Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Tu B'Shevat!

Tomorrow is Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish "New Year for Trees", and it's a great celebration not only for the trees, but also for tree lovers (not to say treehuggers..) everywhere.

Tu B'Shevat is a transliteration of 'the fifteenth of Shevat', the Hebrew date specified as the new year for trees. It is the date used to calculate the age of trees for tithing/taxing. Fruit from trees may not be eaten during the first three years of its life according to the Thora. The fourth year's fruit was to be tithed to the Temple (for god), and after that, anyone can eat its fruit.

The fifteenth of the Hebrew month Shevat was the cutoff date for determining when the fruit of the tree was to be tithed. If the tree was planted prior to Tu B'Shevat, it would be considered to have aged one year. If it was planted afterward, it would become one year old at the following year's Tu B'Shevat. Thus, 'Tu' (the alpha-numeric for the number 15) denotes that the holiday is on the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat.

Tu B'Shevat gradually gained religious significance, with a Kabalistic fruit-eating ceremony (like the Passover Seder) being introduced during the 1600s.

Customs associated with Tu B'Shevat include planting trees and eating dried fruits and nuts, especially figs, dates, raisins, and almonds. Over the years Tu B’Shevat has taken on the theme of planting trees in Israel, but because this is a shmita year (the seventh year of the agricultural cycle during which time the Torah prohibits Jews from planting the land), there won't be any plantings celebrations this year in Israel.

Here's another greeting for Tu B'Shevat

For more information on Tu B'Shevat please check these websites:

I love Tu B'Shevat very much. It's one of my favorite holidays and as a kid in Israel I planted trees every year to celebrate Tu B'Shevat. Today I'm happy to be part of Eco-Libris, where with your support, every day is a Tu B'Shevat.

Happy Tu B'Shevat,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

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

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How green is the iPad - Part 1: What was said so far about the green side of the iPad?

It looks like everything to be said about the the iPad and the ways it will change our life was said in the last couple of days. The buzz is amazing and it's no surprising given the fact that Apple are the masters of marketing. But what about the environment? Is the iPad eco-friendly? Is it greener than other eReaders? And of course, the ultimate question: does it bring to an end the debate of what is more environmental friendly - eBooks or paper books?

We are going to explore these questions in a 3-part series. On the first part, we check today what others think about the green side of the iPad, bringing you a summary of the articles published about it in the last couple of days. Tomorrow, we'll bring you part two with a comparison of the iPad's green features to those of the Kindle and the Nook, and on the last part we'll give you our final analysis.

So, here's part one: What was said so far about the green side of the iPad?

1. Is there an eco-angle to an Apple tablet?, Martin LaMonica, CNET News.
Bottom Line: "From an environmental point of view, that shift is a mixed bag, depending as much on user behavior as on technology...Overall, an Apple tablet, or the host of electronic readers expected this year, can bring many benefits of digitized content and even change how we read, day to day. Whether it brings a net environmental benefit, though, has more to do with the owner than the device."

2. Apple’s new iPad is deep green, but a planet saver? Nope., Matthew Wheeland,
Bottome Line: "In a nutshell, the iPad is a nifty little gadget, I'm sure it will do wonders for how people engage with technology, and hopefully will give a boost to the flagging newspaper- and book-publishing industries, but it is still another resource-intensive gadget that will be an add-on rather than a replacement."

The Apple Tablet: Better for the Environment?, The Daily Green Staff,
Bottom Line: "..there is some real potential for the Apple Tablet (or whatever it might be called, or whatever tablet manufacturer wins the hearts of the most users) to reduce the strain on the environment caused by both our print and electronic habits ... if, that is, it is built smartly and responsibly and we change our existing habits."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Green printing tip no. 31: How to produce the greenest hang tags?

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

Today Greg is talking about a piece of paper that is important to manufacturers of eco-fashion who want to make sure their garments are completely green, even when it comes to the hang tag.

How to produce the greenest hang tags?

Tip #31

This question comes up a lot and I like to suggest several options.

Diesel Jeans once asked me if I could get hang tags made out of
Rock & minerals for their new Organic Jeans lines. This paper, as you recall, is made from Limestone and Calcium Carbonate,
is water proof and tear resistant.

It prints like a dull coated cover and the tactile feel of the paper is really cool. But, I needed 12 weeks to produce the hang tag order. They were using a coated sheet with film lamination and I said I had an alternative.

My recommendation was to switch to Double Thick 100% Post-Consumer Waste recycled cover. That meant two 100# covers, glued together to create a 200# hangtag. The thickness became 26 point, and there was no need for film lamination, as at that thickness, the hangtags would not rip.

The environmental advantage was enormous. They switched from a non recycled stock, with film lamination, to a 100% recycled grade, that is 100% chlorine free and is Green E certified. We punched the hole, and strung their hangtags with Hemp string.

And the price?
Our 100% PCW cover is under 90 cents per pound, which is half the price of most 100% post-consumer grades of paper. We kept the price low and made Diesel look terrific to their environmental client base on their organic jeans.

This is definitely a win win. So, switch your hangtags to 100% recycled, and save our environment.

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

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

Latest tips:

Green Printing Tip #30 -
How do you become Carbon Neutral in your next print job?

Green Printing Tip #29 - Why environmental views are not always in the core of business?

Green Printing Tip #28 - Green printing resolutions for the New Year!

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, January 25, 2010

Looking for an affordable green birthday gift?

What's the connection between musician Alicia Keys, Virginia Woolf actresses China Kantner and blues singer Etta James?

They were all born on January 25! 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!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

POKEN is the new cool social business card, but is it also the greenest alternative to paper cards?

I read about POKEN at Treehugger and this cute gadget can definitely become an alternative to business cards, but is it a greener alternative as well?

Firstly, what is POKEN? as their website explains, it's "a new social business card. Not a flat, white piece of plastic that you stick in a wallet. But one that uses the latest RFID technology to keep people connected in a fun way. POKEN helps people to spark up conversations and keep them going, in all kinds of ways and in their own personal style.Founded in December 2007 and headquartered in Lausanne (Switzerland) with partners around the globe, the mission of Poken, its products, employees, fans and users is to bring people together in their own way and on their own terms"

But you've got to see - check out this video:

So is it greener? Jaymi Heimbuch explains at Treehugger "While the POKEN seems like a great alternative to paper business cards, especially for those heavily involved in online social networking as it links up with Facebook, Twitter and 45 other networking sites. However, it doesn't seem to be a much greener alternative than what services we already have available. It seems much more appropriate that if you're taking your business info digital, you use services that are digital on the devices you already own, like your cell phone, to transfer the information. We'd rather see an app for that, than a whole new electronic device."

Heimbuch is right, but we can't ignore the "coolness factor", which makes the POKEN an attractive alternative to the traditional paper biz cards. I guess no app will be as cool and memorable as the Obama POKEN for example..

Is the POKEN greener for example than business cards printed on recycled paper? it's hard to tell. I guess we'll need to wait for a life cycle assessment to determine it. In the meantime, if you want to purchase a cute POKEN, the price is $19.95 and there's a minimum order of 12.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

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

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flux is publishing a new edition of "Bridges to Ourselves" and is collaborating with Eco-Libris to green it up!

The Norwegian publisher Flux is releasing an updated edition of a very interesting book about dream interpenetration - "
Bridges to Ourselves" by Astri Hognestad. And it's going green with Eco-Libris!

Flux is partnering with Eco-Libris to plant trees to balance out the wonderful books they're publishing and "Bridges to Ourselves" is no different.
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 325 trees are being planted to balance out this new Norwegian edition of the book.

So what is "Bridges to Ourselves" (or as the book is called in Norwegian: Broer til oss selv) about? Here's a description of the book:
When we are prevented from living fully, it's often because the life energy is shut down by acquired and ingrained attitudes, with narrow boundaries. We get different kinds of symptoms and reactions that either paralyze us or that are outside of our control. Inner conflict determine patterns of thought and hard feelings that are expressed in our dreams. Understanding dreams may turn out to create a new perspective on the situation and show the way forward.

Even fairytales can show us possible development paths. Fairytales are often symbolic stories of inner emotional processes. They create recognition and help us further. Based on the Titanic disaster as a symbol of a crisis in our time, the author sheds light on how the dreams, fairytales and other stories can open a new understanding of some central themes in life and to help create greater freedom and a deeper meaning in the individual's life.

The book aims to help us to understand our response patterns, so that we can live more in harmony with our own personality. Professionals who work with people can also benefit from the book.

More books from Flux:
Turning to One Another

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!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

According to the Forest Carbon Markets 2009 report uncertainty is high but the market is growing

The State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2009 report was released with the conclusion that "At the end of 2009, the market for forest carbon stands in an uncertain position on the verge of potentially enormous growth".

As ClimateBiz reports, "State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2009: Taking Root & Branching Out," is based on research involving more than 100 market participants whose work encompasses 230 projects that have generated credits in 40 countries for over 20 years.

The report is explaining how the current uncertainty on the REDD and the U.S. regulation fronts generate both risks and opportunities for investors interested in forest-based carbon credits:

Already countries have committed politically in international negotiations to reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) and several have also committed financing. At the same time, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act awaiting it’s fate in the United States’ Senate explicitly calls for domestic forestry offsets and includes financing for REDD.

It is not possible to say what shape US climate regulation will take – or what sort of global
mechanisms for funding REDD will emerge from current international negotiations. Amidst this scene of opportunity and risk, investors are still eyeing forest carbon, though many are waiting on more definite regulatory signals before taking a financial leap. Even without market certainty, infrastructure and measurement tools continue to mature rapidly. Such tools, along with years of lessons learned accumulated, will inevitably serve as the foundation for forest carbon finance in years to come.

Regardless of this uncertainty, the forest carbon market grew from $7.6 million in 2006 to $37.1 in 2008 (after a $40.5 million record in 2008). The report said the forest carbon market was worth $21 million in the first half of 2009.

This is a very interesting and important report and you can find it at

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting sustainable reading!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting Ready for Digital Book World 2010 with Mike Shatzkin & Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

A new “Beyond the Book” podcast is released, offering a special preview of first-time conference Digital Book World that kicks off next week in New York City.

Conference chair and industry pundit Mike Shatzkin of the Idea Logical Company, and colleague Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, join host Chris Kenneally to discuss the conference, e-books, e-readers and the overall impact of digital change on the publishing industry.

I found it very a interesting conversation about one of the hottest issues today in the publishing market (even though there was no direct mention "green" related consequences of the digital revolution in the book market..).

Here's just one quote to give you a taste of what you'll hear. This is a quote from Mike Shatzkin:

I think unsettling and disturbing would probably be a far more accurate description than happy. I don’t think that the business that we’ve known for – pretty consistently operated in the same way for the last 50 or 75 years is not going to be particularly recognizable in another five or 10 years, and that can’t make people who have been succeeding in the business as it was very comfortable.

What I would say is that music and newspaper and magazines for that matter had a special problem that’s different from books, which is that they – newspapers and music always sold customers things they didn’t want to buy. You wanted three songs, they sold you an album with 12. You buy the Boston Globe for six different particular things in it, but they sold you 85 other things that you didn’t buy it for.

The podcast can be heard here:

A full transcript of the conversation is available here:

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting sustainable reading!

Monday, January 18, 2010

SFI has released an upgraded standard. Will it be enough to compete with FSC?

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is a forest certification program, which so far was considered by many not as credible or effective at conserving forest resources as the FSC certification. Now SFI has released a new and upgraded standard. Will it change anything? Will SFI become equal to FSC?

The SFI certification program was founded in 1995 by timber and paper companies as an alternative to FSC program, which was formed in 1993 by international environmental groups. On the SFI website you can read that the SFI® label is "a sign you are buying wood and paper products from a responsible source, backed by a rigorous, third-party certification audit." Others see it a bit differently, like ForestEthics, who argues that the SFI "promotes lax industry-manipulated standards".

A good place to learn more about the claims against the SFI is This site was launched by the Alliance for Credible Forest Certification, which is comprised of non-profit conservation organizations and others dedicated to credible certification and other market-based solutions for protecting and restoring forest ecosystems, including American Lands Alliance, Dogwood Alliance, ForestEthics, Greenpeace, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Council Maine, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club.

This website includes links to many comparisons between FSC and SFI. The conclusion of all of them is similar - SFI is not as credible as FSC. Here's one example from

In 2004, the Forests & European Union Resource Network (FERN) released “Footprints in the Forest: Current Practice and Future Challenges in Forest Certification.”2 The report examined eight certification systems from around the globe. While the report raised concerns with all the systems, FERN found the FSC “remains by far the most independent, rigorous and, therefore, credible certification system” and “only the FSC…deserves the confidence of consumers.” FERN found the SFI “[is] probably one of the least credible of all schemes researched” and fails to rely on performance based standards, consult with stakeholders, and use chain-of-custody product tracking.

And now what? Kathy Abusow of SFI updated that "You’ll see our new standard improves conservation of biodiversity, recognizes emerging issues such as climate change and bioenergy, and expands logger training in North America. It has made our fiber sourcing requirements stronger, and complements SFI activities aimed at avoiding controversial or illegal offshore fiber sources."

As reported on Environmental Leader, the standard also has 20 objectives, 39 performance measures and 114 indicators, which is up from 13 objectives, 34 performance measures, and 102 indicators in the previous version. To be certified, forest operations must be third-party audited by independent and accredited certification bodies, says SFI.

You can find a detailed summary of significant revisions in the SFI 2010-2014 Standard on this link.

Will these changes be satisfactory? We'll have to wait and see, but a good indication will be the decision of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), who is considering to revise its current practice not to give points for wood certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Currently the FSC is the only certification system whose wood qualifies for points under the LEED green construction system. If the USGBC will decide to approve SFI-certified wood as well, it will definitely give the revised SFI certification the Kosher stamp it is looking for.

More related stories:
ForestEthics is fighting the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting sustainable reading!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Will Xerox help to further green up the Espresso Book Machine?

Last September we reported that On Demand Books, the maker of the Espresso Book Machine, signed an agreement with Google, making its over two million public domain titles available directly to consumers. On Thursday On Demand Books announced on a new strategic partnership - this time with Xerox.

According to the press release, "Xerox and On Demand Books will jointly market and sell, on a worldwide basis, the Xerox 4112™ Copier/Printer together with the Espresso Book Machine – a fully integrated solution that prints, binds and trims books with full color covers on demand in retail locations and libraries. The Espresso Book Machine can produce paperbacks in variable combinations of trim sizes between 4.5" x 5.0" and 8.25" x 10.5" for a production cost less than one cent per page."

What does it mean that
the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) will be sold from now on with the Xerox 4112 Copier/Printer? Well, firstly, it's about offering a faster and better performance - With the Xerox 4112, the Espresso Book Machine produces a 300-page book in less than four minutes and has the capacity to print more than 40,000 paperback books per year.

But there's more as Judith Rosen points out on PW: "
By partnering with Xerox, On Demand will have access to a sales force for the first time and will make joint sales calls with Xerox, which will forward leads."

This partnership is a natural fit for On Demand Books, as the CEO, Dane Neller, explains on the press release “Their solutions, industry leadership, innovative printing technology and worldwide sales and marketing footprint will help us reach our goal – providing book enthusiasts fast and affordable access to millions of digital titles in multiple languages.”

We hope Xerox will contribute not only to the speed of the EBM, but also to further green it up. The EBM has a potential to become a true green alternative as it has a smaller footprint in comparison with the regular printing and distribution system. But there's still the issue of the paper and the challenge is of course to move from virgin paper to recycled paper to further reduce its footprint. We hope Xerox, which has a very good reputation when it comes to integrating sustainability into business, will help EBM to meet this challenge.

Xerox publishing v-p John Conley is quoted on PW saying that "..we have many, many skills that can make them more robust as you set a goal for worldwide capability. We think we can help make this incredibly significant. We like what it can do for the book distribution model.” He's definitely right and we hope Xerox will also use its skills and power to make the EBM not only a model of a better book distribution model, but also a model of a sustainable book production system.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Green printing tip no. 30: How do you become Carbon Neutral in your next print job?

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

Today Greg is recommending how to make your next print job, as well as your own operations, carbon neutral.

How Do You Become Carbon Neutral in your next print job and in your own plant?

Tip #30

Most Printers create CO2 that is emitted into our atmosphere. We can reduce these emissions in several ways we talked about in the past:
- Use low volatile organic compounds, like Soy or Vegetable Based inks, or 100% Non Toxic Toners

- Print on 100% post-consumer waste paper

- Use Green E certified renewable energy

- Run your jobs efficiently by planning your print work around standard size paper and using standard inks and not metallic inks, etc.

After reducing your carbon footprint as much as you possibly can, you will still be left with some carbon emissions you're generating and the solution you should consider is offsetting them to become carbon neutral.

It's important of course to choose the right provider of carbon offsets and for your own business, we recommend looking at Verus Carbon Neutral Partnership ( They audit your organization to determine your Carbon Footprint, and they provide a simple way to reduce or completely offset your CO2 emissions.

We, as your printer, buy Carbon Credits, and we can keep your Carbon Footprint low. You can do the same thing and keep your Carbon Footprint low or Carbon Neutral and we can print the Carbon Neutral emblem on your next print jobs.

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

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

Latest tips:

Green Printing Tip #29 -
Why environmental views are not always in the core of business?

Green Printing Tip #28 - Green printing resolutions for the New Year!

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

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!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Canopy launched an online survey to help developing agricultural residue paper alternatives

On August 2008 we reported here on an interesting trial of the Canadian National Geographic, whose June 2008 issue was printed using 20% wheat straw. This was an attempt to see how pure agricultural residue - wheat straw can replace trees as a source of paper.

As reported last month by Neva Murtha on Better Paper Project,
this trial was successful and showed that non-wood papers pass the technical and quality requirements of the North American market. Murtha adds that during last year’s trial was a significant level of interest by large paper consumers in agricultural residue paper alternatives such as the Wheat Sheet.

Canopy (back then known as Markets Initiative) who was one of the forces behind that effort (the others were the Canadian Geographic magazine, Ottawa printer Dollco and the Alberta Research Council) is trying to figure out now for the next steps and has launched an online survey to gather information that will help "shape the next steps in creating a future for a North American agricultural residue pulp and paper infrastructure"

So if you're a publisher, printer, paper merchant/distributor, pulp/paper manufacturer or represents relevant parties please take a couple of minutes of your time and fill it in and contribute your part in making publishing more sustainable. You can find the survey here.

For more information on the Wheat Sheet, please visit:

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

GreetQ is celebrating 650 new trees that are being planted with Eco-Libris following their operations in 2009!

On September 2008 GreetQ, an online greeting card retailer, partnered with Eco-Libris to plant a tree for every 10 greeting cards purchased through the GreetQ's website. Today we're happy to update that 650 trees are being planted as a result of GreetQ's commitments in 2009!

Headquartered in Seattle, WA,
GreetQ offers greeting card services that allow customers to personalize and schedule paper greeting cards to be mailed online.This is 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's founder, Jennifer Taylor, explained back in 2008 that the collaboration with Eco-Libris is 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. As we mentioned, in 2009 GreetQ's commitment translated into 650 new trees that are being planted with our planting partners in developing partners. Actually, since our policy is to plant 1.3 trees for every tree paid for to make sure at least one tree will reach maturity, 845 trees are being planted de facto on GreetQ's behalf following their 2009 commitments!

To learn more about GreetQ's beatufiul made cards and other products, please visit their website: You can also follow them on twitter (@greetq)

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Monday, January 11, 2010

Green book of the week - Green Recovery by Andrew Winston

Today we review a green book that not only is a good fit to this tough economic period, but is also a great resource to help you survive the recession by implementing the right green strategies.

Our book today is:

Green Recovery: Get Lean, Get Smart, and Emerge from the Downturn on Top

Author: Andrew Winston

Andrew Winston , founder of Winston Eco-Strategies, is the co-author of Green to Gold, the best-selling guide to what works - and what doesn't - when companies go green. He is a globally recognized expert on green business, and has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Time, BusinessWeek, Forbes, The New York Times, and CNBC. Andrew is dedicated to helping companies both large and small use environmental strategy to grow, create enduring value, and build stronger relationships with employees, customers, and other stakeholders. His clients have included Bank of America, HP, and IKEA.

Andrew bases his work on significant in-company business experience. His earlier career included advising companies on corporate strategy while at Boston Consulting Group and management positions in strategy and marketing at Time Warner and MTV. After these more traditional roles, Andrew pursued his passion to explore the overlap between business and environment. He served as the Director of the Corporate Environmental Strategy Project at Yale's renowned School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Andrew received his BA in Economics from Princeton, an MBA from Columbia, and a Masters of Environmental Management from Yale. He lives in Riverside, CT with his wife Christine and two young sons.

Publisher: Harvard Business Press

Published on:
August 2009

What this book is about?
(from the author's website)
How much money – and how many jobs – could your business save if you reduced energy use and waste by 25%? How would your business be impacted if oil reached $300 per barrel?

These might seem like odd questions to ask in the midst of a global recession–but they're not. Companies that shelve their green strategies until the economy improves will miss a huge opportunity to make their businesses stronger and more profitable.

Green Recovery argues that environmental challenges and increasing "green" awareness have not dissipated in the wake of the financial crisis. Business leaders must face both problems simultaneously. Fortunately, some of the same strategies that address environmental issues can help companies survive today's economic conditions and prosper when the good times return.

Going green is essentially about doing more with less. Viewed through this lens, green initiatives transform from costly luxuries to powerful recession-fighting, profit-making tools. This book shows how leaders — including Boeing, Disney, DuPont, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, and Wal-Mart — are ramping up efficiency, innovation, and employee motivation to save money quickly and preserve capital that can be reinvested for future growth.

Green Recovery offers a concise, engaging road map for using green initiatives to:

  • Get lean: generate immediate bottom-line savings by reducing energy use and waste
  • Get smart: use value-chain data to cut costs, reduce risks, and focus innovation efforts
  • Get creative: pose heretical questions that force you to find solutions to tomorrow's challenges today
  • Get engaged: give employees ownership of environmental goals and the tools to act on them

Green Recovery will help you unleash the power of green thinking to survive today's turmoil and chart a winning path to the future.

What we think about it?

This book is definitely the right book in the right time. Even though the economy seems to be doing a little bit better, many companies are still struggling to survive and continue their operations. I'm sure many of them didn't think "green" is the answer to their problems, but as the book is showing, it can definitely become their road to survival.

Winston is presenting very persuasive arguments and examples in his book for implementing green strategies as a way to survive today's economic conditions. The examples are especially important, because when you read that "following the green path, especially in hard times, can lead your company to higher profits and sustainable advantages", you want some proof. Winston, to his credit, gives you all the examples you want. And good ones too!

Winston knows to talk in the language of the targeted audience (aka business people) and hence is going straight to the bottom line - green don't look at green as extra cost, but as an investment with ROI and payback of usually not more than two years. He also explains how green strategies are always creating a win-win model, making your business not only greener, but also stronger and more competitive.

So if it's so simple, why haven't we seen all the CEOs of companies in trouble doing everything they can to go green? Winston doesn't escape this question and explains that there are two main reasons for that: "first, energy efficiency just hasn't seemed sexy..the second reason is the classic problem of the urgent versus the important. Most capital expenditures go to fix things that are broken. We can't help but focus on what's leaking."

Energy efficiency might not look sexier after reading this book, but you might see the definition of "broken" differently and get a better understanding of how "green" can fix it. As you read this book, you understand that the recession might be a nightmare, but it can also be an opportunity for a prosperous and more sustainable future.

Bottom line: Worth reading even if your company is doing pretty well now!

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

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

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!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Are ebooks greener than paper books?

To tell you the truth, we don't know yet. Really!

The debate is still going on and we believe the final word haven't been said yet. As we're very interested in the answer, we follow the discussion very closely, looking for articles, researches and other sources of information that address this issue.

If you want to look at the data we collected so far, you're welcome to visit our website at

Here are some examples of the materials you will find there:

New report finds Kindle greener than physical books - is that really so?, Eco-Libris blog, September 5, 2009 - I was hoping this report is the final word on the debate on how green the Kindle is. Unfortunately I am afraid it's not. The two main issues that bothered me mostly in the report are the calculation of the carbon footprint of a single Kindle and the assumption about the number of e-books the average user is reading.

Are E-Readers Greener Than Books?, Green Inc. Blog (, Joe Hutsko,, August 31, 2009 - Green Inc. blog is taking a look at the Cleantech Group's report and is also focusing on one of its weaknesses - the measurement of the Kindle's carbon footprint. They quote for example Casey Harrell, an international campaign coordinator for Greenpeace, which monitors the environmental impact of consumer electronics, who said e-readers remain something of an unknown variable.

Are ebooks really more environmentally friendly?, Brad's Reader, July 13, 2009 - Brad's Reader's conclusion is that ebooks are very much more friendly to our earth than print books. "Are ebooks perfect? No. There are still problems with energy consumption, raw materials used to make the ebook reading devices, properly disposing of old devices and so forth."

Are e-books an environmental choice?, Green Living, Christopher Mims, March 2, 2009 - Christopher Mims is also doing the comparison. His conclusion? "The short answer is almost certainly yes but only if you're comparing e-books to new books".

It's Easy Being Green: How to Be a Greener Reader, Center for American Progress, February 25, 2009 - "With the proliferation of e-book readers and online news, it seems an appropriate time to ask: What’s greenest way to read? In short: we’re not sure, and it depends."

Dear Science, The Stranger, Jonathan Golob, February 3, 2009 - Jonathan Golob is checking if reading The Stranger online actually is any greener than reading the printed-in-Yakima hard copy. His conclusion: "Still, on the whole, online is probably greener. (If 100 percent postconsumer recycled paper were used, print would be greener.)"

Ask Pablo: I've heard reading online uses more energy than printing documents. Can that be true?,, Pablo Päster , September 8, 2008 - Pablo is replying to the following question: My parents are from the typewriter generation and insist on printing every document before they read it. Their argument is that reading it on the computer uses more energy than printing it out and turning the computer off. Is this true?

Would you like that book in paper or plastic?, Environmental Science & Technology, Erika Engelhaupt , May 7, 2008 - E-book readers save paper, but can a piece of plastic really be better for the environment? ES&T reporter Erika Engelhaupt is determined - very determined - to find out.

Screening environmental life cycle assessment of printed, web based and tablet e-paper newspaper, Center for Sustainable Communications at the Royal Institute of Technology, Asa Moberg, Martin Johansson, Goran Finnveden and Alex Jonsson, 2007 - Reading the newspaper 30 minutes a day on e-paper instead of a regular newspaper is environmentally preferable. If you read a Web-based newspaper instead, you can only read for ten minutes to produce the same load on the environment. This has been calculated in a study at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Printed Scholarly Books and E-book Reading Devices: A Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Two Book Options, Center for Sustainable Systems University of Michigan, Greg Kozak , August 24, 2003 - This paper presents the findings of a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of two different book options - electronic and print. It compared the life-cycle burdens and impacts of a college student reading 40 scholarly books and the equivalent amount of digitalized information using dedicated e-book reading device.

We invite you to check out the full list of materials on, and of course if you're aware of an important article or research we somehow missed, please let us know!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The future of ebooks according to Tom Evans

This week, maybe due to CES 2010 that is taking place this week, e-Books and e-Readers are getting more attention everywhere and we're on this e-bandwagon as well!

Today we bring you an interesting video we found on Publishing Talk, with author Tom Evans of The Bookright talk with author Jackie Walker about the future of e-Books, especially with regards to the expected launch of Apple's Tablet later on this month.

You can find this video at

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The enTourage eDGe is presented at CES. Revolutionary? Yes! Green? Not sure yet.

We're hearing for a while about the potential of multifunctional devices to become the "Kindle Killer", and now we've got one of the first examples unveiled - the enTourage eDGe™.

GalleyCat reported that the new device, described as "combining the functions of an e-reader, netbook, notepad, and audio/video recorder and player in one", was presented on the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The shipping of the enTourage eDGe will begin next month and the price is $490. In return you'll receive "a comprehensive device that lets you read e-books, surf the Internet, take digital notes, send emails and instant messages, watch movies and listen to music anywhere, at any time." The promise as you can see already is that it does it all.

The advantages are many - big screen (9.7 inches), usage of e-Ink technology, built in WiFi, built-in 3 GB of usable memory, BlueTooth capability to add an external keyboard and much more.

And what about green advantages? well, two months ago, Asghar Mostafa, president and CEO of enTourage System said that "we set out to develop a product that would revolutionize consumer electronics, changing the way we work, live and play". The device definitely look and feel as a revolutionary one, but we can't really say if it's also a sustainable one.

On its webpage it says, for example, that "the lithium ion battery can last up to 16 hours of reading without recharging. One of the big advantages of the enTourage eDGe™ is that the battery can be replaced if it's ever necessary." But actually both the Kindle and the Nook have rechargeable and replaceable battery, so there's not much progress here.

I wish that once we'll see among the presented features of a new device "lower carbon footprint", with examples on its "green" features that make it eco-friendly. This will definitely be a true revolution when it comes to reading devices.

You can see more about the enTourage eDGe on this video:

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading!