Friday, July 31, 2009

The Kindle-book battle: The Green Apple (funny!) version

Remember the imaginary battle David Pouge presented between the Kindle and paper books? Now the San Francisco bookstore, Green Apple Books, show their own version for this battle and it's even funnier!

The Green Apple presents 10 rounds between “The Book” and the Kindle in what they describe as a smack-down of the most literary sort (and thanks to Boing Boing for the link!).

They published already 3 rounds (every day there's a new video) on their blog. The first and the second episodes were funny but I found the third episode ("sharing") hilarious so here it is:

Kudos to Green Apple Books for this great video series! No matter if you agree with the results of their smack-down or not, I'm sure you'll agree that it's time for some more refreshing points of view, such the ones we have here, in this interesting and growing debate.

And don't forget to check Green Apple's blog for the next seven rounds!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pakistan set a new world record in tree planting!

An interesting report from Pakistan: A new world record (well, it's the Guinness World Record) in tree planting was set on July 15 in the southern province of Sindh: 541, 176 trees were planted in one day.

The planting was made by 300 volunteers, and as BBC News reported they planted mangrove saplings in the 750 acres of the Indus river delta region.

The previous record was set in India just last month when 447,874 saplings were planted in Assam state. Mangroves grow in delta regions where the fresh waters of the river mix with sea water.

This is good news and we're happy to hear about this initiative and hope it's not the last one of its kind in Pakistan, but there's of course the question how many trees will actually reach maturity and it looks like there's a good chance survival rate will be relatively poor - experts say the new saplings will have difficulty surviving because of diminishing river water in the region.

We'll keep our fingers crossed for these young trees!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green publishing

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And we have a winner on the giveaway of "The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget"

Our last giveaway on the green book review week was of Josh Dorfman's book "The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget".

We asked you to share with us your tips on going green and saving money, just like the ones you can find in this great book.
We got great replies with a variety of suggestions from using cloth diapers to buying beer at the local brewery in returnable bottles.

And we have a winner!
The winner is the reader sweetbunnabunny, who wrote the following:

We recently went from a two-income household to a one-income household... it was a difficult adjustment! While revamping our budget, I knew I wasn't willing to sacrifice healthy, organic food in order to save money. Now, I make everything I possibly can from scratch. Plus, I'm growing more veggies and herbs in my backyard, and frequenting the local farmer's market more often. Now we eat better than we ever have for very little money!

Congrats to the winner, who will receive a copy of the book. We will also plant one tree for it! Thanks also to all the participants.


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Green printing tip #8: Does it cost a lot more to print my book on recycled paper?

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

Today Greg is discussing one of the most important questions that is relevant to a growing number of self-publishers and small publishers that print relatively small print runs and wonder about the cost of going green and using recycled paper.

Does it cost a lot more to print my book on recycled paper?

Tip #8

To answer this question, I decided to show a couple printed quotes for books we printed on 100% PCW (Post Consumer Waste) recycled paper. Then I compared those quotes to printing on non recycled paper.

Example #1: 220 page book (soft cover)

QTY: 100 or 500 books
Pages: 220 pages plus cover
Page Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Stock: 70# in 100% PCW text, and 100# in 100% PCW for the cover
Print: 1/1 black for the text and 4 color cover
Bind: Perfect Bound
Cover: Soft Cover


QTY: 100 (100% PCW)
Price: $7.50 per book, or $750 total.

QTY: 100 (non recycled paper)
Price: $725 ................... $25 less.

QTY: 500 (100% PCW)
Price: $6.90 per book or $3450.00 total.

QTY: 500 (non recycled paper)
rice: $3300.00........................ $150 less.

Example # 2: 48 Page book

QTY: 100, 1000, 5000 books

Page size: 6 x 9

Pages: 48 plus cover

Print: 4/4 for both text and cover.

Bind: Perfect Bind

Stock: 70# text and 100# cover in 100% PCW Recycled


Using 100% PCW:

100 books was $11.00 per book or $1100.00
1000 books was $7.00 each or $7000.00
5000 books was $2.50 each or $12,500.00

Using non-recycled paper:

100 books .......... $10 less or $1090
1000 books ..........$100 less or $6900.00
5000 books ..........$500 less or $12,000.00

Bottom Line: The paper is not a factor on most books where the quantities are under 5000 books.

And we shouldn't forget the 100% post-consumer paper saves water, energy, pollution, landfill problems, incinerator problems, and avoids Dioxins from being created, that can poison us all.

If you have any further questions following our tips, or you have a specific question you want us to address, please email us to .

More green printing tips:

Green Printing Tip #7 - What is the best alternative if you can't afford to buy Seed paper?

Green Printing Tip #6 - Is Spot Color printing environmentally friendly?

Green Printing Tip #5 - How to avoid being greenwashed when buying printing services?

Green Printing Tip #4 - What does FSC Certified mean? Is it enough?

Green Printing Tip #3 - How you make sure everyone knows you're using green printing practices

Green Printing Tip #2 - How you can make money while printing on 100% recycled paper

Green Printing Tip #1 - Go for a digital job

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

All the tips are archived and saved on
(part of our green printing tools & resources page).

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday's green books series - Easy to Be Green: Simple Activities You Can Do to Save the Earth

Today our book on our Monday's green books series is both coloring and activity book for kids, showing them not only how easy it is to go green, but also that it can be really fun!

Our book today is:

Easy to Be Green: Simple Activities You Can Do to Save the Earth

Author: Ellie O'Ryan

Illustrator: Ivanke & Lola

Reading level: 4-8

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Published on:
January 2009

What this book is about? (from the the publisher's website)

Everyone's talking about the environment these days, especially kids. But what can kids do? A lot! This book is filled with cool coloring pages, Earth-saving tips, fun facts, and easy activities kids can do to help the environment. It's just what kids need to be green all by themselves!

This coloring and activity book is printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper with soy-ink. The paper is FSC certified.

What we think about it?
This is another book of the Little Green Books series of Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing, so I figured out it would be an interesting book. I also thought it would be a fun read for kids as this is both a coloring and activity book. For my surprise I found a book that is not only interesting and fun, but also very educational.

Seriously. I review many children's books and this book has the depth and the clarity you can't find in many other children's books about green issues. Actually I'm quite certain parents will also be able to learn from it a thing or two about climate change, carbon footprint, animals in danger and so on.

Besides the great info, the book offers eco-friendly tips, games (recycle maze), educational activities (it even shows you how to write a letter to an elected official!) and cool coloring pages.

And of course we should add that this book is green not only in its content but also in the way it's printed - it's
is printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled FSC-certified paper with soy-ink.

Bottom Line:
As we mentioned with other Little Green Books reviewed here, We are collaborating with Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, so I might not be objective. Still this book is educational, fun and green and I think it would be a great gift to kids on this reading level (4-8)!


We're giving away one copy of the book, courtesy of the publisher, and of course a tree will be planted for the copy!

How you can win? please add a comment below with an answer to this question: what's yours (or your kid's) favorite game? Submissions are accepted until Monday, August 3, 12PM EST. The winner will be announced the following day.

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

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading

From Read to Green - win a green book on a joint raffle of neighBORROW and Eco-Libris!

Last May we announced on our partnership with neighBORROW, a community-based website which provides members of local networks access to a collective online catalog of the items they each own individually. neighBORROW is making it easy and worthwhile for people to borrow things they need to use but don't need to own, including books of course.

Today we're happy to update you on a new raffle we're launching together that is part of an initiative entitled 'From Read to Green'.

This initiative aims to raise the consciousness of the waste (inefficiency) as well as the opportunity associated with books that sit around in people's homes after they have been read and to promote and encourage active book sharing and greening as a means to environmental, economic, and social advancement.

In this raffle neighBO
RROW members that balance out their books by planting trees with Eco-Libris can win great green books that were given by publishers and authors we work with.

The prizes in the raffle include:
Two packages of the 7 books released so far on the Little Green Books SeriesThis prize is a package including the 7 books released so far on the Little Green Books series, gift of the publisher, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. Little Green Books cover a variety of subjects, teaching children about the dangers of global warming, the benefits of recycling, what they can do to help endangered animals, and much more.

What sets these books apart from other "green" books is that in addition to the themes, the manufacturing of these books is also environmentally friendly. The books are printed on recycled materials with vegetable or soy inks. You can read about the Green
Little Books at

20 Easy Ways to Help Save the Earth by Coach Pedro and Susan Adam-Rita (1 copy)
20 Easy Ways to Help Save the E
arth is a book full of great ideas to put into practice that will help you change little things and have a great impact. The main reason for this book is to educate, inspire, and empower children to protect the environment.Written and illustrated in a fun way, Ways to Save the Earth is a book for the whole family to enjoy and share important ideas. We all share this EARTH, so let us take good care of it.

This book is bi-lingual, written both in English and Spanish. You can read more about Coach Pedro and this book at THEIR WEBSITE.

Catch the Wind by Anne Johnson (2 copies)
Catch the Wind takes readers on a journey that will teach them ab
out wind energy and the importance of making environmentally responsible choices. It was developed with input from educators and experts from within the wind industry. Children can follow Nels, an inquisitive boy, as he visits a wind farm with his father to discover the power of the wind.

Diagrams of wind turbines and their components as well as key terms, defined in a glossary, make up the educational content of Catch the Wind. While exploring topics such as renewable energy, the history of wind power, and the steps to building a wind farm, Catch the Wind also raises awareness of wind power as a viable source of clean, renewable energy. More details about the book can be found at THEIR WEBSITE.

Rumer & Qix: The Race to Terra Incognita" by Kathleen Wilson (one copy)
The story follows a 16-year-old apprentice reporter, Rumer, and her sidekick, Qix, who become obsessed with reports by credible witnesses of bizarre nature sightings coming through the indie news feeds. Rumer & Qix hav
e a creeping feeling that things are terribly amiss on their seemingly perfect planet because by the 31st century there are no more natural plants or animals, they've all been replaced by perfect, synthetic replicas by the mega-conglomerates that manufacture 'Syncov'.

The mysterious nature sightings are simply dismissed as lunacy by everyone but Rumer, who soon finds herself enlisted by MoNa (Mother Nature) to help fight an epic battle with Dr. BigCo (head of the mega-congloms) to turn things around on the planet before its too late ... You can read more about the book at THEIR WEBSITE.

Where the Buttercups Grow by Shelley Meyer (one copy)
What happens when a mother-daughter team combine the beauty of buttercups, the power of storytelling and a great respect of nature to create a won
derful book with amazing art? In a beautiful field, the buttercups grow, but when two children have no respect for nature, garbage begins to pile up high.

Are the days of the buttercups over, or will help come to rescue the buttercups from a fate more deadly than illness? See the difference that children can make when they set their mind to it and decide to take care of Mother Earth. Beautifully written by Shelley Meyer and vividly illustrated by her daughter Tessa Meyer, this inspiring and powerful story will find a spot on every child's list of favourites, especially when they can carry the story forward in their own lives and plant their very own buttercups. This wonderful title is doubly special because for every book 1 tree has been planted. More details on the book can be found at THEIR WEBSITE.

Pagans on the Wildside: Campfire Cooking edited by Edain Duguay (one copy)
This eBook, edited by Edain Duguay, is the first eBook of the 'Pagans on the Wildside' series. This informative and interesting eBook contains recipes for cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks with a campfire. Also included is a short campfire story by renowned Bard John David 'Hobbes' Hickey and a Campfire Handfasting, with a menu and recipes.

Within this unique eBook there are also tips and personal experiences, which show the inventiveness and humour of their Pagan and Heathen contributors. You can read more about it at THEIR WEBSITE.

How do you participate in the raffle? it's very simple:
1. Join neighBORROW (
2. Add books to your neighBORROW list of items you would like to lend or donate
3. Go to Eco-Libris website ( and balance out books by planting trees on Eco-Libris website (1 Book = 1 Tree = $1).
Add on the comments box in the PayPal payment page (the purchase on Eco-Libris website is made via PayPal) the magic word "neigh*borrow." Or you can send an email to following the purchase with "neigh*borrow in the subject.

That's it!
You're in! Each purchase, no matter how many books you balance out (the minimum on the website is 5 books), will receive one entry to the random drawing scheduled for September 1st. (we reserve the right to extend the drawing until December 31st, 2009).

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The U.S. 2010 Census is going green, but is it as good as it can get?

Are you getting ready for Census 2010? well, even if you didn't remember it's coming, the U.S. Census Bureau is already working on it and it has begun printing 2010 Census questionnaires.

And this time the Census Bureau is going green. As Treehugger reported yesterday "The Census Bureau has gone to great lengths to make the printing process as efficient and eco-friendly as possible," Census Director Robert Groves said. "The printing of 2010 Census questionnaires uses 30 percent less ink than 10 years ago and will be printed on 30 percent recycled paper."

Well, this is really great if you think of the number of questionnaires printed - more than 120 million questionnaires. But I was wondering while reading the news - is this as good as it can get in 2010?

I tried to think about the filled part of the glass - this is a great progress comparing with 2000 Census, it will help increasing the demand for recycled paper and reducing its price, less trees will be cut down, less resources will be wasted and less pollution will be generated.

These are very important and positive outcomes of this move, but I still can't understand why the Census Bureau can't offer to fill in the questionnaires online. Just think how much trees, other resources, green house gases and pollution could be saved then.

I know this step might be difficult to implement, but if the IRS can let you fill your tax report online why shouldn't the Census Bureau can offer you the same? Do we really need to wait for Census 2020 for this option to be (hopefully) available?

I'll be happy to hear your thoughts about it.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Summer Reading with author and founder of Pilcrow Lit Fest, Amy Guth

This week on our series My Summer Reading we're having a dear friend from Chicago - Amy Guth.

Amy Guth is Digital Coordinator/Books for the Chicago Tribune and writes the local literary blog, Chicago Subtext, for the Tribune's Chicago Now blog network. She is the founder of Pilcrow Lit Fest (which partnered with Eco-Libris for the second time this year), managing editor at So New, a regular crew member at Reading Under The Influence and author of Three Fallen Women (2006).

Previously, she has written for a variety of national and online publications, many of which can be seen here. In addition to her personal blog, Bigmouth Indeed Strikes Again, she also writes a fitness blog, Bonkless, is a new-ish filmmaker and a disaster and mass care volunteer for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. Previously, she collaborated in several sketch comedy productions at Second City's training center and other improv comedy venues, served as assistant fiction editor at 42 Opus, and hosted/curated Chicago's Fixx Reading Series.

For more info, please visit the FAQ page of her main blog or follow her on Twitter.
Add Image

Hi Amy, what are you reading now?
I'm reading both How To Hold A Woman by Billy Lombardo and Sunlight at Midnight, Darkness at Noon by Cunningham and McCreesh. Both are from local Chicago publishers-- OV Books and Orange Alert Press, respectively-- and I'm enjoying both very much.

I tend to read more than one book at a time. Occupational hazard.

Any recommendation on a good summer reading?
I tend to want to read dark, mysterious inner-transformation of protagonist sorts of things in the winter and bright, incredible stories of inner-transformation of the protagonist in the summer. [laughs] I never really seek that out, per se, I just tend to intuitively gravitate towards different things in different weather. I think the key elements of a good summer read is something you can set down and pick back up again later and not have to page back to remember. The ideal summer read has literary weight to it, but it also clips along so you, the reader, and step in and out of it as needed.

What you are planning to read this summer?
I am trying to re-read some classic novels I read as a teenager. I see them so differently now. Years will bring that kind of perspective.

What is your favorite place to read in the summer?
An outdoor cafe, in warm sunshine, with a good pinot grigio and a plate of olives. That's about as good as it gets for me.

Thanks Amy!

So far on My Summer Reading series:

Christian Valentiner of the Norwegian publisher Flux

Avrim Topel, co-author of 'My Green Beginnings'

Tania Hershman, author of 'The White Road and Other Stories'

Elisabeth Baines, author of the upcoming book 'Too Many Magpie'

Erica Caldwell of the bookstore Present Tense

Sue Schrader of the bookstore Sources of Hope

Jennifer Taylor of GreetQ

Kathleen Wilson, author of "Rumer & Qix"

Edain Dugay of Wyrdwood Publications

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Green Options: 7 Environmental Lessons from Living in Europe

This post is brought to you as part of our content partnership with the Green Options. It was originally posted on Sustainablog by Zachary Shahan on July 21.

I have lived in Europe on two occasions now -- for five months in the Netherlands (two years ago) and for ten months in Poland (currently). I have been green-minded since I was a young child, and knew that Europe did better on many green issues. Nonetheless, to come here and live here has given me more insight on the perspectives of the people and more of a practical understanding of why Europe fairs so much better than the US on many environmental issues.

Recently, I came up with a list of seven things that really stand out to me as good environmental practices in Europe that could be transferred to the US. These could all be adopted in the US, but some are more personal in nature and some are more systemic. Furthermore, some of the personal ones regard large, life decisions, and some are much simpler in nature and easier to implement into your life now.

Of course, Europe is not one country and things vary from country to country. Nonetheless, there are also several similarities across borders. I have friends in other countries and have traveled a bit as well, so I hope to be sharing the best of the best.

Here's the list!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A winner on our giveaway of "What Do You See?: A Lift-the-Flap Book About Endangered Animals"

We also had a giveaway following our review of "What Do You See?: A Lift-the-Flap Book About Endangered Animals" by Amy Schimler, and we have a winner!

We asked you to share with us what is your or your kid's favorite animal and got many many great replies - from dogs and cats to giraffes and rats! The chosen animal of our winner, Jayne @ Misplaced City Girl was no other than frogs. Here is what she wrote:

Tosha likes tree frogs. And she'll jump around the house like a frog. Especially after her grandparents have given her bag of Starburst to take home.
Congrats Jayne! You won a copy of this great book and we'll also plant a tree for it and send you with it our "One tree planted for this book" sticker.

Thank you to all the other participants who shared their favorite animals with us. And of course thanks to Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing that contributed this book. We'll have more Little Green Books reviewed on our blog (and giveaways!) so stay tuned!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading

And we have a winner on our giveaway of "The Green Year"

We had a giveaway following our review of "The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make a Big Difference" by Jodi Helmer, and we have a winner!

We asked you to share with us a tip of your own - one small step to go green that you successfully adopted. We got great tips and our winner is Annie who adopted what seems to be (at least to fathers like me) a very challenging though rewarding green practice - cloth diapers. Here is what she wrote:

Well- we have been trying to go green by adopting cloth diapers last year! They are making a come back!!!

Since our decision to do the cloth diapers, our whole look on waste has change naturally. We use cloth napkins at dinner time and we use dish towels more than anyone I know! The little things you do can make a huge difference!

Congrats Annie. You won a copy of this great book and we'll also plant a tree for it and send you with it our "One tree planted for this book" sticker.

Thank you to all the other participants who shared their great stories with us.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading

Is Target's book club the new Oprah's book club?

A very interesting article on the New York Times ("Target Can Make Sleepy Titles Into Best Sellers") today about a retailer that is becoming an influential player in the book industry - Target. Yes, Target.

They're not selling maybe as much as Amazon and B&N do, but as Motoko Rich explains in the article "through its book club, as well as a program it calls Bookmarked Breakout, both started in 2005, the company has highlighted largely unknown writers, helping their books find their way into shopping carts filled with paper towels, cereal and shampoo."

Target's Book club picks are sold in 20% discount, which together with noticeable presentation of the books in the stores ("narrower shelves that stand at the front or end of aisles — with specially designed signs") and consistent good picks by the book club, are making these books very attractive choice for customers.

The results? Jacqueline Updike, director of adult sales at Random House says in the article that Target “can sell hundreds of thousands of copies of a book that is virtually unknown in the rest of the marketplace”.

What I like about Target's programs is that they choose many times unknown authors and makes their book a hit overnight, like Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay who sold 145,000 copies at Target in comparison with sales of couple of thousands of copies before that. For each book selected as a Bookmarked Club Pick, the publisher produces a special edition, and the author writes a letter addressed to Target readers.

This is really great news and kudos to Target for their efforts. I hope they will also expand their programs to include a new green book club program that will be solely dedicated to promote green books. With Target's innovative and green approach and proven success to make books bestsellers, I am positive they can help the book industry not only to sell more books, but also to become more sustainable.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Green printing tip #7: What is the best alternative if you can't afford to buy Seed paper?

It's Tuesday already and it means it's time for another valuable tip on our weekly series of green printing tips, where we bring you in collaboration with Greg Barber, an experienced eco-friendly printer.

Today Greg is discussing one of my favorite papers (especially for bookmarks..) and what options you have if you want to use it but it's too expensive for your budget.

What is the best alternative if you can't afford to buy Seed paper?

Tip #7

First, Seed paper is paper with seeds in the sheets. When ready to be recycled, the consumer is encouraged to bury the postcard, etc in their backyard and the seeds will grow into Wild Flowers.

This paper only comes in 13 x 19 cover weight, and costs approximately $5.00 per sheet delivered.

I suggest using small sizes to get your point across. Postcards and business cards are the most popular uses of this paper. For larger runs, I suggest printing your message on 100% post-consumer paper and die cutting a small piece of the seed paper and spot gluing to the less expensive recycled cover.

In your ad copy, you can say plant the seed paper image and it will grow into flowers. That die cut image could be your main point to your message to your readers. This was done by a company that die cut 200,000 2 x 2 pieces and gluing to 200,000 larger sheets, printed on a grade that was 1/10 the price of the seed paper.

If that doesn't work, I suggest changing to a different Tree Free paper. As the Seed paper has a lot of specs and colors in the paper, I recommend Sugar Cane, Mango, or Banana papers. You won't have the seeds, but the lines are eye catching, environmental, and Tree Free.

If you have any further questions following our tips, or you have a specific question you want us to address, please email us to .

More green printing tips:

Green Printing Tip #6 - Is Spot Color printing environmentally friendly?

Green Printing Tip #5 - How to avoid being greenwashed when buying printing services?

Green Printing Tip #4 - What does FSC Certified mean? Is it enough?

Green Printing Tip #3 - How you make sure everyone knows you're using green printing practices

Green Printing Tip #2 - How you can make money while printing on 100% recycled paper

Green Printing Tip #1 - Go for a digital job

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

All the tips are archived and saved on
(part of our green printing tools & resources page).

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Monday, July 20, 2009

The state of green printing: An interview with Livio Ciciotti of Monroe Litho

As part of our efforts to promote green printing, we continue to closely follow the printing industry, keep you posted with printers who have already adopted eco-friendly practices in their business and speak with them on the state of green printing, the trends, the challenges in the present and their plans for the future.

We posted already two interviews with green printers (Greg Barber and Deb Bruner) and today we are happy to have another green printer on our blog: Livio Ciciotti of Monroe Litho (Rochester, NY).

Livio Ciciotti is an Account Executive with Monroe Litho based in Rochester, NY. He is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology's School of P
rint Media. He has been invloved in printing since high school. Livio is also in the Marine Corps Reserve, an honor graduate from the School of Infantry he now serves with 3rd Battalion 25th Marines out of Buffalo, NY and is preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan.

Hi Livio. Can you tell us please what makes Monroe Litho a green printer?

Monroe Litho is sus
tainable through many different ways. Since 2006 we have been 100% wind powered; we hold certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) in addition to having over 52 internal sustainability initiatives.

Press operator Dave Ames looks over a press sheet. Dave has over 25 years experience in the printing industry (Photo courtesy of Monroe Litho)

What's the current state of green printing? what's the impact of the economic environment on both your efforts and on the customers' willingness to go green?

Green printing is on the move, and in an upward direction. At this current time people want green initiatives but are seeking education on
what is available to them and how they can make a difference in the environment.

The economy has slowed the printing industry as a whole, which in turns poses a challenge in marketing sustainable options in any arena. More and more customers are looking for ways to become more green but are shying away due to the misconception that it costs more; and with companies cutting back budgets we find ourselves educating a lot of the time on sustainability and how it doesn’t necessarily have to cost more and a lot of times can actually cost less.

What's the most common sustainable practice/s you're using?

Most requests we receive are to use FSC certified paper or paper that contains recycled content. Everyday we utilize wind power and recycling efforts throughout the company as well as strategic workflow processes throughout the manufacturing plant to make producing a project more efficient. The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership is quickly becoming more popular through our education to customers as well.

A sheet is pulled from the Heidelberg 6-color 28” x 40” Series CD 102 w/aqueous coater and extended delivery which uses spectrophotometry to analyze press sheets (photo courtesy of Monroe Litho)

Who are the customers that are asking for green printing? can you characterize them?

Customers who most commonly ask for green printing would have to be colleges, environmental groups and Fortune 500 companies will sustainability initiatives. We have had companies contact us from as far away as London inquiring about our sustainable practices. That’s the great thing about sustainability; anyone can be a part of it, it’s for the global community and here at Monroe Litho we strive to make a difference everyday.

FSC or SFI - What certification is more popular now?

FSC I would say is more popular. FSC is not only used on paper, you see it on doors in Lowe’s Home Centers; you see it on lumber for building houses. FSC is more popular but I think that more people are learning more about both and be able to recognize them and what they stand for.

Jose Garcia transports waste paper to an area to be collected and later taken to a recycling center. Recycling waste paper was one of the first initiatives adopted by Monroe Litho (photo courtesy of Monroe Litho)

What's the most significant value your customers are looking for in integrating sustainable practices in the products they buy from you?

Our customers want the value of sustainable printing but do not want to sacrifice in the area of quality and here at Monroe Litho we have been doing both for a lot of customers. We have changed processes and workflows to better accommodate jobs that maybe print on a paper that contains 30% post consumer waste recycled content or 100%pcw. The higher you go with recycled content the more difficult it becomes to maintain that high level of quality.

Our staff here at Monroe Litho has worked very diligently not to sacrifice that quality, especially in the pressroom; our press operators not only are highly experienced but are great when it comes to having a customer in for a press check.

How expensive it is now for your customers to go green? what have changed in the premiums they need to pay for using FSC or recycled paper?

Going green doesn’t necessarily have to be any more expensive; and in fact, here at Monroe Litho we have looked down many avenues to try and make printing green less expensive. For instance, we introduced a house sheet program where we buy paper in bulk at a discounted rate and then pass that savings on to our customers. This sheet is named Sustineo, meaning to sustain in Latin and is both FSC and SFI certified also boasting 10% post consumer wasted recycled content.

What is the most significant obstacle for your customers to go green?

The most significant obstacle is getting past that common misconception that it costs more, that they will lose quality and that it won’t look as nice on uncoated or recycled paper. We find ourselves sometimes being the educator, letting people in on what they can do for the environment and for generations to come; and that it doesn’t cost them any more money.

What is the feedback you're receiving from customers who go green? do they see any benefits from it from their customers in terms of branding, marketing or sales?

Our customers are raving over the finished projects. They love the fact that they too can do something for the environment and they don’t sacrifice quality, service or price. Everyone is seeing the value in going green; we print for many large companies like, Bausch & Lomb and Mercedes-Benz; both take advantage of the sustainability benefits of printing with Monroe Litho.

If you could send a message to other printers that consider becoming green printers, what that message would be?

Remember that there isn’t one singular solution to becoming green. It is a journey that takes time, you cannot become green or sustainable over night. I would suggest starting with smaller steps first, make them success stories, and then move onto larger ones. This all started for Monroe Litho many years ago, we didn’t get to where we are now over night.

We have a sustainability committee that meets every month to discuss new projects. We have a Vice President of Quality Assurance and Sustainability Initiatives who spearheads all of our projects. But none of the things we do today to be sustainable who have happened if we didn’t take those first small steps in the beginning.

I would also offer to any printers looking to do this to get all of your employees involved. Make all of them a part of the effort. Its contagious, sustainability is a culture within our walls and we are all proud to be a part of it.

Thank you Livio and good luck with your upcoming service! You can learn more about Monroe Litho at their website -

More links:

The State of Green Printing - Part 1 - an interview with Greg Barber of Greg Barber Company (January 15, 2009)

The State of Green Printing - Part 2 - an interview with Deb Bruner of Pinnacle Press (March 18, 2009)

Green printing tools and resources -

Raz @ Eco-Libris
www.ecolibris. net

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Green book review week - part 5: The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget

Our final book on the green book review week is a book that tries to prove what many consider as impossible - going green can be fun, easy and inexpensive.

Our book today is:

The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget: Save Money. Save Time. Save the Planet.

Josh Dorfman
Josh Dorfman is the author of The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish, Green Living (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) and host of The Lazy Environmentalist television series on the Sundance Channel. Dorfman is also the founder and CEO of, a resource for consumers seeking the best green products and services, and of Vivavi, a retailer of modern, green furnishings. He lives in New York City.

Stewart, Tabori & Chang (imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.)

Published on:
April 2009

What this book is about? (from the the publisher's website)
In The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget, Josh Dorfman takes you inside the latest developments in green living to demonstrate how you can easily and affordably have your designer jeans and your planet too. From raising eco-conscious kids to greening your daily commute, Dorfman provides insights into the next wave of green innovation and the products and services that will lighten your planetary impact and lower your expenses.

Find bargain basement deals on stylish organic bedding and bamboo furnishings at the largest retailers in the world. Score instant rebates on everything from compact fluorescent light bulbs to energy-efficient air conditioners. And earn reward points for carpooling with friends.
In a time when many people are feeling financially restricted, The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget is your guide to effortlessly saving the planet while keeping some extra cash in your pocket.

What we think about it?
One of the the most bothering scenes on Food Inc. (a very recommended film!) is when there's a family buying a dollar menu meal at Burger King for the whole family and explaining that it's the cheapest and the most convenient way for them to get dinner. After I saw it I couldn't stop thinking how "greener" options can win the dollar meals in price and convenience. And that's one of the main questions Josh Dorfman is trying to answer in his new book.

Dorfman actually doesn't refer to food, but other than food there's almost no topic he's missing in his quest to show how's going green doesn't necessarily have to be expensive or time-consuming or difficult in any way. Dorfman is challenging one of the most hard-to-break myths on green products and he's coming prepared with all the info you need to get it right.

Although you'll think you have seen dozens of similar books with similar promise, this book is different. Its main strength is based on the
familiarity of Dorfman of the green economy - he knows every green product and every green service out there. I thought I knew a thing or two, but I still was amazed to find how many new things I learned from reading the book. This is definitely one of the best resources for the best (in quality, pricing, availability and so on) green products and services you can find today.

The book is also very structured and organized - at the end of every chapter you'll find a list of all the resources, retailers, websites and information resources mentioned in the chapter with a short description and their website address.

Of course this is also the weakness of the book - all the great deals he's talking about, whether it's a showerhead that will save you water and energy in the shower (Ecoflow in $14.99) or affordable fruit-based facial scrubs, cleaners and body products of Alba ($8.95-11.95), this information can change fast. Products come and go, pricing changes, new companies arrive to the market with better offers, etc.

That's of course the problem with every printed guide and Dorfman's book is not different (although you can stay updated by following the Lazy Environmentalist website). Still, it has a lot of information that is priceless and relevant at least for a couple of years, and that's what makes it a valuable book.

Bottom Line:
I like Dorfman's style and willingness to make the transformation into a greener lifestyle "fun, easy and inexpensive". I'm not sure if the family from Food Inc. would buy this book and if it did, if it would help them with their problem (maybe this book will), but I'm sure it can provide them with plenty of ideas how going green can actually save them money and time. But it's not only them - this book is recommended to anyone who wants to know more on how to go green in a fun, easy and inexpensive way


We're giving away one copy of the book, courtesy of the publisher, and of course a tree will be planted for the copy!

How you can win? please add a comment below with your tip on how you can save money while going green. Share with us your recommendation and get a chance to win this book! Submissions are accepted until Sunday, July 26, 12PM EST. The winner will be announced the following day.

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

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading

Looking for an affordable green birthday gift?

What's the connection between action movie star Vin Diesel, British entrepreneur Richard Branson, film director Paul Verhoeven and the Nelson Mandela?

They were all born on July 18! If you're also celebrating your birthday today - happy birthday to you too!

We love birthdays and therefore we're happy to remind you of the option to celebrate a birthday of friends, family members, colleagues and anyone you care about with Eco-Libris!

Eco-Libris is offering you now to plant trees to balance out the books of your loved ones who celebrate their birthday. Not only that new trees will be planted to balance out their books, but they will also receive our stickers with a beautiful birthday card made of recycled paper. And we also try to keep it affordable - the added charge for the birthday card is only $1.5.

All you need to do is to choose how many of the birthday person's books you want to balance out on our
special birthday gift page (, change the shipping address on the payment page to the address of the gift receiver and we will take care of the rest!

This is also a great green add-on if you're buying a book as a gift for the birthday person, especially if you're buying her or him a green book.

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

And of course, if it's your birthday and you want to give yourself a green gift - get yourself a nice green book and plant a tree for it with us!

Happy Birthday!
Raz @ Eco-Libris