Monday, November 30, 2009

Special Eco-Libris offer for the holidays!

Looking for a unique and affordable green gift for the holidays? You're in the right place!

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

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

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

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

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

Happy and Green Holidays!
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting green printing!

Friday, November 27, 2009

bookBags: the perfect reply to both Buy Nothing Day and Black Friday

If you read already everything you could on Buy Nothing Day and Black Friday and you're looking for something that is combining the two in a way, we got something for you. It's called bookBags.

I found bookBags on the Alternative Consumer and fell in love with it immediately. BookBag is a handcrafted purse custom made from recycled legal book covers. BookBags according to their website is "an ecofriendly, aggressively green manufacturer of fashionable purses, handbags and clutches" and it "was founded by a law librarian, who needed to find a better way to recycle continually updated legal books."

Kathy Kelly, the founder, told in an interview that "“legal books are constantly updated and replaced and most of them have no distributional value... About 2 years ago, I returned to work, and came back to a pile of mail that included volumes of updates. One update included 9 volumes of gorgeous maroon leather-like material, the United States Code Annoted.

I knew I had to remove the cover to recycle the paper of the book, if I could find a recycler to take them, but it still seemed like such a waste of such a beautiful material (and still created plenty of garbage). For a month or two I was collecting the book covers with no idea what I was going to do with them. I just knew I had to figure something out.”

As you can already see, most of the books Kelly uses are outdated legal books. She gets them from the Erie County Law Library, as well as from three of the biggest law firms in Erie and many smaller firms that also recycle their books through BookBags. She reports on the website that so far this year she has recycled over 7,000 pounds of paper.

Each Bookbag is carefully handcrafted to the highest quality. I find it a great combination of recycling with eco-fashion, or in other words creating a beautiful product responsibly and sustainably. So wouldn't you say it can be the perfect example for responsible consumerism, which can be the best way to balance between zero consumerism and over-consumerism?

You're welcome to check out the bookBags at

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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

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

Today Greg is discussing some of the widely used office materials that are made of paper and how they can get greener.

Can we be Greener in our use of Inter Office Envelopes, Presentation Folders, and Outgoing Envelopes?

Tip #24

I have done my research, and my answer is a definite YES, and we are saving you money doing it!

I recommend using the patented Conformer products. Their Inter Office Envelopes are made from 100% post-consumer (Milk Jugs), which means you are saving plastic from going to the landfills, and using really strong Inter Office Envelopes. They expand to hold twice as much "stuff". And, at the end of the day, these envelopes can be used again, eliminating all the waste from going into the garbage. Many companies already recognized the potential of these Inter Office Envelopes and reuse them multiple times.

Next, we have the Conformer Presentation Folders. They truly expand to 1/2" or 1". The construction of the expansion pockets is in the top and bottom of each pocket, and on the spine. This patented construction eliminates the need for re-inforced edges, and lamination coating (which is not recyclable). The paper is thick and FSC certified.

Finally, you can put these stong and expandable presentation folders into an even stronger translucent recycled plastic envelope that also has the Conformer expansion on all 4 sides. Direct Mail agencies tell us that the response rates go way up when potential clients can see the Pocket Folder or whatever is put into these patented, translucent envelopes.

The Conformer Expansion Envelopes are made from Recycled Milk Jugs, which enhances the strength. No need to buy Tyvek envelopes or even boxes. Your products will ship safely in these mailers.

Your savings begins to mount, as the shipping weights go down, and the visual look of your mailing goes up. Not using boxes, eliminates the plastic tape and over packing on the insides.

So, take a look at Call me (973 224 1132) or email me ( with any questions. I will walk you through the process of becoming more sustainable in your office correspondence, all the way through to your outgoing mail..

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

Latest tips:

Green Printing Tip #23 - Are there inexpensive Green papers for brochures?

Green Printing Tip #22 - What does I-Tone mean?

Green Printing Tip #21 - What new developments have surfaced in Green papers?

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

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


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A new book from Flux, "Turning to One Another", is going green with Eco-Libris

Another great book is being released today by the Norwegian publisher Flux - "Turning to One Another
: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future" by Margaret J. Wheatley. And as usual this is a green celebration - we're proud to announce that this book, as well as all the other books published by Flux is going green with Eco-Libris, and 1,000 trees are being planted to balance out the Norwegian edition of this title.

Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future (or as the book is called in Norwegian: Å møte hverandre - Enkle samtaler for en bedre fremtid) shows how the simple but long neglected act of conversation-of thoughtfully talking and listening to one another-has the power to change lives and offers insightful advice on how to conduct conversations that will help us to genuinely connect with each other and restore hope to our individual lives.

Here's more about this book (from the Book's English version website):

"I believe we can change the world if we start talking to one another again." With this simple declaration, Margaret Wheatley proposes that people band together with their colleagues and friends to create the solutions for real social change, both locally and globally, that are so badly needed. Such change will not come from governments or corporations, she argues, but from the ageless process of thinking together in conversation.

Turning to One Another
encourages this process. Part I explores the power of conversation and the conditions-simplicity, personal courage, real listening, and diversity-that support it. Part II contains quotes and images to encourage the reader to pause and reflect, and to prepare for the work ahead-convening truly meaningful conversations. Part III provides ten "conversation starters"-questions that in Wheatley's experience have led people to share their deepest beliefs, fears, and hopes.

More books from Flux:
Leadership and Self-Deception

The 100-years' Targets

The 5th Step

The Integral Vision

Dyp glede (Deep Joy): Arne Næss on deep ecology


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting sustainable reading!

Friday, November 20, 2009

RecycleBank's list of five things you should always recycle

This week we had celebrated America Recycles Day (on November 15), and our friends at RecycleBank has put together a list of “Five Things You Should Always Recycle” by Jen Uscher, we would like to share with you. We hope you'll find this important information useful.

RecycleBank is a recycling rewards program currently servicing 24 states and the United Kingdom.

Five Things You Should Always Recycle

Chances are you're already recycling the cans, bottles, and paper that get picked up at the curb, but what about all that other stuff that's lurking in your drawers or closets - like outdated gadgets and dead batteries - that you're not sure how to recycle? The following household items are especially important to donate or recycle because they contain materials that can contaminate the environment if they wind up in landfills or that can easily be reclaimed for use in new products. Here are some convenient ways to keep them out of the trash:

1. Electronics – All Office Depot, Staples, and Best Buy stores accept larger electronics like desktop computers for recycling for a small fee (usually $10) and smaller ones like cell phones and PDAs for free. Goodwill stores accept used computer equipment (some locations also accept televisions) for free.

And you can earn RecycleBank Points by recycling MP3 players/iPods, laptops, and cell phones through our partners at Collective Good, FlipSwap, and Gazelle.

Why: You'll keep toxic materials like lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and brominated flame retardants out of landfills. And useful materials will be recovered, saving energy and resources.

2. Rechargeable batteries – From cordless phones and power tools, digital cameras, and other gizmos - these can be recycled for free at 30,000 drop-off points nationwide, including retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe's, RadioShack, Sears, and Target. Enter your zip code at Call2Recycle to find one near you.

Unfortunately, it's more difficult to find places to recycle alkaline (or single-use) batteries. Try Earth911 to find drop off locations or order a box (for $34.50, including prepaid shipping) from Battery Solutions and send them up to 12 pounds of alkaline and/or rechargeable batteries for recycling.

Why: Like many electronics, batteries contain heavy metals and other chemicals best kept out of the waste stream. Plus, recyclers reclaim metals from them that are used to make, for example, new batteries and steel.

3. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, but they contain a small amount of mercury and shouldn't be thrown in the trash. Take them to any Ikea or Home Depot store for recycling or go to Lamp Recycle to find other drop off locations near you.

Why: CFLs in landfills can break and release mercury, a neurotoxin, into the environment.

4. Plastic Bags – Even if you've switched to reusable bags for your shopping, you probably have a bunch of these stored in your home. Luckily, lots of retailers like Wal-Mart, Safeway, Albertsons, Wegmans, Krogers, and Giant now have bins where you can recycle plastic grocery bags (and newspaper, drycleaning, bread, and sealable food storage bags). To find a drop off location near you, go to Plastic Bag Recycling or Earth911.

Why: They're made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, and when thrown away they take a very long time to decompose. Recyclers will turn them into new products like plastic lumber.

5. Anything you don't need that could be of great value to others – For instance, you can donate your used prescription glasses to the nonprofit OneSight at any LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut, Target Optical, or Sears Optical location (or go to One Sight for more locations near you). You can also donate unused, unexpired medications including antibiotics, pain relievers, and others by mailing them to the Health Equity Project. The glasses and medications will be distributed to people in need in developing countries.

Keep in mind that you should always recycle hazardous substances like paint, pesticides, propane gas tanks, and motor oil at your town's household hazardous waste collection events or permanent collection center. Go to Earth911or call 1-800-CLEANUP to find collection sites and events.

Thank you to our friends at RecycleBank for these great tips!


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We have a winner on our "No Impact Man" giveaway!

We had a giveaway of a copy of "No Impact Man" following the book's review last week as part of our green books campaign. We asked you to share with us us what's the most extreme sacrifice you did to green up your lifestyle, and we got some pretty interesting replies, including some new uses of urine outside the restroom.. And we have a winner!

Our winner is the reader Charlotte, who wrote the following:

gosh. It's hard to know what other people would think is most "extreme." But here goes: I keep a bucket in the shower, to catch the water before it gets hot, so as to use it for toilet flushing, which is fairly reasonable, but I take this to extremes, and am very careful to squeeze the water out of my hair after I'm done into the bucket, so as not to waste it

Congrats, Charlotte. You won our review copy of the book (provided by the publisher) and we'll also plant a tree for the book and add to it our "One tree planted for this book" sticker made of recycled paper. Thanks also for all the other participants!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting sustainable reading!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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

There's an interesting article today on the New York Times about the growing popularity of the usage of cellphones as e-readers. It looks like more people are willing to read books on a 3.5 inch mobile screen and some wonder if mobile phones are indeed the ultimate Kindle Killers.

It might be a new round of a struggle between a device that is basically limited (almost) to just one main function to a multi-functional device that also has the capability to provide this function. If we look at the example of GPS, where the mobile competition plays an important role in the sales decline of GPS devices, then the Kindle, Sony Reader, the Nook and others are going to deal with a fierce competitor that has the potential to take a nice bite of their market share.

Another fact which was not mentioned in the article ("Novels, 3.5 Inches At a Time") is that it's much more environmental-friendly to use a multi-functional device because then you just need to manufacture one device and that's it. And the same goes to ending the life of the device - it's almost always greener to deal with one device than two or three devices.

But, and this is a big but, can we really read books on cellphones? I find it very not comfortable and I believe that many other readers feel the same. And this is I think the biggest obstacle of cellphones in their "fight" against the Kindle and other e-readers - no matter how cool and relatively green they are and how more features they have, it is still no fun to downsize your reading experience to a 3.5 inch screen.

What do you think about it? I'll be happy to hear your thoughts and what's your prefarable way to read books - mobile? e-reader? paper?

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting sustainable reading!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Green books campaign one week after: This is just the beginning!

One week passed since our green books campaign went online and we're still overwhelmed by the great feedback it received. We got great response from everyone - readers, publishers, bookstores, authors and bloggers who found the campaign important, valuable and inspiring.

We would like to thank all of the bloggers who participated in the campaign and assisted us in spreading the word about sustainable reading. The 110 reviews of green books written for the campaign were read by thousands, if not tens of thousands of readers, and made an important statement about the importance of printing books responsibly.

We also want to thank the 39 publishers who took part in the campaign and provided the green books for the bloggers. You deserve a big kudos for
your efforts to get greener and for your responsible printing practices demonstrated by the participating books!

We believe this campaign is just the beginning, not the end of these efforts. We hope it will generate discussions and inspire innovative thinking on how to merge "green" into publishing and help making sure books will be as eco-friendly as possible.

And last but not least - we have winners! As I mentioned earlier, we got 6 prizes for bloggers with the largest number of feedback on their review post: five audio copies of the new Al Gore's audiobook, "Our Choice" (gift of Simon & Schuster Audio) and a 3-month membership at BookSwim, the Netflix for books. The First prize is the audiobook of Al Gore signed by him!

The winners are:

First place - Jen of Tripple Pundit. Jen's prize is a signed copy of Al Gore's audiobook, "Our Choice".

Second place - Kathy of Bermudaonion's weblog. Kathy's prize is a copy of Al Gore's audiobook, "Our Choice".

Third place - Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit. Serena's prize is a copy of Al Gore's audiobook, "Our Choice".

Fourth place - Ana of Things mean a lot. Ana's prize is a copy of Al Gore's audiobook, "Our Choice".

Fifth place - Alyce of At home with books. Alyce's prize is a copy of Al Gore's audiobook, "Our Choice".

Sixth place - Trish of Trish's Reading Nook. Trish's prize is a 3-month membership at BookSwim.

Thanks again everyone!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

A paper company loses a contract worth $55m annually following Greenpeace protest in Indonesia

While the expectations of the upcoming Conference in Copenhagen seems lower and lower every day, Greenpeace is still working hard to remind us (and the world's leaders) of the urgent need to take a decisive action on climate change, especially when it comes to deforestation. It also reminds paper companies that it's still a watchdog with very sharp teeth. Just ask APRIL.

But first, the protest: As reported on Grist, last week, about 50 Greenpeace activists blocked rainforest destruction in Indonesia’s Kampar Peninsula by chaining themselves to excavators. Activists then draped a bright red “Obama You Can Stop This” banner over the destruction and called on the world’s leaders to stop deforestation at next month’s climate talks in Copenhagen.

Greenpeace explains on their website that "with up to a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions coming from cutting down and burning forests, it's clear we cannot avert a climate disaster unless world leaders
take action of their own to stop the destruction."

And now for their interesting findings abut Asia Pacific Resources International Holding Limited (APRIL), a pulp and paper company - Greenpeace reported that in response to a letter they sent voicing their concerns about forest destruction in he Kampar Peninsula on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, APRIL stated that it had ceased operations in the Kampar Peninsula.

Greenpeace claimed it has now proof that APRIL is actually destroying this rainforest and draining forest peatland on Sumatra’s threatened Kampar Peninsula.
Greenpeace also brought this evidence to a public meeting held by APRIL in the regional capital of Pekanbaru where the company was introducing the latest of a string of so-called 'High Value Forest Assessments' aimed at greenwashing its image.

The consequences were quick to follow - UPM, a Finnish-owned company which supplies products like photocopier paper to markets including Europe, the US and China, decided to
cancel its contract with APRIL due to the company's poor environmental record. This is not a small hit for APRIL - Greenpeace estimates that APRIL’s contract with UPM was worth $55m annually, or over 4% of APRIL’s total pulp production.

So now couple of interesting questions arise here:

1. Will other companies follow suit and cancel their contracts with APRIL as well?

2. How much time will it take to APRIL to respond to Greenpeace and what will they do?

3. Will political forces follow the example of the business sector and do something about our poor environmental record at Copenhagen?

I hope we'll have answers to these questions in the next couple of weeks and we'll of course keep you posted once we'll have more updates.


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Promoting responsible printing!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Subscription option is available on Eco-Libris website

We would like to remind you with an option that is available onEco-Libris' website - subscription.

If you have a big library at home and you want to green it up one bookshelf or bookcase at a time, balancing out 5 or 10 books every month on regular basis, can be a good fit for you.

The process is very easy and similar to one-time purchase: On
the subscription page you choose how many books you want to balance out each month. Then just click on the 'Buy' bottom and complete the payment process on the PayPal page. That's it.

Then, every month we'll balance out for you the amount of books you chose by planting trees in developing countries with our planting partners. You will receive a confirmation email from PayPal following the monthly payment, and of course you will also receive our stickers on monthly basis.

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

We are very happy to offer this option to all the eco-conscious readers out there who want to balance out many books but want to do gradually.
If you have any questions about the subscription option, please feel free to email me at: raz [at] ecolibris [dot] net.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

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

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A new book, "The Secret Green Sauce", by Bill Roth is going green with Eco-Libris

We are happy to announce on a new collaboration with Bill Roth on his new book - THE SECRET GREEN SAUCE™ : Best Practices being used by actual businesses to grow green profits.

Roth, Green Business Coach for and the founder of Earth 2017, partnered with Eco-Libris in the past to green up his important book, "On Empty (Out of Time)".

Now he has a new and a very exciting book entitled "The Secret Green Sauce" and now we're happy to collaborate with him again, planting one tree for every copy sold! Readers will also receive with their copy our "One tree planted for this book" sticker they can put on the book.

"The Secret Green Sauce" profiles the best practices being used by actual companies to grow green revenues. Bill Roth assembled these best practices through a two-year effort of searching from and interviewing, the business pioneers who are successfully building green businesses and launching green products.

Bill Roth is offering a
FREE 1st chapter on Earth 2017 website. The book is available for sale both in a paper and electronic versions on the website at

I'm already reading it and I find it very innovative and interesting. We'll soon post here a review of the book, as well as an interview with Bill Roth on his book, so stay tuned!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Green printing tip no. 23: Are there inexpensive Green papers for brochures?

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

Today Greg continues a 4-part series that is focusing on paper and paper companies and writes about one of the most well known eco-friendly papers.

Are there inexpensive Green papers for brochures?

Tip #23

I started my paper discussions with Mohawk and Neenah in the past two weeks and this week I want to bring you up to date with Cascades, and the number one question I am asked.

Cascades, formerly known as Rolland Paper, from Canada, was one of the first paper mills that I featured, along my 20 year mission. They developed one of the first 100% post-consumer waste papers, and that grade was called New Life DP. For many years I sold that grade to the government under a GSA contract I was awarded.

Approximately two years ago, Rolland became Cascades, and New Life DP became Enviro 100. I certainly agreed with the new name, and Enviro is one of my favorite environmental papers.

The reasons are:

1. Enviro prints well.
2. Enviro is third party certified for 100% PCW and 100% PCF.
3. Enviro has terrific bulk in their text & cover weights.
4. Enviro is "priced" to compete against non environmental papers.
5. Enviro comes in 20# for Xerox and laser work.
6. Enviro has good opacity.
7. Enviro has been my house sheet for 10 years and we have gotten rave reviews from many of our clients.

Enviro comes in 50#,60#, 70#, 80# and 100# text and 80# and 100# cover, as well as the 20# for Xerox jobs.

When young designers ask me if they can switch their clients to being environmental and be price competitive, I tell them Enviro is priced like an inexpensive opaque paper, but prints like an expensive text line. I have an example on my website at of saving one client $7000, on the paper alone on a brochure job, that needed 5000 pounds of paper. The
savings on Enviro was the reason we both got the job.

The Cascades mill uses BioGas for their energy. They are FSC certified, and they are less than 10 hours from our market, which helps the carbon footprint.

As I mentioned, I have a very good experience with the Enviro - I have done jobs for Diesel Jeans, Feed LLC, Gaia Soil, several art galleries, and many colleges and universities. I also sold to the EPA, and the U.S Fish & Wildlife the 20# paper, during my GSA contract days, with great results.

Interested? Call me
(or email me at for samples.

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

Latest tips:

Green Printing Tip #22 - What does I-Tone mean?

Green Printing Tip #21 - What new developments have surfaced in Green papers?

Green Printing Tip #20 - How to create a green packaging job?

Green Printing Tip #19 - How can graphic designers make a difference and green up your printing jobs?

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

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


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Looking for a unique and affordable green birthday gift?

What's the connection between Leonardo DiCaprio, Charles Manson and actresses Calista Flockhart (or should we say Ally McBeal) and Demi Moore?

They were all born on November 11! 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

Eco-Libris: promoting sustainable reading!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Welcome to the Green Books campaign!

Our Green Books campaign is online! Today over 100 bloggers are taking a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of more than 100 such books.

Organized by Eco-Libris, this campaign is aiming to promote “green” books by reviewing more than 100 books printed on recycled paper or FSC-certified paper.

All the links to the books and the blogs that participate in the campaign and the blogs reviewing them are available on the campaign's page at

We invite you to join us in this unique green lit celebration, read reviews of books you find interesting, comment, tweet (please add the hashtag #greenbooks to your tweet/s) and share it with other book lovers!

We also want to take this opportunity and thank all the bloggers who participate in the campaign, as well as the publishers and authors who provided the great green books reviewed today. And last but not least, thank you to Susan Newman that designed the beautiful logo for the campaign.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Green Books campaign: No Impact Man

This review is part of the
Green Books campaign. Today 100 bloggers are reviewing 100 great books printed in an environmentally friendly way. Our goal is to encourage publishers to get greener and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books. This campaign is organized by Eco-Libris, a a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.

The book we review on the Green Books campaign is:

No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process

Author: Colin Beavan

Beavan is a PhD electronic engineer (University of Liverpool). He spent the late 80s and early 90s as a consultant to philanthropic organizations such as social housing providers, drug treatment agencies and hospitals, helping them to promote themselves in order to secure increasingly scarce, Thatcher-era funding.

In 1992 Beavan returned to the United States and wrote for magazines until Hyperion published his first book Fingerprints: The Origins of Crime Detection and the Murder Case that Launched Forensic Science (a popular history of criminology) in 2001. In 2006, Viking published his second book, Operation Jedburgh: D-Day and America’s First Shadow (about the operation that formed the precedent for U.S. anti-Soviet operations in Afghanistan).

He is director of the No Impact Project, a visiting scholar at NYU, an advisor to the University’s Sustainability Task Force, and sits on the board of directors of New York City’s Transportation Alternatives and on the advisory council of Just Food.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Published on:
September 2009

What this book is about? (from the publisher's website)
guilty liberal finally snaps, swears off plastic, goes organic, becomes a bicycle nut, turns off his power, and generally becomes a tree-hugging lunatic who tries to save the polar bears and the rest of the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his baby daughter and Prada-wearing, Four Seasons–loving wife along for the ride. And that’s just the beginning. Bill McKibben meets Bill Bryson in this seriously engaging look at one man’s decision to put his money where his mouth is and go off the grid for one year—while still living in New York City—to see if it’s possible to make no net impact on the environment. In other words, no trash, no toxins in the water, no elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no air-conditioning, no television . . .

What would it be like to try to live a no-impact lifestyle? Is it possible? Could it catch on? Is living this way more satisfying or less satisfying? Harder or easier? Is it worthwhile or senseless? Are we all doomed or can our culture reduce the barriers to sustainable living so it becomes as easy as falling off a log? These are the questions at the heart of this whole mad endeavor, via which Colin Beavan hopes to explain to the rest of us how we can realistically live a more “eco-effective” and by turns more content life in an age of inconvenient truths.

What we think about it?

I thought that a good preparation for reading the book would be to watch again "The Story of Stuff". At the end of this excellent 20-minute animation of the consumerist society, Anne Leonard who narrates it is saying "let's create something new". Colin Beavan definitely tried to do that in his one year experiment, which he writes about in his book.

Both the story of Stuff and the No Impact Man project are actually a mirror of our society and what we see there is not a pretty picture. We see a rat race that is ruining the planet and the same time doesn't provide us the happiness and good life we expect to have out of it. Beavan is looking to change it , adopting the wood-harvesting philosophy of the Menominee tribe of "living happily, taking from the planet what it can sustainably offer and not taking what it can't."

He is not a hippie. No sir. He might be a rebel, but he is a rebel living in New York, which makes everything a bit more realistic for the average urban reader. It's true that some of Beavan's experiences describes in the book might be too extreme for some of us, and for him as well, as he explores his limits with electricity for example and finds out that life can be too difficult without using a washing machine. But at the same time, he teaches us a very important lesson on how we tend to blame everyone else in not doing enough to fight global warming, politicians, businesses and even family members and friends, but we rarely look inside and see how much we contribute to it with our daily life routine, the same one Beavan tries to drastically change.

This book is a fascinating journey, both personal and social, and you learn so much not only about the Beavan family, but also about yourself and the society you live in. What I liked about it even more is that he finds a perfect balance between providing us with facts, philosophical ideas and historic perspective and keeping the story interesting and funny and avoiding from making it just one of those "how-to" educational guides.

For me this book was a perfect choice for our green books campaign not only because it is printed responsibly on 100% post-consumer recycled paper and cardboard and processed without chlorine, but also because Colin Beavan believes we can make a difference, and this is what this campaign is all about.

Bottom line: Written with wit wisdom and two feet on the ground, this book is far from being an urban green fantasy and has and is greatly recommended!

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


We're giving away our review 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 and share with us what's the most extreme sacrifice you did to green up your lifestyle. Submissions are accepted until Tuesday, November 17, 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 Eco-Libris website's green resources section.
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Monday, November 9, 2009

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

Last month we had a 3-part series on the potential and risks of forest-based carbon credits following the growing discussion about the Deforestation and Degradation in developing countries (REDD) mechanism. Now it looks like the risks part should to be updated.

Bloomberg reported about a proposal that was made during the climate talks in Bangkok last month didn’t include wording to protect natural forests from being used to cultivate managed woodlands. In other words, carbon credits will be given also to those who wish to convert large-scale natural forests into industrial plantations.

According to, the provision, which included safeguards against the conversion of natural forests to forest plantations, was removed the negotiating text during the final session at climate talks in Bangkok. The European Union, backed by Democratic Republic of the Congo and other Congo Basin countries, blocked reinstatement of the conversion safeguard, despite strong requests to do so from Brazil, India, Mexico, Switzerland, Norway, and more than a dozen other countries.

Environmentalists say that without the provision, forestry companies could receive REDD payments for logging tropical forests and replacing them with single-species plantations, which are biologically impoverished and store less carbon relative to natural forests.

Some observers described this move as a tactic one and were quite sure this provision, which included "the words “against the conversion of natural forests to forest plantations,” will be added eventually to whatever proposal will hopefully will be approved in Copenhagen next month.

In the meantime, the talks which ended Barcelona didn't provide any encouraging signs about it as REDD-Monitor reports today. It quotes Roman Czebiniak, political advisor on climate change and forests for Greenpeace International, who told SolveClimate that “Right now, we have a pretty worthless safeguard and no rules to implement it, at a time when we need strong safeguards and strong rules are needed.”

Zebiniak remains optimistic that safeguards and monitoring could still be inserted into a REDD agreement, even after Copenhagen, and we also keep our fingers crossed that this mechanism, which as we reported last month has a promising potential, won't becme worthless because of political agendas and lack of will to make sure it will benefit the environment and not just couple of big forestry companies.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

We have a winner on the "Green Earth Guide: Traveling Naturally in France" giveaway

We had a giveaway following our review of "Green Earth Guide: Traveling Naturally in France" by Dorian Yates, and we have a winner!

We asked you to share with us a green experience you had in one of your last trips to another country. The winner, Penny, wrote us the following:

I was in southern Spain in May. My favourite week was spent in Granada where I rented a small apartment and did my own shopping and meal preparation. I found a small deli that had a range of local, organic foods and local wine. They were great.

I also use public transit wherever I travel - from Spain to France to Nicaragua. I'll admit it was more of an adventure in Nicaragua where bus drivers were hustling for business on the sidewalk near the bus station.

Congrats Penny! You will receive a copy of this great book and a tree will also be planted on your behalf (we just need your mailing address so we can send you the book).

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Friday, November 6, 2009

4 days left to the Green Books campaign: update on some cool prizes for the participating blogs!

4 days left to our Green Books campaign and we're getting very excited as the clock is ticking towards next Tuesday, November 10.

What will happen then? well, exactly on 1pm EST over 100 bloggers will take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of more than 100 such books! You can see the full list of participating books on the Green Books campaign's page.

We have great blogs participating in the campaign (list of the blogs is available on the campaign's page as well). As a small token of appreciation to their work on the campaign we will give couple of great prizes to the bloggers who will have the greatest number of comments and tweets on their "green" book review.

The first prize is very very cool - a signed copy of Al Gore's new Audiobook "OUR CHOICE: A Plan To Solve the Climate Crisis", courtesy of our friends at Simon & Schuster Audio. They are also contributing four more copies as prizes.

One more prize is coming from our friends at BookSwim, the Netflix for books, who are giving a great prize - a 3-month membership at BookSwim!
We'll be here with couple of more updates until Tuesday, and of course on Tuesday you'll be able to find here a full list of links to all the "green" books reviews.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Green printing tip no. 22: What does I-Tone mean?

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

Today Greg is continuing a 4-part series that will focus on paper and paper companies.

What does I-Tone mean?

Tip #22

This is the second part of a 4-part series I run on paper. Last week I featured two of the major mills and the variety of "green" options they offer. Today, I will talk about I-Tone.

So what is I-Tone? The I-Tone finish is a clear finish, added to the paper, that allows for better print results. I-Tone papers guarantee exceptionally consistent HP electronic transfer and adhesion resulting in better performance, higher productivity, and ultimately
lower prices.

I-Tone papers are manufactured with Wind Power, and the grades I promote are the 100% post-consumer or recycled I-Tone selections.

Mohawk, which I mentioned last week, was named an HP INDIGO PREFERRED PARTNER by Hewlett Packard, for the I-Tone surface treatment that offers optimized performance in 4 color printing, and for the way heavy solids look, when printed on the I-Tone selection papers.

As I mentioned last week, this new technology comes in Options PC 100. Options PC 100 is 100% post-consumer waste recycled, and 100% processed chlorine free. Like most Mohawk papers, Options is manufactured using Wind energy, and is an FSC certified paper.

Mohawk has an I-Tone Selections swatch book. I use it to remind me which grades from Mohawk can be printed on our Indigo presses. Here are the names of those papers, found in their swatch book:

Mohawk Options, Mohawk Superfine, Strathmore Script Pinstripe, Beckett Expressions, Beckett Cambric, Mohawk Via Linen, Mohawk Via Felt and Mohawk Via Satin.

This is a good cross section of their papers. They have smooth, vellum, and textured papers, and we have state of the art printing , when using their I-Tone lines.

These papers are moderately priced, but the true savings is in the printing. We have no minimums, when printing digitally. We can print a 4 color brochure for under $500, that would cost over $1000 on a conventional 4-6 color press.

The key with the I-Tone finish is you can't tell the difference between digital and offset. My own Landfill Brochure has fooled the best print critics. We chose Options PC 100 and our 28 page brochure looks like we printed on a huge 6 color press. No glare or unwanted shine, that you see in most digital printing.

If you have any further questions about today's tip or you would like a swatch book, please email me at

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

Latest tips:

Green Printing Tip #21 - What new developments have surfaced in Green papers?

Green Printing Tip #20 - How to create a green packaging job?

Green Printing Tip #19 - How can graphic designers make a difference and green up your printing jobs?

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

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


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing!