Friday, November 30, 2007

Planting 79 million trees in one day

The UN climate change conference will take place next month in Bali, Indonesia. In the meantime, Indonesia, which has been losing its forests at a rapid pace in recent years, launched a campaign to plant 79 million trees in one single day - November 28.

Reuters reported that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (in the picture) was quoted by state news agency Antara as saying "we have been negligent in the past, now we have to get our act together," as he planted saplings on the outskirts of Jakarta on that day.

And President Yudhoyono knows what he is talking about - according to Greenpeace, Indonesia had the fastest pace of deforestation in the world between 2000-2005, with an area of forest equivalent to 300 soccer pitches destroyed every hour. One reason for these unbelievable rates of deforestation are the rapidly expanding palm oil plantations, partly driven by ambitious plans for biofuels.

Deforestation (and also the forest fires) also one of the main reasons that Indonesia is also among the world's top three greenhouse gas emitters, together with the US and China.

Back to the planting operation - the Indonesian forestry ministry officials said 79 million saplings were collected from local governments around the archipelago and they were planning to complete the planting in one day.

The planting campaign was part of a United Nations global campaign to plant one billion trees - the Billion Tree campaign, which was launched by Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai last November (the campaign, by the way, also featured us on their website—( These efforts are due to the fact that deforestation accounts for around 20 percent of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide, the main driver of global warming.

I don't know yet if the Indonesians succeeded in their goal and planted 79 million trees, but in any case it's an importnat step in the right direction. Even more important is to significantly decrease the rapid rate of deforestation in this country, and this is the main test for Indonesia's will to go green.

One-time planting won't do the job unless a consistent policy of handling illegal loggers and foreign companies that look for quick profits out of Indonesia's natural capital will take place, and the sooner the better.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A review of The Minpins by Roald Dahl.. and we have a winner!

Kimbooktu's contest that is in partnership with Eco-Libris has a first winner!

The reader Sulz wrote a review on the great book The Minpins by Roald Dahl and receives the first prize on the contest - 5 of her books will be balanced out by planting 5 new trees! She will also receive 5 Eco-Libris stickers to put on the sleeves of these books.

So, here's Sulz review:

The book in one sentence: Mollycoddled Little Billy listens to the Devil's whisper and naughtily enters the Forest of Sin against his mother's warnings!

Who would you recommend it to: Little boys and girls with a taste for adventure.

OK bits: The Minpins and their houses.

Boring bits: The ending where Little Billy ventures into mysterious places high up in the sky.

Random review quote: 'Roald Dahl's last picture book is as mind-bogglingly wonderful as all the others. This is classic Dahl: the charming stories with that disquieting edge of fear… Patrick Benson's illustrations are vibrant and so full of life that there is water splashing off the page and leaves swirling among the trees yet there's a harmonious gentleness evident too. A superb book' — Books for Keeps

Verdict: The review quote is right in a way. It is a typical Dahl children story, but not quite as classic as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or The BFG. That said, it still makes a pretty good bedtime story and the illustration is a nice change from the usual Quentin Blake ones. (Not that Quentin Blake's illustrations are boring, they're wonderful!)

Why this book is green: As the book cover above shows, The Minpins is a very 'green' book. The premise of the story is very nature-based, and this is reflected in both the story and illustrations. It's a book based on nature that will interest children and nurture the spirit of environmental friendliness without being boring! thanks!

Thank you Sulz for a great review!

If you are inspired by Sulz and want to send a review of your own, please send it to: k_heijdenrijk [at] hotmail [dot] com. If you win, Eco-Libris will balance out five of your books, you will receive 5 stickers and we'll also post your recommendation right here on our blog.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Readers get online access to 1.5 million books

Good news from The Million Book Project - This international academic venture has just has completed the digitization of more than 1.5 million books, which are now available online. reported yesterday that "For the first time since the project was initiated in 2002, all of the books, which range from Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” to “The Analects of Confucius,” are available through a single Web portal of the Universal Library (, said Gloriana St. Clair, Carnegie Mellon’s dean of libraries. "

Prof. Raj Reddy, of the department of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon added that “this project brings us closer to the ideal of the Universal Library: making all published works available to anyone, anytime, in any language. The economic barriers to the distribution of knowledge are falling.”

Most of the books can not be read free of charge yet. Currently about half of the current collection remains under copyright, and until the permission of the copyright holders can be documented, or copyright laws are amended, only 10 percent or less of those books can be accessed at no cost. Still there's something to look for - at least half of its books are out of copyright, or were digitized with the permission of the copyright holders, so the complete texts are or eventually will be available free.

Though Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Amazon and the Internet Archive all have launched major book digitization projects, the Million Book Project represents the world’s largest, university-based digital library of freely accessible books. When asked how the Million Book Project fits in with the other book scanning projects, Dr. Michael Shamos, a Carnegie Mellon computer science professor who is the project's director, called those projects "fellow travelers."

These are great news for book lovers, for people who support the distribution of knowledge to all and of course for the environment. I hope the digitalization and the easy accessibility of so many books will mean eventually that less trees will be cut down.

So, check it out and look for this great source of unique books at And if you choose to print a book at home, please don't forget to print it on recycled paper..

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When Santa Turned Green

I received an email from our reader, Karen Leever who told me about a new green book for kids 'When Santa Turned Green', written by her friend Vickie Perla.

This book looks really great, especially for this time of the year, and I am happy to share with you Karen's review of the book:

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.

Penned by award-winning copywriter (and mom) Victoria Perla, and illustrated by Mirna Kantarevic, When Santa Turned Green is a perfect melding of fairy-tale and fact. 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.

"Children have a relationship with Santa unlike any other; they would listen and respond if they knew he was in need," says Perla. When Santa Turned Green is printed in the U.S. with soy-based inks on 100% recycled paper. One dollar from the sale of each book will be donated to charitable organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting the environment.

We even received a quote from Al Gore: "When Santa Turned Green helps even the youngest child grasp the importance of caring for our planet and solving the climate crisis." -- Al Gore.

Thank you Karen for letting us know on this book. It sounds like a green book kids would love to read, and I hope many children (and parents) will read it and be inspired of its green spirit!

You can find more details on the book on its website, where you can also order the book, and on the author's blog.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Monday, November 26, 2007

The forest of Robin Hood needs help

Sherwood Forest has a fascinating history and is the legendary home of Robin Hood. It's also in trouble.

AP reported earlier this month that the core of the forest, once covered about 100,000 acres, is currently about 450 acres.

Sherwood Forest is a Living Landmark and is one of the most famous forests in the world. It’s located at the heart of the UK between the major conurbations of Nottingham and Sheffield. It's association with the legend of Robin Hood, the legendary 13th century bandit who supposedly hid there from his nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham, in between stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.

According to the article, park rangers working say the collection of ancient oaks in the forest is one of the greatest in Europe. But they see an increase in the trees' rate of decline. Over the centuries, the forest was carved up for farms, mines, towns and logging. Sherwood timber built medieval ships and even part of London's St. Paul's Cathedral.

Currently 997 ancient oaks stand on the 450 acres known as the "beating heart of the forest." 450 of them are still living, and of those, 250 are good shape, while the other 200 are particularly vulnerable. The remainder are standing deadwood, still valuable to the forest because of the life they support.

Izi Banton, the forest's chief ranger, explains in the article that "the oaks and wildlife will become more vulnerable as long as they remain isolated from the rest of the forest. The rescue plan would focus on planting 250,000 trees to knit the parts of the forest back together."

Hopes are high that Sherwood Forest will win the grant from BIG Lottery, a branch of the National Lottery that gives out money to good causes. The lottery committee has shortlisted Sherwood and four other projects to vie for the $100 million.
The supporters of the forest believes it has enormous potential and Big Lottery Fund investment in this unique national asset could realise the long-standing vision for this project 'Sherwood: The Living Legend' which is:

To transform Sherwood Forest into a world-class sustainable destination and inspirational community resource, within which current and future generations can live, learn, play and prosper.

I hope they will win the grant and will be able to achieve their vision and save this beautiful legendry forest.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Armchair Environmentalist - Holiday green gift guide for book lovers: part 6

The holiday season started already (next holiday on my list: Hanukah!), and I hope it's going to be great and green to all of you. I am happy to present you with part 6 of Eco-Libris blog's holiday green gift guide, the guide that will help you find the best green books to give as gifts this holiday season.

Today we bring you a recommendation of Megan Kuhlmann of on a great green book that you can carry with you everywhere you go.

Megan lives and works in Los Angeles, California. When she’s not unplugging her unused appliances or extolling the virtues of chemical-free cleansers, Megan can often be found handing out recyclable toothbrushes and explaining cold-water washing to fellow folders at the Laundromat. In addition to pollution, Megan also dislikes olives, puns, and sleeping in socks. Alternately, Megan loves tree-huggers, karaoke, and a well-crafted sentence.

Megan Kuhlmann's recommendation for this holiday's gift is:

The Armchair Environmentalist

Author: Karen Christensen

Publisher: M Q Publications

Published in: 2004

What it is about:
The Armchair Environmentalist is “a three minute-a-day action plan to save the world.” It focuses on what individuals can do to reduce their use of energy and water and create a healthier environment at home and at work.

The Armchair Environmentalist is an easy read and chocked full of cute pictures and graphics. Printed on 100% recycled paper, this little book can fit easily into a briefcase or handbag, making it that much easier to take the info "to go".

A year or so ago, my friend Rachel loaned me her copy of this sweet little book and I instantly loved it. Discussing The Armchair Environmentalist and armchair environmentalism in general led us to launch The idea that in just a few minutes a day one person can make lots of tiny choices that positively impact the environment is what our site this book are all about.

Why it's a great gift: Green is sexy! Being eco-conscious is so popular these days, but a lot of people still think that being green means wearing hemp shoes, driving a hybrid and laying bamboo floors.

The Armchair Environmentalist is an entertaining, colorful way to show friends and family that being green is more about unplugging your cell phone charger and washing your clothes in cold water than installing a wind turbine in your backyard. This cheeky, chubby book makes a great stocking stuffer and is a fabulous intro-to-eco primer.

Thank you Megan for a great recommendation!

And just a reminder, here are the other recommendations we had so far on our guide:

Part 1 - The Man who Planted Trees by Jean Giono
Part 2 - Home Work : Handbuilt Shelter by Lloyd Kahn
Part 3 - The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Part 4 - The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Part 5 - Deep Economy by Bill McKibben

The whole guide can be found here -

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Now you can find on our website two special offers for the holidays -
holiday greeting cards and holiday certificate gifts.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Convenient Truth

Like many of us, Jack Guest also watched Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth". Unlike many others, he was inspired by the movie to do a film of its own - "A convenient Truth", a film about the world getting better.

In 2006 Jack invested his life savings and took a film crew to Sweden (by boat), a country aiming to break its dependency on oil by 2020. There he met a full range of people, from politicians and scientists, to families and entrepreneurs.

In December of the same year Jack continued his journey, crossing the Atlantic by cargo ship in search of love, a low carbon footprint, and time to enjoy the ride. Things didn’t go exactly according to plan...

Here's how
Global Cool described the film:

A Convenient Truth in its entirety is a road movie, made up of three distinct but at the same time inter-related journeys. The first is of discovery, that greener living is not the daydream of a few, but is in fact reality for the people of Sweden; the second is of a hopeless romantic on a cargo ship to Canada, buoyed on by his revived love for an ex and equally heartfelt desire to prove long-haul does not necessarily mean an aisle seat and deep vein thrombosis; and the third is of realisation, that managing life, love and the planet is a big ask, even for a multi-talented 25 year-old.

Jack Guest says in his
website that "A Convenient Truth’s positive message is that things can get better and that change does not have to mean sacrifice." Amen!

You can watch now the trailer (see below) and there's also the preview.

Bigger than a trailer, richer than a making of, and better than a long wait, the
feature length preview film is just that: it’s a film, it’s feature length (95 minutes), and it’s a preview of the full film. Split into five parts, between 5 and 30 minutes each. A part costs about $0.75 (or £1) and you get 200 credits to watch one part for free.

All proceeds will go towards finishing the
full film and releasing in early 2008.

I haven't seen the preview yet, but I'm impressed with Jack Guest's enthusiasm and commitment, and I'm also a big fan of road movies, especially green ones, so I hope "An Convenient Truth" will become a blockbuster and invite all of you to watch it.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Cloud, The Clam, The Comet and Jeba, The Hound of Renown

I am very happy to hear from our readers, especially when it's about a book they wrote that is printed on recycled paper.

This is also an opportunity for me to learn on new interesting books, like the one I am happy to present today - 'The Cloud, The Clam, The Comet and Jeba, The Hound of Renown' by Lib Willard.
Following Lib's request, I bring you a review written on the book and published on her blog by Stan Patten, PhD:

With “The Cloud, The Clam, The Comet and Jeba, The Hound of Renown, “ Lib Willard has written and illustrated a wonderful story for children of many ages that combines the earth, the sea, and the sky into a magical land where clouds and clams and comets and dogs not only talk to each other but also care for each other.

Read it aloud and hear the rhythms of poetry bringing the words to life; and take time to savor the illustrations. There is a whimsy to the illustrations (art might be a better term) that mixes a childlike imagination with the richness of many hues. In short, this small book is both a visual and auditory delight.

This First Edition is printed on 100% recycled text paper, and 30% of the proceeds go to helping stray and orphaned dogs. Jeba approves. Make this book a part of your child’s library. How often can you have a great read, do no damage to the environment, and improve the lives of our four-legged creatures?

Stan Patten, PhD
(UNCC English Department, retired)

Thank you Lib Willard for this great book and for going green and printing it on 100% recycled paper. If you are interested in the book, y
ou are welcome to check out Lib Willard's blog, where you can also find where you can buy the book.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Special offers from Eco-Libris for the holidays

Everyone is getting ready for the holidays and so is Eco-Libris.

Starting today you can find two special offers for the holidays on our website. So if you are looking for a unique green gift in an affordable price, you are welcome to check out these offers:

1. Special Eco-Libris gift for the holidays - 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 payment page to the address of the gift receiver and we will take care of the rest!

The holiday greeting cards we send are made by Doodle Greetings (a Co-op America member) from Kensington, MD. 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. Furthermore, according to Doodel Greeting's website, the paper is made entirely with renewable energy (primarily wind power). Sounds like a good fit with Eco-Libris stickers!

2. Special Eco-Libris gift certificate - give an Eco-Libris gift certificate to the people you care about, with which they will be able to plant trees for the books they read. For every tree planted, we will send them an Eco-Libris sticker to display on their book’s sleeve.

All you have to do is to choose the gift certificate you would like to give (we have certificates starting from $5), press the 'buy' button and fill in the details on PayPal page. You can later decide if you want to send the certificate online or print it and send it by mail.

Please note that you don't need to have a paypal account to purchase the gift certificate (PayPal accepts credit and debit cards), but the gift receiver will need to open a PayPal account (free of cost) to use your gift certificate.

As we told you last week, Eco-Libris is featured in TreeHugger's 2007 gift guide and we're very proud of it. We truly hope to see many eco-conscious readers go green this holiday season with Eco-Libris.

And of course, if you want to give a green book as a gift don't forget to check out our weekly green guide for book lovers.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The valley of books

I learned about it firstly from the excellent blog of Larry Portzline, Friends of Indie Bookstores USA The National Council on Bookstore Tourism. Then I ran to open the New York Times and read Roger Mummert's article 'In the Valley of the Literate'.

Mummert bring us the story of Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, which is a paradise for every avid reader - plenty of independent bookstores, many literature events every day and even loads of authors that live next by ("The Pioneer Valley is arguably the most author-saturated, book-cherishing, literature-celebrating place in the nation. ")

And now there's even more - the valley is in the midst of a five-month festival call BookMarks: A Celebration of the Art of the Book. “BookMarks celebrates the valley’s rich literary pedigree going back to Emily Dickinson, and a plethora of writers live here today,” said Tony Maroulis, of Museums10, a consortium of local museums that sponsors the festival.

I read it and wanted to get immediately on the road and visit all of the places mentioned in the article. I think it's great to see such an area where independent bookstores thrive and literature prosper.

So please check out the article as well as the slideshow on the NYT site that brings you the sights of this unique area.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Monday, November 19, 2007

Amazon Kindle is finally here

Amazon finally unveiled today its new wireless reading device - Amazon Kindle.

We have followed the news on the upcoming device and also reported just two weeks ago on the expected delay in its introduction. Today we were happy to read on CNET that it finally happened - Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO unveiled Amazon's new electronic book reader at New York's W Hotel.

Kindle is very light and weights only 10.3 ounces. It has a black-and-white screen, a battery that will last several days to a week and a capacity for about 200 books (1,000 books with a slot for a standard SD memory card).

Kindle does not require a PC for synchronization or any software to be installed. The store is actually on the device and is stocking now more than 90,000 titles. Besides books, you can have access with it to magazines, newspapers, blogs and even Wikipedia.

It all sounds really great. The only downside is the price - $399, which makes it a relatively expensive gadget.

Still, it might be the beginning of the digital revolution of books. Bezos said today "Books have stubbornly resisted digitization. I think there's a very good reason for that, and that is, the book is so highly evolved and so suited to its task that it's very hard to displace." He is totally right and the question hanging in the air is whether the Kindle is suited to become a replacement.

My wish is that Kindle won't only become cheaper, but also be manufactured in an eco-friendly manner (right now I only know it's been manufactured by an undisclosed Chinese original equipment manufacturer), hopefully adopting cradle to cradle concepts.

Right now we know it will save a lot of trees and this is good news. If as a devise that is so advanced technologically, it will also become advanced environmentally, it would be great news.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Deep Economy - Holiday green gift guide for book lovers: part 5

Welcome to part 5 of Eco-Libris blog's holiday green gift guide, the guide that will help you find the best green books to give as gifts this holiday season.

Today I am very happy to bring you a recommendation on a new book of the great
Bill McKibben written by one of one of the most enthusiastic and talented green bloggers and writers in LA - Siel.

As a teenager, Siel sped past Paramount Studios every day on the 10 Metro bus to get to Fairfax High School. Now she cuts through the concrete jungle of Los Angeles on her pink Townie bike to shop at local farmers' markets and socialize in pre-loved Prada heels. Siel writes
Emerald City, a green blog for, as well as a personal blog, green LA girl.

Siel's recommendation for this holiday's gift is:

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

Bill McKibben

Times Books

Published in: 2007

What it is about: Drive alone into a gated community in the suburbs, to park in a private, 2-car garage and hole up in a
secret internet room. This is what our wealth has bought us, according to McKibben: Ways to better seclude ourselves. In America, it's lonely being rich.

Deep Economy is most concerned about our sense of self in a "hyper-individualized world," a world in which we've been conditioned to deprioritize personal connections with other human beings in the pursuit of individual success, monetary or otherwise.

Personal ambition is important, of course. But to McKibben, these ambitions are too often one-sided — and unrealistic, in the age of mass media. It's one thing to keep up with the Joneses, quite another to keep up with The O.C., McKibben quips.

To prove his point, he takes you through multiple, wide-ranging journeys in Deep Economy: a year of spent eating only local food, a scientific and historical look at the possibilities of a community-based, post-petroleum agriculture, an exploration of mass media and the outlook on local radio, and a somewhat obligatory summary of the pending global warming crisis — a crisis that a more community-centered outlook can help mitigate, McKibben points out, as well as help absorb the aftershocks in the case of a true disaster.

Why it's a great gift: Deep Economy opens up a different way of thinking about happiness, individuality, community and ambition -- all while providing solid info on the most important issues facing us as a society today. Reading it's sure to give the recipient innovative and exciting ideas for starting off the new year!

Thank you Siel for a great recommendation!

If you choose to give your friends or family this book as a gift on the holidays, you are more than welcome to balance it out with
Eco-Libris, add its sticker to the book and make it the perfect green gift for the holidays.

And just a reminder on past recommendations on our series:
Part 1 - The Man who Planted Trees by Jean Giono
Part 2 - Home Work : Handbuilt Shelter by Lloyd Kahn
Part 3 - The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Part 4 - The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

The whole guide can be found here -

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

24/7 Trivia is offering its players a special Eco-Libris promotion

This week is full of new collaborations for Eco-Libris. This time we're talking trivia.

Trivia is one of my favorite games and therefore I'm very happy that Eco-Libris is part of a green promotion run by a leading trivia website - 24/7 Trivia. The connection between trivia and books makes a lot of sense as a good trivia player is usually also an avid reader. Therefore balancing out books of trivia platers is only natural.

This special promotion is taking place today (Nov 17th) between 9pm and midnight EST, and you can find all the details about it on their promotions page.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Friday, November 16, 2007

Eco-Libris is collaborating with BookSwim on a special holiday gift card program

Eco-Libris is happy to announce on a new collaboration, this time with BookSwim, the premier online book rental service.

BookSwim launched yesterday a Holiday Gift Card Program to sponsor the planting of holiday evergreen trees with the help of Eco-Libris. For every online gift card purchased at during the 2007 holiday gift season, BookSwim promises the planting of a new Holiday evergreen tree with Eco-Libris.

BookSwim, established June 2006, is the first full-service
online paperback and hardcover book rental library club allowing subscribers to rent books shipped directly to their door with no late fees and free shipping.

The company is based in Monroe, NJ but offers book rental service nationwide ranging from hardcover new release novels to classics, nonfiction bestsellers to children's books.

Book club subscription plans range from under $15 to $36 per month and allow up to 11 books borrowed out at a time and returned in a pre-paid bag, but members are also given the option to buy.

George Burke, chief marketing officer, explains the idea behind the gift card: "book rental gift cards make great last minute gifts for parents, for seniors who may not be able to make it to the bookstore or library, kids who need a constant supply of fresh books, and of course friends and coworkers. And now, the Holiday gift giver can be proud of the dual nature of the honorable gifts of both reading and replenishing nature."

You are welcome to check it out at BookSwim's website.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

A special green offer for readers of Oprah's Book Club new selection

I read yesterday on USA TODAY on Oprah Winfrey's book club new selection - The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. This is a great book and a great choice!

Eco-Libris believes that this 973-pages book should not be only a celebration of a great book and the joy of reading, but also an opportunity to discuss the urgent need in sustainable reading, which does not harm the environment. I read in the article that New American Library has printed 612,000 new "deluxe" Oprah editions. That's a lot of paper and a lot of trees that are cut down for this special edition.

Eco-Libris aims to raise the awareness to the environmental impacts of using paper for the production of books and for the need in printing books in an eco-friendly manner.

Therefore, we are having a special offer for all the eco-conscious readers out there that want to buy the new edition of the book:

If you buy the book and you want to help the environment, please send us an email to with your address and the first sentence of Chapter 4 (just to show us you bought the book..). Eco-Libris will balance out the book for the first 50 people who email us with the right sentence.

It means that one tree will be planted by our planting partners to balance out the paper used for the book. And we will send you our sticker made of recycled paper saying “One tree planted for this book” you can later proudly display on the book's sleeve showing your commitment to the environment. And yes, we'll send it in an envelope made of recycled paper.

We truly hope to see Oprah's book club assist in promoting sustainable reading in the same way it helped with a great success to promote reading.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Eco-Libris is featured on TreeHugger's 2007 Gift Guide

TreeHugger published yesterday its 2007 Gift Guide for the upcoming holidays.

The guide is full with great ideas for gifts to many different types of people - from the outdoors lover to the person who has everything. Each type is also devided to three shades of green (light, medium and dark) to make it easier to fit the right green gift to for everyone on your gift list.

One of the great ideas on the guide is.. Eco-Libris. Yep, we're proud to be featured in TreeHugger's guide. We are offered as one of the (medium) green gift options for the geeks and more specifically for the book geeks.

Here is the recommendation:

Ecolibris (book geek)
For the book geek on your list, Eco-Libris helps readers to put something back for all their bookworm pleasures. They figure that 20 million trees meet their demise for each year of US book sales; to get those trees growing they've teamed with three conservation groups to keep the world's forests going strong. TH Link Product Link

I can definitely agree that we will be a perfect fit for the book geeks on your list, or any other eco-conscious reader (not only geeks..) you have there that loves books and also wants to help the environment.

We hope to see many people go green this holiday season with Eco-Libris. We're soon going to offer more options for the holidays, such as gift certificates and sending our stickers with a beautiful greeting cards made of recycled paper as a unique and affordable green gift.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And the winner of the People's Choice Award is:

I hope you all remember Co-op America's 2007 People's Choice Award for the Green Business of the Year.

We ran here an
unofficial guide to the award, where we presented all the final 10 nominees. Last Saturday, the winner was announced in the San Francisco Green Festival:

Congratulations to It's a great green business and it definitely deserves the award.

Co-Op America reported in its newsletter on the winner's response to the exciting news:

"Our ongoing mission since day one has been to change the status quo of society's use-and-toss mentality by providing sound, practical ideas and products," says Vincent Cobb, founder of "We were thrilled to be nominated the past two years, and are incredibly honored to win this year's award."

San Francisco is clearly the place to give the award to, as it is the first (and for the best of my knowledge the only) city in the US where plastic bags are banned. I hope many cities and states will follow SF's leadership and will act to finish the destructive addiction to plastic bags. is the place to see the alternatives to plastic bags and to learn how easy it can be to go green when it comes to our shopping bags.

For those of you who didn't have the chance to read the on in our guide, you can find it


Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Forest Green Poem

We always like to hear from our readers, and therefore I was very happy when I received this week an email from our reader Joe Martino, with a poem in it.

Martino, an inventor and a poet, describes his poem as a real reverence for nature and ecology. I liked his poem very much and I would like to share it with you all:

Forest Green

"I choose to track though a thick carpet of forest green,
where natures beauty remains pristine.
Along paths that has never before bared a human print.

Where sacred ground remains unspoiled... and
fallen leaves remain unsoiled.

I worship the wilderness and natures laws,....
anything unnatural i abhor,...
it tears my heart to the very core.

I yearn to venture deep within the forest green,...
where no human life exists in between and wildlife
is seldom seen.
I prefer the hermits life,...away from all the
needless strife.
And, if and when, i fulfil my noble goals,...and
my final chapter then unfolds,....
i'll share my tale with all my heart and soul,.... to the
very young and the very old....
and until my story is fully told."


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Monday, November 12, 2007

30 Rock goes greenzo

Last week was NBC Universal's "green week", with a seven days of green-themed programming "aimed at entertaining, informing and empowering Americans to lead greener lives."

I didn't catch much of it, but I was happy to see that one of my favorite shows '30 Rock' of the great Tina Fey (or should I say Ms. Lemon) went green, or more accurately went greenzo. Check it out yourself - the whole episode (as well as all the episodes this year) are available on NBC website.

And thanks to Ecorazzi I learned that on YouTube (where else if not there) you can find a scene from the episode, where a surprising guest is showing up:

More on the green week can be found on Joel Makover's blog 'Two Steps Forward', where he covers all the interesting angles of this green week.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Tiny Seed - Holiday green gift guide for book lovers: Part 4

Welcome to part 4 of Eco-Libris blog's holiday green gift guide, the guide that will help you find the best green books to give as gifts this holiday season.

Today our focus is on children's books, and I am very happy to bring you the recommendation of one of the most knowledgeable persons I know about green kids - Stefani Newman.

To those of you who don't know her, Stefani Newman is a recent transplant from New York to Florida to Panama City, Panama. If getting used to a new country isn't enough, Stefani decided to jump into the blogging world with her informative blog, teensygreen.

teensygreen focuses on helping families make more eco-friendly decisions by highlighting innovative green products, and covering news that brings a little green to every family. When she's not writing she can usually be found at the park, pool, or counting the many ships waiting to get into the Panama Canal!

Stefani's recommendation for this holiday's gift is:

The Tiny Seed

Author: Eric Carle

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Originally published in: 1991

What it is about + Why it's a great gift: Since teensygreen is all about green kids, and I have two little girls of my own, I thought a great kid's book would only be appropriate!

Eric Carle is a true champion of animals and nature through his books, and "The Tiny Seed" takes readers on a beautiful journey through the life cycle of a seed. Kids love to find the smallest seed on every page as it travels many miles through the seasons, overcoming tough obstacles (like hungry birds and big feet!), and finally grows into a stunning, giant flower - only to start the cycle over again.

This book works on so many levels - it not only teaches kids about seasons and the life of a seed, but it subtly helps children learn respect for nature, such as why we not only need to plant more flowers and trees, but why we also need to leave what's already there alone. Young children love the colorful collage images, while older kids can get to know the subject through Carle's gentle words.

This book, and pretty much all of Eric Carle's books, are great gifts for kids of any age. The vibrant pictures and fun subjects really bring nature to life, and kids learn about the subject at hand through their imagination.

"The Tiny Seed" is also a great conversation starter about nature, the seasons, and helps kids open their eyes to the world outside. I was pleasantly surprised when my older daughter wouldn't pick any flowers at the playground because, as she put it, "they need a chance to grow, too"! I would recommend any Eric Carle book for the holidays, but "The Tiny Seed" is an absolute favorite!

Thank you Stefani for a great recommendation!

If you choose to give your friends or family this book as a gift on the holidays, you are more than welcome to balance it out with Eco-Libris, add its sticker to the book and make it the perfect green gift for the holidays.

And just a reminder on past recommendations on our series:
Part 1 - The Man who Planted Trees by Jean Giono
Part 2 - Home Work : Handbuilt Shelter by Lloyd Kahn
Part 3 - The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

The whole guide can be found here -

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Simon & Schuster goes green

The big news of this week came from Simon & Schuster (S&S), one of the big four publishing firms in the world (the Big Four) and a home to writers such as Stephen King, David McCullough, Ursula Hegi and Bob Woodward.

Associated Press reported last Thursday that Simon & Schuster announced on a new environmental initiative and paper policy that will dramatically increase the amount of recycled fiber in the paper used to manufacture its books.

The new policy includes the following goals:

1. For books printed and bound in the U.S. - an incremental increase of the use of recycled fiber from its current 10% baseline level to a 25% or greater aggregate level by 2012.

2. Simon & Schuster will endeavor to have at least 10% of its paper Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified by 2012.

3. For books printed and bound in the United States, Simon & Schuster will endeavor to eliminate the use of paper that may contain fiber from endangered and old-growth forest areas.

4. By the end of 2007 and going forward, all Simon & Schuster shipping cartons will be made exclusively from 100% recycled post-consumer waste, subject to availability.

Firstly, this is good news for the environment - S&S purchases approximately 70,000 tons of paper annually. So at current production levels, the shift to 25 percent recycled fiber will result in saving approximately 483,000 trees annually and reducing greenhouse gases by nearly 85 million pounds!

This is also good news to all the book publishing industry because I believe this step will have further consequences. Such a step will certainly influence other publishers, especially the big ones that won't like to stay behind S&S. I am quite sure that the news from S&S gave the usage of recycled paper and other eco-friendly practices a much higher place than it used to have on the to-do list of many publishers.

Simon & Schuster developed its policy and will implement it with the help of the Green Press Initiative, a nonprofit organization, which is currently one of the most significant forces that work to move the book industry toward working in an eco-friendlier manner.

Now, I congratulate S&S for their big step, but I was wondering why it didn't go a little bit further and at least matched its goals with the Green Press Initiative's Industry Treatise. This treatise (Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper), already been adopted by more than 140 publishers.

Especially I'm referring to the treatise goal of "shifting the book industry's collective average use of recycled fiber from an estimated 5% recycled average at present to a 30% recycled industry average by 2012. " S&S said it will move to 25% by 2012 (or greater aggregate, which is a bit vague). The difference of 5% might sounds marginal, but we're talking here about almost 100,000 trees a year!

And just to remind you, we have already one of the Big Four that is committed to a goal of 30% recycled paper -Random House announced last year it will incrementally increase the recycled paper content of its books to 30% by 2010.

I also hope to see Simon & Schuster going further and take responsibility for all the trees cut down to supply their paper that is not sourced out of recycled paper or certified forests (FSC). Even on 2012, it will total in more than 1.5 million trees a year! Eco-Libris will certainly be willing to help here.

All in all, it's a great day for all the eco-conscious book lovers out there, and I look forward to reading more news from the book industry that will start like this : "Simon & Schuster, Inc., and its employees are committed to publishing in a manner that both respects the environment and helps to preserve the world’s great forest regions for the use and pleasure of future generations. "

Raz@ Eco-Libris

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

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The amazing tree

Eco-Libris Environmental and Natural Resource Advisor, Gili Koniak, returned from a visit in India and brought us a great picture of her and one of the most amazing trees I've ever seen.

Here's Gili description of the photo:

The picture was taken in the state of Rajasthan (more precise, near Pushkar), in the desert. This is a tree from the Ficus family and one more thing - this is all one tree!!! the trunk with air-roots that became part of the trunk.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Eco-Libris is collaborating with Kimbooktu in a special contest

Greetings to Kimbooktu!

This great website (we recommended its project site
'Your home library' in the past), which is dedicated to reading, is celebrating its 100,000th visitor today. This is an impressive achievement taking into consideration that the Kimbooktu is less than a year online. To celebrate this event, Kimbooktu is collaborating with Eco-Libris to initiate a special contest to its readers.

It goes like this:

How to win

All you have to do is review a ‘green’ book. You can pick any book you like, as long as you explain why you think the book is ‘green’ in your review. The total review does not have to be longer than three paragraphs. You can see two previous reviews
here and here.

The prizes

Eco-Libris has made ten prize packages that two reviewers can win every week. Each winner receives coupons for five trees. These trees will be planted in your name. This is not all. The review of the book gets published on the
Eco-Libris blog as a holiday gift suggestion.

Kimbooktu will contact the two winners via e-mail every Monday for five weeks, starting on November 19. We look forward to your reviews! You can send them to Kim, who initiated and run Kimbooktu, via
this address.

We hope to see many readers joining Kimbooktu's celebration and enriching us with more recommendations on great green books.

Kudos to Kim and her blog and we hope to celebrate with her Kimbooktu's 200,000th visitor very soon :-)

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Author Grows Toward Balance and Plants Trees for Book Signing Tour

One of the nice things about Eco-Libris is that it allows me to learn about interesting authors, and get to know great new books.

Mary Kearns and her new book “Growing Toward Balance” are just such an example. The fact that she decided to join the Eco-Libris circle of friends, balance out, and plant trees for all of the books she will be selling in her upcoming book signing tour, makes it even better ;-)

Kearns credentials are impressive and varied. She holds a doctorate in Applied Developmental Psychology from Fordham University, and is a Reiki practitioner. She completed her coaching training through the Institute for Life Coach Training, practices Bikram Yoga, and studied the philosophies of Buddhism, Quakerism and the works of Maria Montessori, the Sedona Method, Reiki, Tai Chi and Feng Shui.

The book is a self-improvement guide that offers exercises and coaching-style questions to help cultivate your best self – mind, body, and spirit. A free downloadable workbook companion in PDF format is available for free download so you can get a taste.

Want to learn more? Her first book tour stop is in Bethesda, MD on November 17, and we'll keep you updated about it. So buy her book and plant some trees!

Here are the complete details:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Be You Wellness Center and Spa

Wyngate Medical Park
5602 Shields Drive
Bethesda, MD 20817
(301) 493-4911

"Please join us for a book signing featuring food, door prizes and bonus download materials. 10% of gross sales will be donated to Northern Virginia Family Services and 1 tree will be planted by Eco-Libris for every book purchased."

UPDATE - Another confirmed venue:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
1359 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, VA 22101


Eylon @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays! !

Monday, November 5, 2007

What's up with Amazon's Kindle?

Last September we updated you on efforts to unveil in October their new e-book reader - the Kindle.

Today the New York Times reports that it seems that the company has pushed back that date and is aiming for an introduction by the end of this year.

So, if you are waiting for the Kindle, hold your horses at least until next month. I guess the delay is for the best, as Amazon is trying to come out to the market with the best product possible. According to the item "publishing executives say Amazon is trying to work out technology kinks in the Kindle and bring as many titles — books, magazines and newspapers — onto the service as possible before introduction."

Well, we'll have to wait and see if the Kindle will be able to change the current reality, where e-books represent only a tiny part of the $35 billion a year book business. My guess is that we'll have to wait to Kindle 2.0 and more probably to Kindle 3.0 or 4.0 before we see any significant change in the market share of e-books.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays! !

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Joy of Vegan Baking - Holiday green gift guide for book lovers: part 3

Welcome to part 3 of Eco-Libris blog's green gift guide, the one that will help you find the best green books to give as gifts this holiday season.

Today I am very excited to bring you today the recommendation of Victoria E. For those of you who don't know her, Victoria E is a creatively versatile eco-powerhouse: she is a freelance writer, life-long model, on-camera personality, official U.S. spokesperson for Twice Shy Clothing and founder of the San Francisco Craft Mafia - a classic Renaissance woman and mistress-of-all-trades.

Starting as an outlet for updates about her freelance writing and modeling, her official website at has quickly grown into a dependable source for a variety of information on green, crafty, and DIY living. You're welcome to check it out!

Victoria's recommendation for this holiday's gift is:

The Vegan Joy of Baking

Author: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Publisher: Fair Winds Press

Published in: 2007

What it is about + Why it's a great gift: The holidays always make me want to slow down and spend more time in the kitchen, making delicious goodies from my friends and loved ones. I've been progressing to become a vegetarian for a few months now, and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcast, Vegetarian Food For Thought has been a wonderful outlet for learning about compassionate eating and actions.

Though I don't drink soy milk or even have any blocks of soy in my fridge, I've learned so much from her tips that even my meat-loving boyfriend has been enjoying our dinners even more as of late. Imagine my delight when I heard Colleen was coming out with her first cookbook, titled The Joy of Vegan Baking.

The thought of not baking with milk or eggs put me on edge right away, but after tasting some delicious vegan donuts and cupcakes recently, it was clear that no taste would be lost in the transition. There are oodles of preconceived notions about vegetarian and vegan foods, especially desserts, but after tasting some goodies that I made from these recipes, it is clear that those perceptions are wildly outdated.

Though I won't be able to spend any of the holidays with my family this year, I will be making treats from my best friend and boyfriend out this book. Will I tell them its vegan? Not until they eat 3 or 4 of them and rave about how tasty they are.

Any cook, experienced or novice, would enjoy The Joy of Baking - new food revolutions are on the horizon, and vegan baking is just one of them. "Featuring full-color photos and 150 familiar favorites -- from cakes, cookies, and crêpes to pies, puddings, and pastries -- this book will show you just how easy, convenient, and delectable baking without eggs and dairy can be."

This book is fresh from the oven - it came out on October 2007. Check out the book's website for sample recipes and of course to see where you can buy it. Thank you Victoria!

If you choose to give your friends or family this book as a gift on the holidays, you are more than welcome to balance it out with Eco-Libris, add its sticker to the book and make it the perfect green gift for the holidays.

And just a reminder on past recommendations on our series:

Part 1 - The Man who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

Part 2: Home Work : Handbuilt Shelter by Lloyd Kahn

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Do the green thing

Today I want to recommend on a new great website - Do the green thing.

Green Thing according to the site wants to help make a difference in the fight against climate change. It wants to help us achieving a more sustainable lifestyle, where we emit no more than 1 tone of CO2 a year.

Green thing encourages us to do a new green thing every month and keep doing these things throughout the year. They know it's only a start, but an important one that can make a difference eventually : "once enough people do the Green Thing, Green Thing can use this people power to persuade governments and businesses to do the Green Thing too and make changes necessary to begin to reduce the other fifty per cent."

I like their style, very light and British (in a good and humoristic way!). October's Green Thing is Walk once, to college or work or wherever. This month they encourage you to turn your lights off early and have some fun in the dark. What kind of fun? you could sleep or think a dark thought (listen to the audio here, it's hilarious).

Check also their video clip on their homepage for more ideas, and don't forget to join them and do a green thing or two this month.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great gift for the holidays!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Brazilian hardwood floors. Can you say “slave labor?”

Our reader from Minneapolis, Kermit Johnson, replied to our blog-action-day post and alerted us to a very interesting article he wrote about hardwood floors, deforestation and slave labor. So go check it out and big thumbs up to all green conscious real estate people out there.

Eylon @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Eco-Libris balanced out 5,000 books and it's just the beginning!

Good news! I'm happy to announce that Eco-Libris passed the 5,000 books milestone. Yes, we have balanced out 5,000 books for eco-conscious book readers from all over the world in our first four months of operation.

These books are balanced out when new trees are planted by our planting partners in Central America and Africa for the benefit of both the environment and local communities. One tree for every book.

Actually, we add a little extra and make sure 1.3 trees are planted for every tree you pay for to make sure that at least one tree will reach maturity for every book balanced out.

We keep receiving your great feedbacks and it energizes us to keep on with our mission - making reading more sustainable. So, keep on. we like it ;-)

We have a lot of interesting news and announcements coming up this month, so stay tuned to the blog.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: a great green gift for the holidays!

Picture Courtesy of Sustainable Harvest international, Eco-Libris' planting partner.