sustainability of enterprise and life as we know it in organizations and individuals. Sustainability is now a true competitive strategic advantage, and building it into the core of your business is the only means to ensure that your company - and your world - will survive.

What we think about it?
Adam Werbach's book is one of the most important books written so far about the integration of business and sustainability. My guess is that it will stay that way for many years. This book include a both groundbreaking theoretical work and up to date empirical examples that create not just a valuable educational tool, but also a very interesting book.

In times when so many companies are dealing with questions related to sustainability and how it should be incorporated into their strategy and operations, this book provides a clear and coherent framework on how to do it right. In the book, Economist editor Daniel Franklin explains the problem:

"Many companies pretend that their sustainability strategy runs deeper than it really is. It has become almost obligatory for executives to claim that CSR is 'connected to the core' of the corporate strategy, or that it has become 'part of the DNA'. In truth, even ardent advocates of sustainability struggle to identify more than handful examples. More often the activities that go under the sustainability banner are a hotchpotch of pet projects at the best tenuously related to the core business."

Werbach is providing some very convincing answers on how companies should do it. The concepts he presents in the book are corresponding with ideas he presented in the past ( see "The Birth of Blue") that look at sustainability in a more holistic way, recognizing the fact that it has more dimensions then just the environmental one. Werbach's definition of sustainability takes into account four aspects - environmental, social, economic and cultural that together create a more meaningful and powerful road map for companies' long-term success.

Werbach's ideas can be considered as green business 2.0 (or blue business 1.0). His framework is based on his work with companies such as Wal-Mart and on the examples of other companies like Clorox and Xerox. Is he right? Is this the way for businesses to go to become prosper and sustainable? time will tell, but in the meantime, it definitely looks like one of the best tools to equip yourself with as we're approaching a new and challenging decade, no matter where you work or what you do. Sustainability as we learn is a strategy for everyone.

Bottom line: If you don't have it yet, make it the first book you buy yourself in 2010!

Disclosure: We received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Want to learn more about the book? Check out this interview with the author, Adam Werbach:

If you're looking for other interesting green-themed books, you are invited to check out our green books page on Eco-Libris website's green resources section.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Everything you always wanted to know about green printing!

If you read more and more about green printing it's because it's not accidental. We're covering this trend in the printing industry for a while and make an effort to provide you with news, updates, interviews and links to interesting articles.

If you missed any of this stuff or you're interesting in getting more information and tools that will make more knowledgeable and competitive, we've got it covered for you! All you need to do is to check out our "green printing tools and resources" page.

So what you can find on this page? here are just couple of examples:

A Field Guide: Eco-Friendly, Efficient and Effective Print - Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. released he third edition of its renowned instructional how-to guide for creating more sustainable print materials (Jun 2008).

Book Paper Listing - Green Press Initiative's (GPI) list of over 100 book papers with environmental attributes that meet or exceed GPI’s criteria.

Conservatree's Paper Guide - Want to use environmental papers but don't know what's available? This is the right place for answers.

Ecological Guide to Paper - Celery Design Collaborative developed this Guide to help their studio, their clients, and their peers in the design community weigh ecological considerations when choosing papers. This guide includes detailed information about the leading "green" papers available in North America.

Green Printing Tips - an archive of the green printing tips provided on weekly basis on Eco-Libris blog, in collaboration with Greg Barber, an experienced eco-friendly printer. We try to keep these tips as informative and practical as possible and we hope you will find them valuable!

Green Printers Listing - Green Press Initiative's printer listing has more than 25 proactive printers which carry recycled and FSC certified papers (updated: June 2009)

Paper Calculator - This tool will help you quantify the benefits of better paper choices. The Paper Calculator shows the environmental impacts of different papers across their full lifecycle.

Paper. Print. Environment - This his website has been created by David Shorto, print buyer for both Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. It aims to help you to make informed choices to reduce the environmental impact of your printed materials.

The Secret Life of Paper - INFORM’s Secret Life of Paper highlights the environmental impacts of the paper we consume. See the video, read valuable information on the environmental impacts of paper production, paper recycling, alternative fibers, and policy and take action.

The State of Green Printing - Interviews with green printers:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4

A Greener Footprint
- You can create a more efficient printing program by centralizing the operations, taking advantage of device settings and getting users to join the cause. (FedTech Magazine, July 30, 2009)

Reimagining paper in the 21st century - Pam Blackledge and Susan Kinsella take a look at the challenges involved with the quest for greater usage of recycled paper and what can be done to increase the current 6 percent share of recycled paper in the printing and writing papers' market. (Resource Recycling, June 2009)

Green Printing Myths - Busted! How to save money by printing sustainably - Olga Orda of Green Printer provides great examples how you can save money by adopting sustainable printing practices. (Green Options, May 6, 2009)

These materials and more are available at

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting
sustainable printing!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Is it a REDD Christmas? not really, not yet.

Santa's red suit got me wondering if there's any kid out there who asked Santa to do something about the REDD mechanism and put life into it. I'm not sure about it, but it sure looks like REDD needs some help, even after Copenhagen, when for a minute it looked like the only shining star around.

The agreement that came out of the negotiations in Copenhagen (Copenhagen Accord) includes a reference to REDD, as follows:

"We recognize the crucial role of reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation and the need to enhance removals of greenhouse gas emission by forests and agree on the need to provide positive incentives to such actions through the immediate establishment of a mechanism including REDD-plus, to enable the mobilization of financial resources from developed countries."

The translation of this language is that basically there's a lot of good will and understanding of the need to initiate a mechanism with financial incentives that will protect the forests, but no promises are made and no time frame is provided.

There was also a draft that went into more details about the REDD mechanism, but as reported, it was weakened from earlier versions. REDD-Monitor adds that this draft "includes no mention of targets for stopping deforestation. There are no commitments for long-term finance. Safeguards are weak to the point of non-existent. Leakage is not meaningfully addressed. The principle of free, prior and informed consent by indigenous people is nowhere to be seen."

And there's also some money on the table as a result of the negotiations. The US, UK, France, Japan, Australia and Norway pledged $3.5bn in Copenhagen to start REDD in the over the next three years. Still, as Carbon Positive reports, there is some doubt as to whether these promises still stand in the absence of a comprehensive climate agreement.

Are these results satisfying? well, it depends who you're speaking with.
It's depressing," Kevin Conrad, executive director of the Coalition of Rainforest Nations, a group of 40 forested nations, told the Associated Press. "REDD gets punted along for another year." John O. Niles of the Tropical Forest Group also didn't like the results and told that "The REDD text published is a major backdown from what almost everyone thought was an advanced text on many regards."

Others, like Jeff Horowitz, founding partner of Avoided Deforestation Partners, a group pushing for U.S. leadership on REDD, were more optimistic. He told that "We cannot let this procedural setback diminish our resolve to create policy frameworks that addresses this immediate and scalable solution to climate change. I am certain this delay in Copenhagen will serve to fire up the US environmental community, and our private sector partners, to be more motivated than ever to see the U.S. Senate pass climate legislation that includes robust international forest protection provisions in the first quarter of 2010."

The bottom line is that even though it looked for a couple of days that the REDD issue can be finalized separately and does not have to be dependent on a general agreement, it looks like it won't work this way. I think it's a bit naive to believe that REDD has a life of its own and can be launched successfully no matter what framework is agreed upon, if at all. Strong and effective REDD mechanism is possible only as a part of a strong and effective global accord.

This is I believe one of the main lessons from Copenhagen and I hope it will drive all of us who are worried about the forests to keep pressing the politicians to agree on a meaningful global accord with a meaningful REDD mechanism in it.

More articles about REDD:

Everything you always wanted to know about forestry carbon credits - A special interview with Paulo Lopes of Carbon Clear

Is REDD going bad? Is it going to enable conversion of natural forests into industrial plantations?

The potential and risks of forest-based carbon offsets:

Part 1 - the Carbon Canopy

Part 2 - Noel Kempff and the Greenpeace report

Part 3 - How it can actually work?

Happy Holiday!
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When Santa Turned Green - now the App version

Two years ago we reviewed here "When Santa Turned Green", a great green children's book written by Victoria Perla and illustrated by Mirna Kantarevic.

Now I was happy to hear that the book, in the spirit of time,
has just arrived at the Apple App store.

Just to remind you, When Santa Turned Green is the illustrated story of Santa Claus's quest to turn all the world's children "green"—after he discovers that his home, the North Pole, is melting.

This charmingly written, beautifully rendered tale inspires children at a time when their imaginations and confidence in their ability to change the world are truly boundless.

And back to the new App - Produced by the wizards at ScrollMotion - the company responsible for bringing best-sellers to the iPhone platform, including Twilight and Curious George’s Dictionary - this App allows users of any age to explore the images with a pinch of their fingers and listen to a loving narrative from Santa himself. The App also offers an intuitive interface that enables users to record their own voice-over of the book.

As the author explains
“This platform makes When Santa Turned Green even greener, and there’s something very sweet about watching the book come alive in the palm of your hand.”

You're welcome to check
The When Santa Turned Green App (price is $1.99) here.


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting
sustainable reading!

Monday, December 21, 2009

We have a winner on "The Looking Book" giveaway!

We had a giveaway following to review of "The Looking Book" - the green book we recommended as a gift for parents, and we have a winner!

We asked you to
share with us your experience on what's the best way to get children to play outside and we got great replies, both here and on Eco Children's Play, where the review was re-published.

And our winner is Melissa, who wrote the following:

My children LOVE to play outside, but sometimes it can be hard, one way is to give them bubbles, or balls, something that is more of a no no in the house, that usually gets them outside for me. Also sometimes we have picnics and they LOVE that, getting to eat somewhere other than the table, its a great way to get them outside and using their imagination too.

Congrats, Melissa! You won our review copy of the book, and we'll also plant a tree for this book and add our "One tree planted for this book" sticker to the book!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting
sustainable reading!

Green printing tip no. 27: Can you save money on paper on your next greeting cards order?

We're back with another tip on our weekly series of green printing tips, where we bring you information on green printing in collaboration with Greg Barber, an experienced eco-friendly printer.

Today's tip is about greeting cards, and even though you probably won't be able to implement it this holiday, there's always the next holiday waiting there.. The lesson we're learning today is that when it comes to green printing size does matter.

Can you save money on paper on your next greeting cards order?

Tip #27

The answer is clearly Yes. Here is my recommendation on what you should to trim your paper costs the next time you print greeting cards:

1. Contact your printer first, before designing your next print project. Did you know we can save you 50% on your paper prices, if you avoid designing a job that wastes a lot of paper?

2. Consider that the popular Greeting Card size 10 x 7, that scores to 5 x 7, may only get 2 cards up, when printing them digitally on a 13 x 19 sheet of paper. The 10 inch side can cut into the 13 inch dimension and the 7 inch side, cuts 2 out of the 19 inch dimension.

3. By changing to 9 x 6.25 that folds to 4.5 x 6.25, or slightly smaller than the 5 x 7 size above, we can cut the 9 inch into the 19" dimension 2 up, and the 6.25 inch side cuts 2 up into the 13" dimension. Two times Two equals Four is something we all learned, a long time ago...

So if you wanted 1000 greeting cards at the 9 x 6.25 inch flat size, we would use 250 sheets of 13 x 19 paper at 4 up, and yield you the 1000 greeting cards you need. If you held firm on
the 10 x 7 flat size, we would need 500 sheets of 13 x 19 to yield you 1000 greeting cards.

4. And the savings? Our cost on 100% post-consumer paper in 100# cover might be 25 cents per sheet on the 13 x 19 size paper, or $62.50 more paper. And, we would need to throw away a strip of paper that might be 3" x 5" times 500 sheets of paper waste. That alone is an awful environmental waste.

Call me before your next job, and I will advise you the size to run.

For additional information, please call Greg Barber at (973) 224-1132, or email

Also, if you have any questions you would like us to address in future tips please email us to .

Latest tips:

Green Printing Tip #26 -
What can we do to reduce the carbon footprint of direct mailing campaigns?

Green Printing Tip #25 - Can you Green your print advertising?

Green Printing Tip #24 - Can we be Greener in our use of Inter Office Envelopes, Presentation Folders, and Outgoing Envelopes?

You can find links to all the tips we published so far on our green printing tips page, which is part of our green printing tools & resources.

You can also find further valuable information on Greg Barber Company's website -


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Green book review for the holidays - part 4: The book you should bring to sushi lovers

Today we have our fourth part on our holidays series, where we review green books that will make great presents this holiday season!

Each book will be dedicated to another group and we today we have a very big group of people - the sushi lovers. Our recommendation for them is on:

Sustainable Sushi: A Guide to Saving the Oceans One Bite at a Time

Author: Casson Trenor

From saving the whales of the Antarctic to studying the salmon of Alaska, Casson Trenor has worked to support stewardship of our marine resources in all five oceans and countless seas. Trenor has extensive experience and expertise: he has stalked the fetid warehouses of Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, spent two months journeying by ship along the Antarctic coast, berthed on leaking wrecks off Central Pacific islands, and gone octopus fishing with holy men on the Island of Yap.

Born in Seattle and living in San Francisco, Trenor speaks five languages, has traveled to over forty countries, and holds an MA in International Environmental Policy from the prestigious Monterey Institute of International Studies. Sustainable Sushi: A Guide to Saving the Oceans One Bite at a Time is Trenor’s first book.

Publisher: North Atlantic Books

Published on:
January 2009

What this book is about? (from the publisher's website)
Sustainable Sushi answers the question on the minds of millions who enjoy eating fish: how can we indulge the desire to dine well while keeping our health and the health of the oceans in mind? With painstaking research found in no other book on the market to date, this pocket-size guide profiles dozens of the most common fish and shellfish one might encounter at a sushi bar, details where and how they are caught, whether or not they are safe, and how they figure in the current fishery crisis.

Written by a fishery and sustainability expert who was himself netted long ago by the allure of Japanese cuisine, Sustainable Sushi offers simple, clear explanations of such topics as mercury and PCB levels, overfishing, and species extinction. Attractively designed and featuring quick facts, maps, photos, and illustrations, the book was written for both the novice and the seasoned sushi fan. In a storm of seafood shortages and frightening statistics, Sustainable Sushi shows readers how to enjoy the sushi bar without guilt.

Why it's a great holiday gift for sushi lovers?

I like sushi and actually I never met someone who doesn't like it. It's really a great food, but like many other types of food that see growing demand, it has some issues involved with its supply that are threatening the next generations' ability to enjoy a nice sashimi or shiromaguro (aka white tuna).

Just last month, for example, reported that Restaurants sampled in New York and Colorado are serving up bluefin tuna without informing their customers know they are dining on an endangered species, according to a new study in PLoS ONE."

Now, this book is not coming to tell you to stop eating fish. It's exactly the opposite as the author explains - "the goal of this book is not to tear you away from your favorite sushi bar. I don't want to forbid you the joys of fresh nigiri, nor the exhilaration of that extra smidgeon of wasabi your tongue; just the opposite, in fact. If, as a society, we are aware of the consequences of ours seafood choices, we can continue to eat sushi and protect the oceans at the same time."

So you got it - it's an educational book written from a very positive point of view, but is it really an interesting gift for the holidays? the answer is YES. The author created a guide that will make every sushi lover knowledgeable about sustainable sources of fish, mercury levels, fishing practices and much much more. So not only she or he will be able to know next time they go to a sushi place which dish is sustainable and which one isn't, but they can also impress their friends with pieces of information, such as how Skipjack tuna got their name (from their habit of leaping out of the water and effectively 'skipping' across the surface).

So the potential here is huge - becoming a sustainable sushi consumer, getting friends and family to become ones as well and get to become a fish expert and someone everyone is asking for their advice (Is it OK to eat Blue crab? how about the Stone crab?) in no time. Definitely worth it!

Price: $10.85

Disclosure: We received a copy of this book from the publisher.

More on our holidays series:

Green book for parents - The Looking Book
Green book for eco-shoppers - ECOHOLIC
Green book for small business owners (and employees) - Greening Your Small Business

And don't forget that if you're buying a green book, you can even make your gift greener by adding our holidays special offer to it - trees/stickers and a beautiful holidays gift card made of recycled paper. For further information, please go to

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Last minute shopper? Check out our special green offer for the holiday! reported that a survey released this week by the National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that the average US shopper had completed just 46.7 percent of their holiday shopping by the second week of December, the lowest since 2004.

If you're also one of those who wait for the last minute to buy their gifts for the holiday, and especially if it's snowy outside and you don't really feel like going anywhere, you're invited to check out the special green and affordable gift we're offering for the holiday!

Yes, Eco-Libris has a special offer for an holiday gift for you:
Plant trees to balance out the books your loved ones read. We will send them a beautiful holiday card and Eco-Libris stickers to display on their books’ sleeves. Just change the shipping address on the PayPal payment page to the address of the gift receiver (or send us a separate email to with the details) and we will take care of the rest!

If you're buying books as gifts, you can also add the stickers and the card, making it a great green gift (And if you're looking for an idea for a "green" book that can be a great holiday gift, you can find plenty of ideas on our green books campaign, as well as on our green book gifts for the holidays series).

The holiday greeting cards we send are made by
Doodle Greetings (see picture). Not only these cards come with a beautiful design, but they are also eco-friendly - printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper and are made chlorine-free and acid free. Sounds like a good fit with Eco-Libris stickers, which are also made of recycled paper!

This is also very affordable gift offer, starting from $6.50 for 5 trees/stickers and a holiday card!

Interested? go to our holidays page and check it out at

Happy and Green Holiday!
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting green reading!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reminder: You can still win a copy of "The Looking Book"

We're giving away our review copy of The Looking Book by P.K. Hallinan, the green book we recommend as a holiday gift for parents.

How you can win? Please add a comment on the original review post and share with us your experience on what's the best way to get children to play outside.
Submissions are accepted until tomorrow, December 18, 12PM EST. The winner will be announced the following day.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Do you like to listen to books? Check out an interview with the editor and publisher of Audiofile magazine

eBbooks are getting much more attention than audiobooks, but did you know that audiobooks are already generating annual sales of around billion dollars? The Audio Publishers Association (APA) also reported that the audiobook industry experienced only a slight drop in sales in 2008, comparable to those of the trade book industry.

We have a special interest in audiobooks as we believe they represent one of the options to read books sustainably, especially when you download them - an option that represents right now about 21% of all sales (the rest are CDs).

Therefore, I would like to recommend on an interesting interview with on mediabistro's Morning Media Menu with Robin F. Whitten, the editor and publisher of Audiofile magazine - a magazine dedicated to audiobooks.

Whitten shared in this interview her thoughts about the digital future of the audiobook and also gave some ideas for holiday gift ideas for the audiobook lovers. You're also welcome to check the website of this interesting magazine at

You can listen to the interview right here-

And it's also an opportunity to remind you the new audiobook of Al Gore - "OUR CHOICE: A Plan To Solve the Climate Crisis", which is narrated by Sex & the City's Cynthia Nixon, Mad Men's John Slattery, and Al Gore (published by Simon & Schuster Audio). Definitely a great holiday gift for audiobook lovers!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Green book review for the holidays - part 3: The book you should bring to small business owners

Today we have our third part on our holidays series, where we review green books that will make great presents this holiday season!

Each book will be dedicated to another group and we today we have a group that is the backbone of the American economy - small business owners (and employees!). And the green book we're recommending to give to the small biz owners is:

Greening Your Small Business: How to Improve Your Bottom Line, Grow Your Brand, Satisfy Your Customers - and Save the Planet

Author: Jennifer Kaplan

Jennifer Kaplan founded Greenhance, a business consultancy dedicated to provide marketing and communication strategies to small business going green. She has more than 20 years of marketing experience with companies such as Discovery Channel, Lifetime Television, Conde Nast Publications and Simon & Schuster Publishing. An Adjunct Faculty in Marketing at Marymount University, Jennifer has conducted in-depth research into consumer attitudes about how small businesses can most effectively go green. She is an alumnae of Barnard College and the New York University Stern School of Business.

Publisher: Prentice Hall Press

Published on:
November 2009

What this book is about? (from the publisher's website)
The ultimate resource for small business owners who want to go green without going broke.

Greening Your Small Business is the definitive resource for those who want their small businesses to be cutting- edge, competitive, profitable, and eco-conscious. Filled with stories from small business owners of all stripes, Greening Your Small Business addresses every aspect of going green, from basics such as recycling, reducing waste, energy efficiency, and reducing the IT footprint, to more in-depth concerns such as green marketing and communications, green business travel, and green employee benefits.

For companies too small to hire consultants to draft and implement green policies and practices, this guide is designed for easy use, featuring:

• Simple ways to make the workplace greener
• Two plans of action for going green (divided into two levels)
• Definitions for green terminology and jargon

Why it's a great holiday gift for eco-shoppers?
If you know a small business owner or employee, you know small businesses are struggling in the current economy. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet to get out of the recession, but there are some ways to increase the chances to survive in the short term and prosper in the long term, and one of them is the green way. How you do it? Jennifer Kaplan's book is one of the best places to start with.

Going green has many definitions, but for small businesses it can definitely mean saving money and increasing profits by making your business more eco-friendly. The book is systematically covering all the relevant aspects for a small biz - marketing, transportation, energy, HR, office supplies, etc. In each of these subjects, the small biz owners will find information that will help them to identify their problems and practical advice on how to solve them.

This is in a way a "how-to" guide, but it's different and better of many other green guides that are out there. Firstly, it's very practical - when it talks about an issue, such as direct mailing or waste reduction, it provides effective recommendations and tips for successful implementation. Second, it offers simple ways to make the workplace greener, which is especially important for those who are afraid that going green is equivalent to starting a small revolution. Third, it provides great case studies that help to make everything more relevant and realistic by providing examples of small companies that are really taking the steps the book is talking about.

Now, going green is not a guarantee for business prosperity, but it's a part that is becoming more and more essential, especially when it comes to small businesses. Now, given the fact that it's not really that complicated to implement these win-win ideas, I think each and every one of the 26.4 million small businesses in the U.S. should take it into consideration. So if you know anyone who owns or works in one of these businesses, this is definitely the book for them.

Price: $14.36

Disclosure: We received a copy of this book from the publisher.

More on our holidays series:

Green book for parents - The Looking Book
Green book for eco-shoppers - ECOHOLIC

And don't forget that if you're buying a green book, you can
even make your gift greener by adding our holidays special offer to it - trees/stickers and a beautiful holidays gift card made of recycled paper. For further information, please go to

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!