Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Michael Kleiner to promote Beyond the Cold at Norsk Høstfest in North Dakota

Michael Kliener is an author and SBN fellow member. He's working with Eco-Libris to green up his new book "Beyond the Cold: An American's Warm Portrait of Norway", and this week he will be participating and promoting his book at Norsk Høstfest, Norwegian Fall Festival, the largest Scandinavian festival in North America!

Here are the details:

Høstfest, Norwegian Fall Festival, the largest Scandinavian festival in North America, will take place on Oct. 1-Oct. 4 in Minot, North Dakota. The annual event, now in its 31st year, draws 60,000 people, including from Norway and the other Scandinavian countries.

Høstfest is consistently among the top 100 tourist destinations in the United States by the American Bus Association. Entertainment includes The Beach Boys, Charley Pride, Oak Ridge Boys, Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers, as well as Norwegian cultural music. Norwegian culinary treats will be available as well as clothing.

Congrats to Michael. He will also offer copies of his book for sale at the festival - each one of them with our sticker on, demonstrating the fact that one tree is planted for each copy. You are welcome to follow Michael's reports from the festival - he hopes to write a daily blog (subscribe to the RSS feed at http://podcast.beyondthecold.com). There will also be an ad in Norwegian-American Weekly this week and next week on their new Book section, indicating Michael will be at the Festival. The paper will be readily available at the Festival.

For information on the festival, visit the web site: http://www.hostfest.com

More relevant links
The book's website - http://www.beyondthecold.com
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shana Tova from Eco-Libris!

Tomorrow is Rosh Hashana which is a Jewish holiday celebrating the Jewish New Year. Eco-Libris will be celebrating it with a lot of pomegranates (yummy) and honey cakes (very yummy!).

I would also like to take this opportunity and wish you all Sahana Tova on behalf of Eco-Libris. May this Rosh Hashanah be the beginning of a sweet, green and wonderful year!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An interview with Bill Roth, author of the new book 'On Empty (Out of Time)'

Bill Roth is the author of the new and important book "On Empty (Out of Time)", which readers have described as "America's final "wake-up call"" and "A must read if you want freedom from high pump prices!".

We reviewed the book at the beginning of the month and I felt afterwards that this issue is way too important and requires an interview with the author to learn more about his views and thoughts on the energy issues we're facing.

Firstly here's a little background of the author (see also photo below): Bill Roth has a solid experience in the energy sector, with a career that included posts such as senior VP of marketing and sales with PG&E Energy Services and COO of Texaco Ovonics Hydrogen Solutions. Currently he is the President of NCCT, a San Francisco-based consulting firm helping businesses define and integrate Sustainability into their strategies, performance metrics, branding/marketing and business processes.. He is also Entrepreneur.com's Green Business Coach.

Bill Roth is also collaborating with Eco-Libris to plant a tree for every copy sold, and readers gets their copy with our sticker saying "One tree planted for this book".

And now to the interview:

Can you tell us what brought you to write "On Empty"? would you describe it as a theoretic book or more of 'renewable energy for dummies' kind of book?

People are not dumb. In fact my belief in people is what motivated me to write On Empty. I believe if people are supplied with Pricing Clarity that includes the “Systems” costs tied to consumption and if they have the freedom to choose among competing fuels/technologies then they will make the right decisions. And that is what we are seeing right now in America. The Green Economic Revolution portrayed in On Empty is a grass roots, people-led, movement.

You describe the book as a "call for action" for the American consumer. What’s the actions you would like to see immediately and do you really believe that the American consumer will act accordingly?

The American consumer wants Energy Independence, they want lower pump/meter prices and they want a clean environment. They are also the world’s largest change-agent with $10 trillion of annual buying power. A key to America’s success is our system of empowering consumers by allowing them to buy “best of class” from the world’s entire inventory of goods and services. This is what must happen for America (and the world) to realize the benefits of moving from a carbon-based system to a sustainable system. And to achieve this empowerment requires two steps, Pricing Clarity at the pump/meter and removal of Barriers to Entry that now limit consumer access to sustainable solutions.

How did the U.S. got to this point where if I may quote you "we face recession and inflation as we borrow trillions of dollars to finance an energy system that we don't own, that keeps charging us higher prices and is placing our troops in harm's way"? whose fault is it - Washington? the oil companies? the American consumer? all of them?

This is a classic boiling frog situation. The story of the boiling frog is that if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water it will jump out. If you put a frog in a pot of room temperature water and slowly bring it to a broil then the frog will die. America’s wealth allowed it to stay in the pot even as it became more and more unsustainable.

The fault is that our market system is not including in its prices at the pump and meter such societal costs as “Boots on the Ground” or Global Warming or deficit spending. And our market system has empowered legacy companies with advantages that preclude consumers from easily buying competitive alternatives. The changes that are required are systemic and their result will be a global mega-trend as dramatic in its impacts as the Information Age or Globalization.

You claim in your book that the alternative energy technologies that can benefit both our wallets and the environment are already there. So why we don't see greater use of these technologies?

Pricing and consumer access are the two elements to enabling any new technology. And achieving low pricing is tied to mass production. For example, flat-screen TVs in the United States used to be a luxury item only a few could afford. But with mass production flat-screen TVs have now achieved commodity-low prices that enable mass consumer purchasing. Enabling this move into mass production was open, global, sourcing where consumers have multiple supply-channels from which to shop and price compare.

So during the 21st Century’s first seven years flat-screen TVs have gone from cutting edge technology only a few could afford to a low priced commodity achieving approximately 50% household market penetration. This same path is open, but has yet to be realized, for sustainable technologies. Why, because carbon-based prices at the pump and meter do not include the societal costs now paid for through taxes and government financing. And because the supply chain to the consumer is blocked by legacy companies.

Which of the renewable energy alternative/s you see as the most promising one?

Here’s the absolute key point of On Empty. It doesn’t matter what I think are the best technologies or what someone in Washington DC thinks. If we introduce Pricing Clarity and remove Barriers to Entry then the consumer will answer this question. And when the American consumer figures this out with their $10 trillion of annual purchasing power we will have enabled the mass production of sustainability that will offer Energy Independence, lower pump/meter prices and a clean environment to the world.

Do you see the energy crisis you describe in the book mainly as an economic problem or a political one?

It is a systemic problem and it is global. Look, America in 1901 won the lottery when the Spindeltop oil well exploded into life in Texas. By the 1940’s our free market system enabled by Texas oil was supplying 75% of the world’s oil. The American free enterprise system engineered a carbon based world. Well, America now only has 3% of the world’s oil supply and we consume 25% of the world’s oil output.

Even worse, we now have China duplicating our unsustainable path of reliance upon oil and coal. The global system needs re-engineering into a sustainable system. And the great news is the same American enterprise system that enabled the Carbon Age has the consumer power to create a global Green Economic Revolution.

You write that this is a must read - why do you think this book is important and who do you hope will read it?

It is a must read because it explains to consumers, “us”, how we are the enabling driver in gaining Energy Independence, lower prices and a clean environment. America has tried and continues to try legislative, proscriptive, decision making. This is not what we do best. What America has is 300 million of the world’s best informed and wealthiest consumers who have driven every technology innovation the world now uses to global mass production.

The must read of this book is that the solution is empowering the American consumer, not legislation, not government investment in R&D, not tax credits or even global treaties. Just introduce Pricing Clarity and eliminate Barriers to Entry and get out of the way of the American consumer. They will do the rest of the hard lifting.

Do you hope that something will change in the way the government approach this issue after the upcoming elections in November? which one of the candidates is more preferable in terms of defining the right goals and taking action to achieve them?

The American political system is truly a marvel in the history of mankind. We now have two candidates who say Global Warming is real and we must solve it. That is a remarkable shift in just four years. I have compared their platforms and they are almost identical. Why? Because to get elected in America you have to “find that middle ground” which most American’s call “common sense.” So the good news is we have two candidates who see the problem and want to solve it. The other special aspect of Presidential history is that our Presidents have the opportunity to rise to the occasion.

Our heroes are Washington, Lincoln and the Roosevelts who inherited crisis and rose to the occasion with actions most pundits never anticipated. Whoever the next President is, this is their opportunity. They have the opportunity to move pass the lobbying by our legacy companies and enable America’s consumers to lead the world into a sustainable system.

How do you estimate the current financial crisis will influence the creation of the green economy you describe in your book? can it delay plans and investments in alternative energy?

America is at its best in a crisis. We have hit the debt wall, including the debt financing of our reliance upon imported oil. And while most American’s don’t understand all the confusing stuff being pumped out of Washington D.C. we understand the price at our gasoline pump. And that is telling us we need to find something other than gasoline to run our cars. And the increasing price at the meter is telling us we need to re-engineer our homes/offices/factories to be more energy efficient and possibly buy a renewable technology like solar.

On Empty’s chapter on BIG ANSWERS outlines the magnitude of change required to achieve sustainability. And it outlines the huge rewards for doing so. If America does rise to this challenge then in eight years we can build a sustainable and very healthy economy offering highly attractive green-collar jobs.

Are you optimistic? if the answer is yes - what's your secret? how do you do it?

I am hugely optimistic because the technology solutions are now available. That’s a major change from 1974 when OPEC enacted the oil embargo and our cars ran off of carburetors. The only thing standing between us and sustainability is Pricing Clarity at the pump/meter and removal of Barriers to Entry. And these changes will be implemented because the American consumer will demand it.

And to-date nothing has ever stopped the American consumer from buying what they want. The only issue is will our next President read On Empty and “get it” or will our country have to learn it the hard way by experiencing increasing pain at the pump/meter and from having Boots on the Ground protecting someone else’s oil field and from a financial melt-down because we can’t afford a carbon-based economy.

Do you want to add any message to our readers?

While On Empty has an American message the implementation path is, and must be, global. The American message is based upon the unique purchasing power of the American consumer and their ability to propel global change. But America is a free society that will buy solutions from anyone in the world (especially if Barriers to Entry are removed). The message of achieving Pricing Clarity and removal of Barriers to Entry is as critical to America as it is to Asia, or Europe or the Middle East. America is the consumer engine for a global Green Economic Revolution that will achieve sustainability offering the world lower prices and a cleaner environment.

On Empty's website - http://www.onemptyroth.com/

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Saturday, September 27, 2008

GreetQ, an online greeting card retailer, is collaborating with Eco-Libris

We're happy to announce on a new collaboration with GreetQ, an online greeting card retailer. GreetQ.com offers greeting card services that allow customers to personalize and schedule paper greeting cards to be mailed online. With the new collaboration, GreetQ will work with Eco-Libris to plant a tree for every 10 greeting cards purchased through the GreetQ.com website.

GreetQ, which is headquartered in Seattle, offers a unique service: shoppers can buy paper greeting cards online, add a personal message, then schedule the cards to be sent on a specific date. GreetQ then mails the personalized card to the recipient on behalf of their customers on that specific date. The scheduled cards, which can be scheduled for up to one year in advance, are queued online in the customer’s “card-queue.”

GreetQ founder, Jennifer Taylor, explains that the collaboration with Eco-Libris was motivated by a personal interest in being environmentally responsible, while taking into consideration that each year over 2.5 billion holiday greeting cards are sent in the U.S. alone. While acknowledging a gap in services that help consumers offset paper goods usage, Taylor adds “Sending paper greeting cards is a worldwide tradition which has not been fully replaced by the advent of e-cards. We thought that this was an opportunity to make a significant and positive change to offset that impact… Although we work to find independent card designers that use environmentally conscious practices, such as printing with soy inks or on recycled paper, this collaboration should help fill the remaining gaps.”

This collaboration also includes a special offer for Eco-Libris customers and fans: a 25% discount off the regular subscription rate. Code to enter at checkout: ECOLBR.

So check out GreetQ's artful, beautifully made cards at their website: http://www.greetq.com.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Friday, September 26, 2008

Eco-Libris is contributing to a demonstration of a green campus residence hall

An important part of our work at Eco-Libris is the educational part - increasing the awareness to the need in change in the book industry and getting readers more aware of their books’ footprint. We do it in several ways with both businesses and organizations.

Today I’m happy to report on our latest collaboration with Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI), a non-profit that is working with colleges and universities in
California to create showcase spaces that demonstrate sustainable residential living options to students.

Two days ago, SEI and the University of Redlands launched in a special event a demonstration of campus residence hall (Meriam Hall) designated as a sustainable living/learning community at the university. The effort is part of the CHEER (Campus Housing Energy Efficiency Retrofit) Program, funded by Southern California Edison, and implemented by both SEI and Quantum Energy Services and Technologies (QuEST).

This current project focused on the hall lounge, lobby and kitchen and the apartment occupied by the community director. It included a library to which Eco-Libris donated 50 new trees to balance out 50 books that will be placed at the library. We also provided our stickers saying “One tree planted for this book” to be placed on the books. Not only that but SEI put there a sign with explanation on the concept and tips for students on how to green up their reading.

Some of the green products in the demonstration included:

n EnergyStar® rated Refrigerators for the common kitchen and student apartment

n Highly efficient light bulbs for students’ rooms,

n A couch, recliner, tables, chairs and a bookcase in the lounge made from eco-friendly or recycled materials and

n Motion sensor light switches.

The changes in Merriam are designed to help show ways that students can live comfortably while reducing their ecological impact. The residence hall is expected to serve as an example to the campus in many ways, serving as a model for university-wide purchasing practices, increased recycling and other environmentally friendly efforts.

We are very proud to be part of this demonstration and hope that it will contribute to getting students to think about the materials their textbooks and books are made from and how they can be more sustainable.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Plant a tree for every book you read!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Update from the book tour of 'Sleep Is for the Weak'

Update from the tour: the book tour of BlogHer's first book "Sleep is for the Weak," edited by Rita Arens (http://surrenderdorothy.typepad.com) and starring 23 mommybloggers is continuing with four events with our stickers on to go!

Just to remind you, 'Sleep is for the Weak' (Chicago Review Press, September 2008) brings together the best parenting essays written by the most talented mommybloggers in the blogosphere. The anthology provides clever, humorously true stories every parent can relate to, and tackles issues that many mothers and fathers face but are reluctant to discuss.

Eco-Libris is collaborating with editor Rita Arens to offer those who will purchase the book during the book tour, including today's event, the opportunity to balance out their new copy by planting one tree for it with us. All buyers will also receive with the book our sticker (made of recycled paper) saying "One tree planted for this book".

Here are the details of the upcoming signing events:

Saturday, Sept. 27 - Rita Arens, Tracey Gaughran-Perez and Amy Corbett Storch give a signing at Caribou Cafe from 5-7 p.m. in Washington, DC. (1400 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005) Sponsored by Graco.

Thursday, Oct. 2 - Stefania Pomponi Butler, Lisa Stone, Grace Davis, Jen Scharpen and Jenny Lauck give a signing at Keplers in Menlo Park at 7:30 p.m. (1010 El Camino Real Menlo Park CA, 94025) Sponsored by Graco.

Saturday, Oct. 4 - Rita Arens, Eden Marriott Kennedy, Stefania Pomponi Butler, Lisa Stone, Grace Davis, Jen Scharpen and Jenny Lauck give a signing at Swig in San Francisco from 5-7 p.m. (561 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102). Sponsored by Graco.

Saturday, Oct. 11 - Rita Arens and Amy Jo Jones give a signing at The Book Cellar in Chicago at from 4-6 p.m. (4736-38 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625)

So if you're nearby, don't miss it!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Al Gore and Wangari Maathai calls the U.N. General Assemby to support protection of forests

The U.N. General Assembly in New York got a lot of attention because of the visit of the Iranian President, but it also had two important visitors that had a much more important message to the world leaders. They're both Nobel Peace Prize winners and they had one request to world leaders: make sure the protection of forests will be part of any global agreement that will take place in the post Kyoto era.

These guests were no other than former Vice President Al Gore and Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai. According to the International Herald Tribune, "the two Nobel Peace Prize winners, calling attention to deforestation blamed for a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, aimed their comments at world leaders converging for the U.N. General Assembly. They hoped to pave the way for billions of dollars in new spending to attack illegal logging."

Just a brief reminder: forest protection wasn't permitted under the Kyoto Protocol for carbon trading and and hence an important incentive to invest in such forest conservation projects was lost. But as we reported in the past, it was discussed in the U.N.’s Bali meeting in December last year, and though it is not approved yet, there's a good chance it will be part of the post-Kyoto program that will replace in 2012.

Though it makes a lot of sense and enjoy the support of Prince Charles ("the world's rainforests is key to combating global warming") and Norway ("fighting deforestation is a quick and low-cost way to achieve cuts in greenhouse gas emissions blamed by scientists for global warming, in addition to maintaining biodiversity and securing people's livelihoods"), this is far from being a done deal and therefore requires the intervention of heavy-weight players such as Gore and Maathai.

So what did they tell the General Assembly? According to the article, Gore reminded his listeners that "one of the most effective things that we can do in the near term to reduce the emissions of global warming pollution is to halt this totally unnecessary deforestation," and Maathai urged the next U.S. President to persuade richer industrialized nations to reward developing nations for conserving and expanding their remaining forest cover."This country is the one we are waiting for to provide the leadership," she said.

I truly hope that with their support this issue will be taken seriously and will be part of the climate accord that will follow the Kyoto accord. This way live trees will have monetary value and not just when they're cut down for industrial use or just to make more room for farmland. This is probably one the quickest ways to significantly decrease deforestation and its hug contribute to global warming (about 20%). We'll have to wait to the planned meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009, where the details of the new accord will be formed, to know if Gore and Maathai succeeded in making it clear to everyone.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Green Options - Greening Print Marketing: Is Soy Really Better?

As part of Eco-Libris' ongoing content partnership with Green Options Media, we feature a post that was originally published by Heidi Tolliver-Nigro on September 17 on The Inspired Economist. Today's post is about an important question to anyone interested in green printing: is soy ink really more friendly to the environment?

Many printers these days are promoting their use of soy-based inks as a way for marketers to “green” their print marketing programs. Certainly, any vegetable-based ink—such as cottonseed, linseed, and, most commonly, soy—sounds like it ought to be more environmentally friendly than petroleum-based inks. But is this really the case?

It is true that vegetable-based inks (in this post, we’ll look at soy) have very low levels of VOCs. Many soy proponents also claim that these inks come off the paper more easily than petroleum-based inks, making the paper easier to recycle. (However, evidence on this appears to be mixed.)

While “soy ink” sounds exotic, these inks have become so refined that they are now mainstream. They are readily available for sheetfed and newspapers. Heatset inks are also said to be “soy-based,” but this is really a mischaracterization, since the fast-drying requirements of the heatset process require that “soy inks” still be made primarily of petroleum.

Do You Give Up Anything?

Do marketers give anything up by using soy?

Green book of the week (and a new partner): BUTT UGLY by Lynn Montgomery

The green book we present you this week is triple green: it has a green theme, it's printed on recycled paper (and much more!) and it also collaborates with Eco-Libris!

And did we mention it has a great name? We're happy to present you with:

Let's go over all of the book's green layers:

Firstly, the theme - the book is about a little green runt who needs a home. Here's the description from the book's web page: He's green. He's puny. And nobody wants to give him a home. What happens to the runt of the litter when he's abandoned on a doorstep in a Ding-Dong-Ditch? Mutts of the world unite! This book is for every 4-legged, 2-legged, and even 50-legged creature who has ever felt a little shy, a little alone, or a little butt ugly. And for all the heroes who have opened their homes and their hearts to love them.

Second, the book is printed in a very eco-friendly manner:

- on recycled paper
- with vegetable based inks
- no chlorine bleach
- printed with wind power in the U.S.

And last but not least, we are happy to announce on a collaboration with the book's author, Lynn Montgomery. At the first stage of our collaboration, a tree will be planted for every copy of the book sold this upcoming weekend at the Santa Barbara Book Festival. Readers will also receive our sticker (made of recycled paper), saying "One book planted for this book".

Lynn is one of the featured authors at the Santa Barbara Book Festival this weekend, and she will be speaking on Saturday on the Children's Book Panel from 3-4 in the Townley Room at the Library. It is a FREE event and fun for the whole family! You can find more details on the festival at http://www.sbbookfestival.org.

We will continue working with Lynn to plant trees for the upcoming prints of the book and our logo will be on the book. We are very excited to work with such an eco-friendly book that walks the talk, and we are very also proud to work together with the author, Lynn Montgomery, who is a very talented and creative author and won an Emmy for her writing.

Here are few more details on the book:

Book's name

Author: Lynn Montgomery

Lynn Montgomery won a Los Angeles area Emmy for writing and producing a documentary on Child Abuse. She won a Writer's Guild Award for her Showtime Television adaptation of the beloved Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. She created the NBC and Disney Channel series, The Torkelsons. She has worked for Disney Feature Animation, developing classic children's literature for motion pictures. She has written for television, radio, and newspapers.

Illustrator: Terrie Redding

Publisher: ZuZu Petals Books

Distributor: IPG (Independent Publishers Group)

Publisihing date: Spring 2009 (the book is now available in a limited edition through the publisher's website - http://www.zuzupetalsbooks.com/, selected Santa Barbara venues and personal appearances)

Enjoy the book!
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Great green (and naughty) giveaway on Alternative Consumer

Naughty and green giveaway? sounds like a weird combo, but it can definitely suit the Naughtibod, this week giveaway prize on Alternative Consumer.

So what is exactly the Naughtibod? it is a pocket-sized, phthalate-free, self-pleasuring device that dances to the beat of the music on your iPod, iPhone, or MP3 player. Wacky, crazy stuff — and a high-quality gizmo to help you relax. This little ‘velvety finished’ device also hooks-up to laptops and the like. Comes in four colors, and you can even switch to the ‘manual’ endcap which has 7, potent, non-musically motivated speeds.

I was very to hear about this giveaway from our friends at Alternative Consumer (one of favorite green blogs by the way), as it sounds really cool and and fun device, and it is also a very green sex toy - it's molded from premium grade hypoallergenic non-toxic, non porous ABS plastic with a PU coating with chrome finish detail. This product is phthalate free.

Alternative Consumer is offering truly lucky winners the Naughtibod (they can also choose their color preference). How you can participate? check out their post for further details: http://www.alternativeconsumer.com/2008/09/19/naughtibod-great-green-giveaway/

Raz @ Eco-Libris

A new clip from our new partner Mille Poetes

We like video clips, especially when we're in them and today we have one to show you from our new partner, Mille Poetes.

Mille Poetes Editions is a Montreal based, French language publisher that has been created for authors, poets and readers. It's also a new partner of Eco-Libris! Its main focus is poetry and the facilitation of the publication process for the artists.

Mille Poets Editions dedicate 2% of their monthly sales to planting trees to combat deforestation, desertification and poverty. An interview with the publisher will be posted here soon, so stay tuned. More information can be found on their website:

And now for the video clip that shows our collaboration in pictures, text and music. Enjoy!

More video clips with Eco-Libris:

Eco-Libris on the coolest online green TV series

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Plant a tree for every book you read!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The lit zine "We'll Never Have Paris" is going green with Eco-Libris

We're happy to announce on our collaboration with the lit zine "We'll Never Have Paris" (
http://neverhaveparis.blogspot.com/). Not only that it has a great name, but it also goes green with Eco-Libris.

Here are the details: "We'll Never Have Paris" volume 2 has gone into second printing! To celebrate, they have partnered with Eco-Libris and purchased 50 trees for 50 issues at no extra cost to the reader, who will also receive our sticker with their volume. WNHP, a literary zine of nonfictional essays for 'all things never meant to be' is for sale at neverhaveparis.blogspot.com

The writers on volume 2 are: Mark Rosenberg, Amanda Boekelheide, John Berendzen (as Joao XXX), Steve Green, Tiffany Stevens,Andria Alefhi and Russ Josephs. Drawing by Patty Liang. Volume 2 is currently for sale at $3 and can be purchased at neverhaveparis.blogspot.com by clicking on the Paypal link. It will also be for sale at some fine independent bookshops across the country, a list of links will be added to neverhaveparis.blogspot.com.

We're very excited to collaborate with this lit zine and hope to see many more volumes of it go green in the future and to contribute to its success.

If you are interested in writing to the magazine, here's your chance - Volume 3 will be out November 1st, and appropriate submissions are always welcome. Deadline extended to October 15. Send 1,000 words or less of fiction once removed or narrative nonfiction as a word doc attachment, single spaced, title and name at the top. Do not send as the body of an email. Please send submissions to neverhaveparis@gmail.com

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Signing event of 'Paranoia' this weekend at The Book Bin

Here's an update on the next signing event of 'Paranoia'. Author John Braun will sign copies of his new book 'Paranoia' at The Book Bin, 725 Arnold Ave., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ this upcoming Saturday (September 20), during the annual Festival of the Sea. John will be signing from 10am-1pm.

John is collaborating with Eco-Libris to green up his book - a tree will be planted with us for every book sold at this signing event. Also, all buyers of the book at the event will receive with the book our sticker saying "One tree planted for this book". One more thing - 10% of Profit from sales of the book will be donated to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund (http://www.ttof.org/).

So if you're around Point Pleasant Beach, NJ this Saturday, you're welcome to stop by the Book Bin and get yourself a copy of Paranoia.

If you want to learn more about this great book, check out our post 'Paranoia is going green with Eco-Libris."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Greenbottle - the green future of milk bottles is already here and its made of recycled paper

I really love milk, so I was very happy to hear about this new great idea that is coming from the UK: a milk bottle that is made mainly of recycled paper and can be recycled again. In one word: Greenbottle.

Greenbottle (http://www.greenbottle.com) has developed a much greener solution which can replace plastic milk bottles. The outer shell is made from recycled paper which can then be further recycled, or if left it will just decompose within a matter of weeks. The inner liner, which takes up less than 0.5% of the space of a plastic bottle if dumped in a landfill, prevents liquid from contaminating the paper outer.

The GreenBottle, according to their website, consumes about a third of the energy required to make a plastic bottle and has a carbon footprint that is 48% lower than plastic.

The Telegraph reported last month that Asda, the big supermarkets chain, is stocking its Lowestoft store in Suffolk with the Greenbottle after a successful trial in a move that could herald the demise of the plastic bottle. According to the article the supermarket chain hopes to agree a roll-out of the packaging to stores across the east of England, with the potential to take it nationwide further down the line. Sounds like great news to all the UK green milk lovers!

Just to give you an idea what this bottle can save - according to the article, Britons drink around 180 million pints of milk every week, of which around two-thirds is bought in plastic bottles.
More than 100,000 tons end up in landfill each year - equal to 260 jumbo jets. They take 500 years to decompose.

One last fact that made me fall in love with Greenbottle - Its inventor, Martin Myerscough, came up with the idea in the pub. You can never be wrong with such ideas :-) of course, later on he worked on it for 18 months before Asda started a 'concept' trial last year.

Kudos to Martin and Greenbottle. This is the kind of innovation we need to move the green revolution forward. I hope to see these bottles very soon on the shelves of the supermarkets here in the U.S. (and actually everywhere) as well.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Simon & Schuster and Eco-Libris are collaborating in a special contest for kids

We are very happy to update you on our new collaboration with Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing.

In a celebration of their new line of eco-friendly children’s books, Little Green Books, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing has partnered with Eco-Libris in an educational contest - I CAN SAVE THE EARTH!, which provides children an opportunity to share their personal green stories and ideas.

Beginning today, Children between the ages of 5-10 are invited to write about their own experiences and ideas in helping to save planet Earth. Stories can be submitted via a downloadable entry form at SimonSaysKids.com/LittleGreenBooks until December 1, 2008. Any story goes and the greener the better! Winners will be announced after a drawing on December 16, 2008. The winning stories will be posted on the Little Green Books’ website at SimonLittleGreen.com and also at
SimonSaysKids.com/LittleGreenBooks so kids can gain green ideas from their peers.

Prizes include free copies of the new
Little Green Books, such as I can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle; Little Monkey; Little Panda; and The Polar Bears’ Home: A Story About Global Warming; among others. Trees will be planted in developing countries by Eco-Libris on the winning children’s behalf.

The contest celebrates the Fall 2008 launch of Little Green Books, published by Little Simon, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. It is the first eco-friendly line of children’s novelty and storybooks, aimed at parents and children looking to learn more about the environment. All the Little Green Books are made out of recycled materials.

Eco-Libris will be planting with its planting partners 100 new trees in developing countries on behalf of the winning children. The winners will also receive Eco-Libris stickers (made of recycled paper) saying “One tree planted for this book”, which they can proudly display on their books at home, and show to all their friends.

We are very excited about partnering with Simon & Schuster in this contest. Little Green Books are an effective way to help plant the seeds of earth-friendly living at an early age, and we thought that this contest can add a great educational value to the books. We believe that it’s important that the voice of children will be heard and that other kids can benefit a great deal from these personal stories.

Here's more information about the first four books on the series that were launched earlier this month (from the Little Green Books' website):

Illustrated by: Michelle Berg

Ages: 3 and under
Description: Meet Little Monkey and his friend Little Panda as they spend their day eating their favorite foods and playing together! Little ones will love to cuddle with this supersoft fleece cloth book that's made out of cotton and recycled Polartec® fleece.

This book is machine-washable and comes packaged in a chipboard box that's made from 100% recycled material.

The Polar Bears' Home: A Story About Global Warming

Author: Lara Bergen

Illustrated by: Vincent Nguyen

Ages: 4 - 6

Description: Come along on an Arctic adventure with a little girl and her father and learn all about polar bears! This 8 x 8 storybook shows how global warming affects two baby polar bear cubs and their family. Includes tips for kids on what they can do to help slow down global warming. This 8 x 8 paperback book is perfect-bound and will be printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper with soy-ink. The paper is FSC certified.

Illustrated by: Michelle Berg

Ages: 3 and under

Description: Meet Little Panda and his friend Little Monkey as they spend their day eating their favorite foods and playing together. Little ones will love to cuddle with this supersoft fleece cloth book that's made out of cotton and recycled Polartec® fleece. This book is machine-washable and comes packaged in a chipboard box that's made from 100% recycled material. It's the perfect gift for a baby!

I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Author: Alison Inches

Illustrated by: Viviana Garofoli

Ages: 4 - 6
Description: Meet Max the Little Monster. He is a cute, furry green monster who is an environmental nightmare. Among other things, he leaves on all the lights, keeps his computer plugged in, blasts the TV, hoards his old toys and uses so much toilet paper it clogs the toilet until finally, his excessive ways cause a power outage. With no TV to watch, computer to play on, video games to play with, Max finds there is a whole big world outside that he can make a difference in the environment. A kid-friendly glossary of terms is included in the back of the book.This 8x8 paperback is perfect bound and will be printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper with soy-ink. The paper is FSC certified.

So if you have any kids between the ages of 5-10, and they already work hard to help Planet Earth, let them know about the contest. We will be happy to see as many children as possible sharing with each other their little green stories!

The contest web page:

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Green Options - Book Review: Earth Democracy

As part of Eco-Libris' ongoing content partnership with Green Options Media, we feature a post that was originally published by Kelli Best-Oliver on September 15 on Planetsave. Today's post is about a new and important book of Vananda Shiva.

In Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace, Indian physicist turned environmental activist Vandana Shiva calls for a radical shift in the values that govern democracies, decrying the role that unrestricted capitalism has played in the destruction of environments and livelihoods. By no means a new release, Shiva's book is incredibly timely as skyrocketing fuel costs jeopardize the rationality of globalization. Through explaining problems with expanding globalization and privatization of public goods and services, then illustrating examples of communities rejecting the intrusion of corporations into communities, Shiva outlines core beliefs that should result in what she deems “earth democracy”, a global community that honors and respects diverse forms of life and their respective cultures.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday's green books series: 'Common Wealth' by Jeffrey Sachs

Globe, we have a problem. With an increasingly crowded planet, how can we achieve sustainable development? and do it in time? our book today might be of assistance, providing the keys to face the global challenges that will take center stage in the 21st century and shape mankind future.

Our book for today is:

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet

Author: Jeffrey D. Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special adviser to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. He is the author of The New York Times bestseller,
The End of Poverty, and is internationally renowned for his work as an economic adviser to governments around the world.

Publisher: Penguin Press

Published on: March 18, 2008

What it is about (from
Powell's Books website):
The global economic system now faces a sustainability crisis, Jeffrey Sachs argues, that will overturn many of our basic assumptions about economic life. The changes will be deeper than a rebalancing of economics and politics among different parts of the world; the very idea of competing nation-states scrambling for power, resources, and markets will, in some crucial respects, become passe. The only question is how bad it will have to get before we face the unavoidable. We will have to learn on a global scale some of the hard lessons that successful societies have gradually and grudgingly learned within national borders: that there must be common ground between rich and poor, among competing ethnic groups, and between society and nature.

The central theme of Jeffrey Sachs's new book is that we need a new economic paradigm-global, inclusive, cooperative, environmentally aware, science based-because we are running up against the realities of a crowded planet. The alternative is a worldwide economic collapse of unprecedented severity. Prosperity will have to be sustained through more cooperative processes, relying as much on public policy as on market forces to spread technology, address the needs of the poor, and to husband threatened resources of water, air, energy, land, and biodiversity.

The soft issues of the environment, public health, and population will become the hard issues of geopolitics. New forms of global politics will in important ways replace capital-city-dominated national diplomacy and intrigue. National governments, even the United States, will become much weaker actors as scientific networks and socially responsible investors and foundations become the more powerful actors. If we do the right things, there is room for all on the planet. We can achieve the four key goals of a global society: prosperity for all, the end of extreme poverty, stabilization of the global population, and environmental sustainability. These are not utopian goals or pipe dreams, yet they are far from automatic. Indeed, we are not on a successful trajectory now to achieve these goals. Common Wealth points the way to the course correction we must embrace for the sake of our common future.

Why you should get it:
1. This book deals with one of the main global challenges of this century - the challenges of sustainable development (defined by Sachs as "protecting the environment, stabilizing the world's population, narrowing the gaps between rich and poor, and ending extreme poverty"). Each of these issues is not an easy task to handle, not to mention all of them together. So how do we do it? I'm not sure if Sachs has the right answer, and some critics actually believe he's far from having it, but with his 20+ years of experience in international development and his expertise and close acquaintanceship with these problems, it's definitely worthwhile to listen to his ideas and offered solutions. You will find out that many of them just make a lot of sense!

2. Sachs explains that "humanity shares a common fate... that will require new forms of global cooperation". It sounds so clear and simple,but at the same time it's also clear that it's so difficult given the way the world is acting today. Sachs adds that "our global society will flourish or perish according to our ability to find common ground across the world on a set of shared objectives and on the practical means to achieve them." Maybe if more decision makers will get their hands on the book and learn some of its lessons, there's a better chance that we'll enjoy the first option.

3. All in all, Sachs stays optimistic, which given all the bothering data presented at the book, makes you feel that maybe it is possible after all to succeed and solve these problems after so many years of failure after failure.

What others say about the book:
"Common Wealth explains the most basic economic reckoning that the world faces. We can address poverty, climate change, and environmental destruction at a very modest cost today with huge benefits for shared and sustainable prosperity and peace in the future, or we can duck the issues today and risk a potentially costly reckoning in later years. Despite the rearguard opposition of some vested interests, policies to help the world's poor and the global environment are in fact the very best economic bargains on the planet." Al Gore, Winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and Former Vice President of the United States

"Sachs condenses a bewildering volume of statistical data into an accessible form, neatly sums up his core arguments in bullet-point lists, and somehow manages to leave one feeling optimistic about the future of the planet." Booklist

Want to learn more on the ideas an concepts Sachs presents in the book? check out the video below of a talk he gave about this subject at UC Santa Barbara last May.

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

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Plant a tree for every book you read!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Will the Plastic Logic reader save both trees and the newspaper industry?

We already know the Amazon.com's Kindle and the Sony eReader, but how about a electronic reader with a large portable screen that is designed especially for newspapers? sounds like a futuristic dream? not any more. Please meet the Plastic Logic reader.

The New York Times reported last Sunday ("New E-Newspaper Reader Echoes Look of the Paper") on this new device, which was presented lately at the DEMO conference in San Diego by Plastic Logic and will be offered for sale in the first half of 2009.

Eric A. Taub reported in this article that "the device, which is unnamed, uses the same technology as the Sony eReader and Amazon.com’s Kindle, a highly legible black-and-white display developed by the E Ink Corporation."

Differentiated by a stunning form factor (the size of 8.5 x 11-inch paper), the Plastic Logic reader features a big readable display. Yet it’s thinner than a pad of paper, lighter than many business periodicals, and offers a high-quality reading experience. It's mainly targeted for business users, but it definitely has the potential to become the e-paper preferred device for reading newspapers.

No price is quoted yet for the Plastic Logic reader, but it's not going to be cheap. Steven Glass, head of user experience for Plastic Logic is quoted in Fortune saying "The point is to be able to deliver this at a price more in line with the current crop of e-readers like (Amazon’s) Kindle which sells for around $349.” But let's say the price will fall eventually and become reasonable. Can such a device be significantly beneficial for newspapers and no less important to the environment?

For newspapers it can be definitely the light at the end of the tunnel - many of them suffer of financial problems and look for ways to cut costs as the number of copies sold are dropping. Using Plastic Logic or iLiad can save them tons of money - according to the article, The San Francisco Chronicle, for example, print and delivery expenses amount to 65% of the paper’s fixed expenses. Just think what this kind of savings can contribute to a newspaper's P&L.

If we look at it from environmental angle, we can ask ourselves whether these newspaper e-readers are superior in comparison with the printed newspaper. We know it saves trees and transportation, but is it really better for the environment? usually with e-books the answer is that we don't know yet as no thorough life cycle analysis was made yet to compare between the options. But here somebody already did it.

Researcher Asa Moberg and her team of the Center for Sustainable Communications at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden studied the environmental effects of producing print versus electronic newspapers, both on the Internet and by using the iRex Iliad. The results were published last year and the conclusion was as follows:

"The ranking from an environmental point of view was in general the tablet e-paper and the web based newspaper with a shorter reading time (10 min), was giving rise to a lower environmental impact than than the printed version. With a reading time of 30 minutes/day the environmental impact of the web based newspaper was in general in the same range as the printed newspaper environmental impact."

The research also reports that "the production of the tablet e-paper device was the single largest part of the total environmental impact of the tablet e-paper newspaper life cycle. Editorial work, and for some impact categories also the incineration of parts of the electronic device (plastic waste) contributed to the rest of the environmental impact."

The Morgan and her team finds the e-paper device better than print and similar to reading the newspaper over the Internet. No research was made yet about Plastic Logic but following this research my guesstimation is that the results would be similar if not better for the electronic option.

Now the only question would be - will customers adopt this new device or continue with their current habits - reading it in print or over the Internet? Only time will tell but we sure hope these new technologies will help eventually both the environment and the bottom line of newspapers to get better.

More on E-paper devices:

Raz @ Eco-Libris