Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Green book of the week - Rethinking Paper & Ink: The Sustainable Publishing Revolution

If you're interested in making your reading greener then you know we are always looking for interesting resources that will help us to understand better how to do it.

Today we present you with one of the best resources on this topic, if not the best one -
Rethinking Paper & Ink: The Sustainable Publishing Revolution by Ooligan Press, which was released last month.

About the book (from the publisher's website):
Ooligan Press is committed to leading the industry in sustainable publishing. Rethinking Paper & Ink, the newest title in Ooligan’s OpenBook Series, offers an in-depth, critical examination of the current book publishing industry and discusses ways to achieve more sustainable practices during acquisitions, editing, design, printing, marketing, promotion, and distribution. Dedicated to transparency, accountability, and responsibility, each title in Ooligan’s OpenBook Series includes an audit detailing the choices made during the book’s production process. This effort enables Ooligan to outline the specific decisions they made and measure the impact of those decisions in order to inform others seeking similar sustainable options.

About the authors (from the publisher's website):
Rethinking Paper & Ink is a collaborative effort by students and a core teaching staff of publishing professionals at Portland State University’s Ooligan Press. This title is an expansion of a booklet of the same name that was written by Melissa Brumer and Janine Eckhart. Brumer and Eckhart were the founders of Ooligan Press’s Sustainable Publishing Initiative. Their initial booklet launched Ooligan Press’s BISAC Category: Business & Economics/Green Business.

We wanted to learn more about the book and the effort that was made to offer such an in-depth examination of the book industry from a sustainable point of view and therefore we got in touch with one of the authors, Natalie Guidry, who happily agreed to share with us her thoughts.

Hi Natalie. What brought you to publish this book?
Rethinking Paper & Ink
began its life in early 2009 as a grant-funded booklet written by Melissa Brumer and Janine Eckhart, the founders of Ooligan Press's Sustainable Publishing Initiative and OpenBook Series. When they began exploring ways to reduce Ooligan's impact as a publisher, they noticed that there were no current titles that explored sustainability in the book publishing industry and decided to fill that gap with their own research and findings.

As the remaining printed copies of the original booklet began to dwindle in late 2009, Jessicah Carver and I (then-managers of the Sustainable Publishing Initiative) decided along with the rest of Ooligan Press that the most responsible way to continue the project was to expand and update the original manuscript and publish Rethinking Paper & Ink as a full-length title. Because this edition is part of Ooligan's internationally-distributed catalog, we released it with the intention that more writers, editors, publishers, and book lovers from all over the world could get involved in the conversation.

What was the most surprising part you've learned while conducting the research for the book?
I was initially surprised that the book's environmental impact extended far beyond the paper stock and distribution. Every aspect—from the ink on the page to the coating on the cover—can release hazardous compounds that directly and indirectly affect the environment. It's easy to make the connotation between books, paper production, and deforestation, but the removal of biomass from forests isn't the only harmful practice in place.

You bring some interesting examples of sustainable leaders in the industry, but do you feel the publishing industry as a whole is interested in going green?
I do. Though the book publishing industry has a tendency to be a slow adapter to emerging technologies, it's begun to take more environmentally responsible choices in stride. There have been many examples: from massively popular titles like Harry Potter being printed on recycled paper stocks to the smaller publishing houses that have joined forces with the Green Press Initiative and other like-minded groups. Hopefully, publishers will continue to take advantages of the available resources in attempts to decrease their impacts.

How about consumers? Do most of them care about this issue? Are they willing to take action?
I definitely believe that consumers are interested in a more sustainable book publishing industry. Readers, as well as the consumer population at large, have been more eager to support organizations that want to improve the state of our environment. I know many bibliophiles who fear that printed book as we know it is on the edge of extinction and want to take great strides to prevent that from happening. Though e-books seem to be the biggest threat, there is also the threat of the long-term and permanent effects of depleting natural resources through deforestation. By choosing to support publishers and booksellers who are making responsible decisions, readers can actually influence the fate of the printed book.

How about ebooks? How do we green them up?
I think that the most room for improvement in the realm of e-books comes down to the device manufacturers and booksellers. Manufacturers can focus on making long-lasting devices using alternative energy—for both production and for at-home use—and digital booksellers can ensure that the servers that are hosting the e-book files are powered by renewable energy as well. Publishers can focus on being more selective as to which books necessitate a print run and which are perfectly fine being published only in digital format. Hopefully, publishers will begin to shift all of their mass market paperback titles so that they’re only released digitally, since many of these titles reach the end of their shelf life after a single read or before they’re even sold from the bookstore.

How we can create a win-win model in the industry where going green will also positively impact competitiveness and profitability?
As with all decisions related to sustainability, I think it’s going to be a balancing act that will be in a constant state of flux. I think it’s going to start with publishers demanding more sustainably alternative options from their printers, which hopefully leads to a ripple effect of those resources and processes becoming the industry norm. As demand increases and these options become more affordable, publishers will be able to implement them without completely demolishing their financial bottom lines.

Additionally, publishers can offer incentives to booksellers to prevent unsold returns that the current system allows—and even encourages. This is probably the worst fate for a book as it has already used up resources and emitted pollutants in its production stage, but never sees its end purpose of being read. Publishers like Chelsea Green have this system in place and it's ensuring that booksellers follow through with getting the title into a consumer's hands and justifying its print run.

When you finished writing, were you more optimistic or pessimistic comparing to the day you started writing?
I was definitely optimistic. Even though we spend a lot of time discussing the negative impacts of the book publishing industry as it currently stands, we also mention a lot of alternative practices that are becoming more widespread throughout the industry. It's exciting to know that the interest is there to clean up the industry as it stands. At some point, the more harmful practices that are in wide use won't be an option—whether it's environmentally, financially, socially, or any combination of the three. Businesses and individuals like those highlighted in the industry profiles throughout the book are leading the way in this transition through their dedication to the future of the book publishing industry.

What's the most important lesson we can find in the book?
I'd say that the most important lesson is that there's no one-size-fits-all solution to solve the current problems in the industry. What works for one publisher may not work for another, so it's important for each publisher to examine their current areas of improvement and develop their own set of best practices.

Who should read this book?
Though this book is probably most beneficial to those who work in the book publishing industry, it also provides insight into the entire publishing process for readers who are interested in becoming more informed on how their favorite books came to be. Informed readers can use their purchasing power to support publishers who are making efforts to reduce their environmental impact and influence other publishers to begin to make those strides.

Thanks, Natalie!

To learn more about Ooligan Press please visit http://ooligan.pdx.edu. You can purchase the book on Amazon or at your local bookstore.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading

Sunday, May 29, 2011

We have a winner on "The Healthy Home" giveaway!

Last week we had a giveaway of The Healthy Home by Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz with Donna K. Wallace. We asked you to share with us how you make your home healthier, and we have a winner!

The winner of a copy of "The Healthy Home" is Dmarie, who wrote us:

I use half vinegar/half water in a spray bottle for quick clean-ups, as opposed to some chemical-laden, artificial fragranced commercial cleaning product.

Congrats Dmarie! You have won a copy of this great book and we hope you'll enjoy it. Thanks to all the other readers who also contributed great tips!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading

Friday, May 27, 2011

Audiobook of the week: Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell

With all the fascination around the British royal wedding, I wondered how many know which state in America is the only one that actually has a palace? The answer is Hawaii. Besides the people of Hawaii, President Obama and history buffs I am not sure how many know the answer.

I at least didn't know it until listening to
'Unfamiliar Fishes', Sarah Vowell's fascinating journey into the history of Hawaii (Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio). This is also our recommended audiobook this week!

What is Unfamiliar Fishes about?
Many think of 1776 as the most defining year of American history, the year we became a nation devoted to the pursuit of happiness through self-government. In Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell argues that 1898 might be a year just as crucial to our nation's identity, when, in an orgy of imperialism, the United States annexed Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and invaded Cuba, and then the Philippines, becoming a meddling, self-serving, militaristic international superpower practically overnight.

Of all the countries the United States invaded or colonized in 1898, Vowell considers the story of the Americanization of Hawaii to be the most intriguing. From the arrival of the New England missionaries in 1820, who came to Christianize the local heathen, to the coup d'√Čtat led by the missionaries' sons in 1893, overthrowing the Hawaiian queen, the events leading up to American annexation feature a cast of beguiling if often appalling or tragic characters. Whalers who will fire cannons at the Bible-thumpers denying them their god-given right to whores. An incestuous princess pulled between her new god and her brother-husband. Sugar barons, con men, Theodore Roosevelt, and the last Hawaiian queen, a songwriter whose sentimental ode "Aloha 'Oe" serenaded the first Hawaii-born president of the United States during his 2009 inaugural parade.

With Vowell's trademark wry insights and reporting, she lights out to discover the odd, emblematic, and exceptional history of the fiftieth state. In examining the place where Manifest Destiny got a sunburn, she finds America again, warts and all.

About the author: Sarah Vowell is a contributing editor for public radio's This American Life and has written for Time, Esquire, GQ, Spin, Salon, McSweeneys, The Village Voice, and the Los Angeles Times. She is the author of Radio On, Take the Cannoli, and The Partly Cloudy Patriot. She lives in New York City.

What we think of Unfamiliar Fish?
I don't consider myself a history buff and I've never been in Hawaii so I was a little bit afraid I'll get bored with this audiobook. Well, I was wrong. Vowell has a gift of presenting a story in such a way that makes you want to stay in the car until the last minute of this audiobook. It was fascinating.

Her strength comes from the fact she's not historian, but more of an explorer that is fascinated with what she sees and learn. Combine this thirst for knowledge and understanding our world with Vowell's unique style that takes history apart and reconstruct it with little anecdotes as its building blocks and you get the modern history of Hawaii in its most interesting form ever.

Now this is the time to say something about the audiobook format. I believe 'Unfamiliar Fish' is one of the cases where the advantages of hearing a story in this format are so obvious. Vowell is a great story teller and by hearing her telling the story rather than just reading it, I believe you get a better chance to fully enjoy her witty style. She is also getting some help from some great actors who read bits of the book, like
John Slattery, Paul Rudd, Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, John Hodgman, Catherine Keener, Edward Norton, Keanu Reeves and Maya Rudolph.

Hear an excerpt from the audibook:

Disclosure: We received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher (Simon and Simon Audio).

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Play On Words by Elmer Gentry (Trap) joins the 100 trees project!

Do you like playing word games? If you are, I'm sure you'll be happy to check out Play On Words by Elmer Gentry (Trap), which has just joined the "100 Trees Project"!

This joint program was launched by Infinity Publishing, a leading self-publishing company together with Eco-Libris to promote environmental sustainability among its authors. Through the program, authors that publish with Infinity are able to plant 100 trees for the title they publish. These authors also have the option to add a special "100 trees planted for this book" logo to their book's design, as a way to showcase their commitment to environmental sustainability.

What Play On Words is about? Play On Words contains a variety of word games in which illustrations, word similarities, rhyming and double letters within words provide clues to the name of the word or words, and also their meanings. Some are classic rebuses; others are more complex word-picture puzzles. A prologue to each Act or Scene explains its own game, and provides instructions on how it is to be played. Answers are given at the end of each Act or Scene. If you can read English, decipher homophones, recognize word rhymes, and interpret visual illustrations, you are a player. Read, guess, challenge a playing partner.

About the author: Trap Gentry is a retired WWII naval aircraft carrier pilot, valuation engineer and sculptor. He is also a marginal illustrator and word-game developer. He lives in Hawaii, for the last 25 years and counting.

Play On Words is available for sale on Infinity's website.

Other books on the
"100 Trees Project":

The Last Original Idea: A Cynic's View to Internet Marketing by Alan K'necht and Geri Rockstein

Buffalo on the Ridge by Deanna Meyer

What Love Is...A-Z by by Elle Febbo

Raven Wings and 13 More Twisted Tales

Ishift- Innovation Shift

Good Management is Not Firefighting

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

10 best green marketing ebooks!

We're back again with our weekly ten recommendations on green ebooks!

This week I prepared a list that is inspired by the Joel Makower's excellent article Green Marketing Is Over. Let’s Move On and the heated debate that followed it. So this week I present you with my 10 recommendations on green marketing books that are available in an electronic version.

This list is based on my personal preferences as well as on the books I use on the course I teach at University of Delaware's Business School on sustainability and green business. Therefore, some of them are relatively old, but I still find them relevant and valuable.

The links of these ebooks are to Amazon.com and I apologize in advance to all the Nook, iPad, Kobo and Sony Reader owners. I hope you can easily find an ebook you'll like on other ebookstores. This is also the place to disclose that we're taking part in Amazon's affiliate program and therefore will receive a small percentage of every purchase made using these links. We hope you don't mind!
You can find all the lists published so far on our recommended green ebooks webpage.

Without further ado, here's this week's list of 10 recommended green marketing e-books:

1.The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools, and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding by Jacquelyn Ottman - Berrett-Koehler Publishers (February 14, 2011)

2. The Green Marketing Manifesto by John Grant - Wiley (August 31, 2009)

3. Strategies for the Green Economy : Opportunities and Challenges in the New World of Business by Joel Makower - McGraw-Hill (October 5, 2008)

4. Ethical Marketing and The New Consumer by Chris Arnold - Wiley (November 3, 2009)

5. The Gort Cloud: The Invisible Force Powering Today's Most Visible Green Brands by Richard Seireeni - Chelsea Green Publishing (February 17, 2009)

6. Sustainable Marketing by Diane Martin and John Schouten - Prentice Hall (April 28, 2011)

7. Understanding Green Consumer Behaviour by Sigmund Wagner - Taylor & Francis (April 16, 2007)

8. Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing by Doug McKenzie-Mohr - New Society Publishers (March 1, 2011)

9. New Frontiers in Environmental and Social Labeling by Ulrike Grote - Physica-Verlag HD (December 28, 2006)

10. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart - North Point Press (April 1, 2010)

See you next week!


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5 ways to green your ebook reading

If you one of the millions of readers who read e-books and you're wondering if you can do anything to green up your e-reading, the answer is clear and simple: Yes, you can. Actually, it's very easy.

Here are five simple things you can do to green your ebook reading:

1. Ask Amazon and B&N to follow Apple and disclose the carbon footprint of their e-readers.
Why? Both of them don't provide any sort of information on the carbon footprint of neither the Kindle nor the Nook and hence we have no way to know how eco-friendly these devices really are. Any sustainability journey begins with transparency and Apple is example both Amazon and Barnes & Noble should follow.

This is especially true when it comes to Amazon, which sells the most popular e-reading device, and, as I mentioned many times in the past, has repeatedly ignored requests to provide information regarding the Kindle’s footprint.

What to do? If you own a Kindle, email Jeff Bezos (jeff@amazon.com), founder and CEO of Amazon.com, letting him know you own a Kindle and you would really appreciate if Amazon would disclose the Kindle's footprint just like Apple does. If you own a Nook, write the same request to their customer service at nook@barnesandnoble.com (sorry, I don't have the email address of B&N CEO, William Lynch). Although we're focusing here on the market leaders, please feel free to send similar emails if you have other e-reading devices.

2. Maximize the use of your e-reader
Why? The largest part of your e-reader's footprint comes from its production - for example, about 60% in the case of the iPad 2. It means that when you get your new e-reader, you receive it with much of its footprint already attached to it and even though you can't change that, you can still use it to reduce your reading's footprint by using it as much as possible and hence avoiding the generation of carbon emissions from the printing of new books for example (4.01 kg per book).

What to do? Read ad as many books and magazines as you can on your e-reader instead on paper.

3. Don't replace your e-reader so fast
Why? Because you need at least couple of years of reading on the same e-reader to pass the breakeven point that will make your e-reader a greener option comparing to paper books (about 26 books with the iPad 2 for example).

It's also about efficient use of resources. Buying a new e-reader every year or so might keep you with the most updated version, but will also increase your footprint significantly and will be a very inefficient use of resources.

What to do? Try to keep your e-reader with you at least for 3-4 years. Then recycle it or sell/give it to someone else to use.

4. Buy ebooks at local independent bookstores
Why? Because independent bookstores are a viable part of local economies and making your local independent bookstore stronger will make your community stronger. You can't say that about your local Barnes & Noble and Borders (if there's still one around you) store and certainly not about Amazon.com. Remember that social sustainability is not less important than environmental sustainability.

What to do? Now that Google eBooks Now Sold at 250 Indie Bookstores it shouldn't be a problem. Just go to your local indie bookstore's website and purchase there the ebook you're looking to read.

5. Rent ebooks
Why? Again, it's about maximizing the use of your e-reader and making sure you'll reach the breakeven point that you need to pass to make it a greener reading option. Renting books, whether through your local library or one of the online lending services available now is a great way to make e-reading more affordable, which will result in more e-reading and better and greener use of your e-reader.

What to do? Check if your local library provides this option. Also, check one of the lending services available online - eBookFling, BookLending and Lendle.

For more resources on how green e-books are, check our ebooks page at http://www.ecolibris.net/ebooks.asp

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's not the end of the world so let's celebrate it by planting new trees!

Saturday, or "The Day of Rapture" passed with some rain, but it wasn't the end of the world, literally. I guess the news that we're still here are good news for everyone, except maybe those who waited to be “raptured” - ascended to heaven before the end of the world, exactly at 6 p.m.

But there's a cure that can help even these disappointed rapture believers:

Plant a tree.

There's nothing more symbolic of new life than a new tree (well, other than a baby, but that's something that you can't really do within a day or even few weeks..). Sadly, their destruction, unlike
the apocalyptic predictions of Harold Camping, is very real and it seems to be getting worst (The BBC News reported last Thursday that "Amazon rainforest deforestation rises sharply"). If this trend will continue, it can be a real threat to the planet's future.

If you're looking for a religious point of view, just think of the beautiful words of the American poet Leonora Speyer:

The trees are God's great alphabet:
With them He writes in shining green
Across the world His thoughts serene.

So start this week with a hope and some faith in a better (living) world by planting trees. We invite you to plant trees with us through our planting partners,
three highly respected US and UK based non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with local communities in developing countries to plant these trees. These trees are planted in high ecological and sustainable standards in Latin America (Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Belize, Honduras) and Africa (Malawi), where deforestation is a crucial problem.

I know it might not compare to heaven, but it's still a heavenly feeling to plant a new tree. Guaranteed!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Friday, May 20, 2011

5 questions to John Malone who is looking to buy Barnes & Noble for $1 billion in cash

Yesterday B&N announced that "the Special Committee of its Board of Directors has received a proposal from Liberty Media to acquire the Company at a price of $17 per share in cash." It means that John Malone, the billionaire who controls Liberty Media is ready to pay about $1 billion in cash to buy B&N.

This is big news and we need some time to digest them and therefore this week we won't have our regular B&N Bankruptcy Index, but instead we'll be asking Malone 5 questions and hopefully we'll be able to receive some answers this week (not directly I assume) and better assess this news for next week's update of the bankruptcy index.

So here are our questions for Mr. Malone:

1. Did you have the chance to talk to Bill Ackman?
He's also a successful businessman and investor who controls Pershing Square Capital Management. Like you he had a good reputation with successful acquisitions in the past that made him money ( Target Stores, J.C. Penney and Fortune Brands) and was looking to achieve similar results with Borders. Four years ago, according to the WSJ, "Ackman first started buying Borders stock, those shares would have been worth $233 million. Today, his stake has lost 99% of its value, down to $2.4 million." Again, he lost about 99% of his investment in Borders.

No wonder Ackman told Deal Journal "it wasn’t a good investment."

2. Do you have a strategy for the brick and mortar bookstores?
No matter how many of them you plan to close and how strongly you want to shift towards the digital business - you're still buying a brick and mortar company (705 stores with 18.4 million square feet, not including B&N college stores) and you need a strategy to start transforming the stores you'll be keeping open back to an asset. Right now, B&N doesn't really seem to have a strategy, so hopefully you bring one with you.

3. Did you watch this video?

It's just 30 seconds, but it will give you an idea you on how complicated and competitive the business environment of B&N is getting.

4. Did you hear about Bookish?
Yes, publishers are becoming your competitors and they're getting better at it. Just read this piece out of Geek.com:

Carolyn Reidy, president and chief executive of Simon & Schuster, told the New York Times that the current discovery of books in the “physical environment” needs to be recreated so that it can happen online, something which Reidy said isn’t currently happening. The NYT said that the publishing companies envision that Bookish will be for books what Pitchfork.com is for music in terms of reviews and information. Bookish, unlike Pitchfork, will also have a sales aspect to it. The site will sell both physical and digital books.

As you can see, there's another front to worry about, so I hope you're ready for that.

5. Did you read the news yesterday that Kindle ebooks outselling print books?
Good news? Yes, you're also in the business of selling e-books and it means it's a growing business. Bad news? You bet.

According to MNN "
The Kindle ebooks began outselling hardcover books on Amazon.com in July 2010. Six months later, Kindle ebooks overtook paperback sales as well.Now, Amazon said it is selling more ebooks than hardcover and paperback books — combined. The trend does not appear to be slowing down any time soon." It only shows you that the ebook revolution is moving fast, very fast.

It means that your clock is ticking and you have very little time to adjust B&N to this digital revolution. Remember, you will have 18.4 million square feet of retail to take care of, while your biggest competitor Amazon has none.

To view the weekly changes in the index visit Barnes and Noble Bankruptcy Index on our website.

You can find more resources on the future of bookstores on our website at www.ecolibris.net/bookstores_future.asp

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Go Green stamps: Greenwashing at your local post office?

Yesterday I went to the post office and saw that USPS is offering now Go Green stamps, "showing what each of us can do to promote the health of our environment." The brochure on the stamps (printed on FSC-certified paper) also mentions it's part of USPS' "Go Green" commitment.

Sounds very nice, right? But wait a second, isn't that the same USPS that sends you every day loads of junk mail, wasting important resources like trees and water, contributing to pollution and global warming? Did you know that on average, we receive 16 pieces of junk mail a week, compared to only 1.5 personal letters? And that the majority of household waste consists of junk mail? (source: 41pounds.org).

Not only that the USPS don't have a problem with junk mail, but it actually helps junk mailers. The Wall Street Journal reported on January that "the U.S. Postal Service began easing rules on so-called "simplified addressing" for bulk mail. The move allows marketers to send letters, flyers and parcels to every home, business and post-office box on a city delivery route—known as saturation mail at the post office, and junk mail by consumers—without using exact names and addresses."

Why USPS does it? The WSJ article explains: "The changes come as many small businesses have abandoned traditional direct-mail advertising in favor of cheaper e-marketing and social-media strategies." This is bad news to the USPS, because according to PrintReady "the business-to-consumer channel is currently responsible for around 70% of its revenues and 80% of mail volume."

Now, USPS is in financial trouble. According to AP "the Postal Service is continuing to hemorrhage money, reporting a loss Tuesday of more than $2 billion over the first three months of the year and warning it could be forced to default on federal payments." So it might be understandable why they do whatever they can to promote companies to send you more mail, which of course also means more junk mail, although from a business perspective it also looks as a mistake, or at least as fighting a losing war.

USPS has of course the right to choose its own methods to try and avoid bankruptcy, but it certainly doesn't have the right to call itself committed to going green and certainly not to try showing others how to do it, when they do exactly the opposite. No matter how bad things are at USPS, this sort of greenwashing is unacceptable.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

photo: Go Green Stamps from USPS website

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

10 best green business ebooks!

We're back again with our weekly ten recommendations on green ebooks!

This time I prepared a list that is a bit different than our usual weekly lists of recommendations on the latest ebooks on green issues available as ebooks. Inspired by Marc Gunther's article 'Reader Faves: Best Books About Green Business', I decided to present you with my 10 recommendations on green business books that are available in an electronic version.

This list is based on my personal preferences as well as on the books I use on the course I teach at University of Delaware's Business School on sustainability and green business. Therefore, some of them are relatively old (2-3 years old), but I still find them relevant and valuable.

The links of these ebooks are to Amazon.com and I apologize in advance to all the Nook, iPad, Kobo and Sony Reader owners. I hope you can easily find an ebook you'll like on other ebookstores. This is also the place to disclose that we're taking part in Amazon's affiliate program and therefore will receive a small percentage of every purchase made using these links. We hope you don't mind!
You can find all the lists published so far on our recommended green ebooks webpage.

Without further ado, here's this week's list of 10 recommended green business e-books:

1. Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart's Green Revolution by Edward Humes - Harper Collins, Inc. (May 10, 2011)

2. Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose--Doing Business by Respecting the Earth by Robin White and Ray Anderson - St. Martin's Press (April 1, 2010)

3. Green Recovery: Get Lean, Get Smart, and Emerge from the Downturn on Top by Andrew Winston - Harvard Business Press (August 17, 2009)

4. Revolution in a Bottle: How TerraCycle Is Redefining Green Business by Tom Szaky - Portfolio (February 18, 2009)

5. Strategies for the Green Economy : Opportunities and Challenges in the New World of Business by Joel Makower - McGraw-Hill (October 5, 2008)

6. The Green to Gold Business Playbook: How to Implement Sustainability Practices for Bottom-Line Results in Every Business Function by P.J. Simmons and Daniel C. Esty - Wiley (April 8, 2011)

7. The Responsibility Revolution: How the Next Generation of Businesses Will Win by Jeffrey Hollender and Bill Breen - Jossey-Bass (January 21, 2010)

8. Strategy for Sustainability: A Business Manifesto by Adam Werbach - Harvard Business Press (July 6, 2009)

9. Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid: New Approaches for Building Mutual Value by Ted Landon and Stuart Hart - FT Press (November 5, 2010)

10. Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs by Muhammad Yunus - PublicAffairs (May 11, 2010)

See you next week!


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Green book of the week: The Healthy Home by Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz (and a giveaway!)

You feel your house is clean and safe? Think again. We have no idea (or we have but we tend not to think about it too much) how long the list of the health risks we have at home is. What we can do about it? First, be aware and second, act. And the book we have today is a good place to start at.

Our green book of the week is:

The Healthy Home: Simple Truths to Protect Your Family from Hidden Household Dangers

Authors: Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz with Donna K. Wallace

Dave Wentz
is chief executive officer of USANA Health Sciences, a state-of-the-art manufacturer of nutritional supplements and health products. He received a bachelor's degree in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego. Dave lives with his wife, Reneé, and children, Andrew and Sydney, in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he enjoys skydiving, playing volleyball and soccer, mountain biking, and skiing Utah's famous powder.

Dr. Myron Wentz holds a Ph.D. in microbiology with a specialty in immunology from the University of Utah. He founded Gull Laboratories in 1974 and developed the first commercially available diagnostic test for the Epstein-Barr virus. Later, he founded USANA Health Sciences and Sanoviv Medical Institute. Dr. Wentz was honored in June 2007 with the Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Life Sciences. He is the author of A Mouth Full of Poison andInvisible Miracles. He travels the world with his lovely partner, Prudence.

Donna K. Wallace has penned fifteen books with accomplished speakers, physicians, therapists, and celebrities. Her recent projects include The Creation Health Breakthrough (Hachette, 2007) with Dr. Monica Reed as well as the international best-selling book What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You (Thomas Nelson, 2000) with Dr. Ray Strand. Donna and her family live in Bozeman, Montana.

Publisher: Vanguard Press (March 22, 2011)

What this book is about:
In The Healthy Home, a father and son--Dr. Myron Wentz, well-known microbiologist and founder of the USANA Corporation, and Dave Wentz, CEO of the USANA Corporation--take readers on a tour of a specific home for a look at the surprising health risks posed by the everyday products and behaviors of a modern family. Beginning in the bedroom and ending in the garage and backyard, readers learn about the degenerative effects of toxins in the home and receive simple solutions to help minimize exposure without foregoing convenience.

The Healthy Home is not a comprehensive tome on modern health hazards; nor is it a treatise on eco-conscious living. Instead, the book focuses on the most important environment--the home--and the problems that can most easily be lessened or eliminated. Busy parents who suspect that they should be doing more to protect their family but don't know where to start will learn about practical changes they can make in the next fifteen minutes, fifteen days, or fifteen months to create a haven for healthier living.

What we think about it:
This is a book that I think should be handed out to anyone buying a home. No matter, where you live, whether it's a mansion or a 2-bedroom apartment, you have a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen and a living room/area, and all of them contain health hazards, whether we're aware of it or not. Most of us are not aware of these issues and even if we do, we're not always sure what the best solutions are and how feasible they are. This book is feeling this void with a detailed look at every aspect of every part of the house, searching and warning us from possible health hazards as well as providing us with the right solutions.

Now, it might sounds scary and the list of health issues is really endless, but the authors are making their best to be alarming but at the same time not to make it too doom and gloom, so readers won't get too frightened and decide to not think about it at all, just like we tend to do when the problems seem too difficult or overwhelming and we feel we can't handle them. One part that makes this book easier to digest and friendlier is 'simple solution' windows that you find all over the book with great simple advice ("open your windows - often," or "maintain a good distance - at lest ten feet in front of five feet to the side - between yourself and the microwave when it's on").

Although the book is written by a David Wentz, a successful CEO, and his father, Dr. Myron Wentz, a respectful scientist, it shows you that you don't have to be reach or hold a PhD in microbiology to keep your house safe. Many times it is a matter of common sense (open windows as much as you can) and many of the solutions don't cost you anything and even saves you money (instead of using an aerosol freshening spray, mist your room with real citrus scent. Simply pour a few drops of orange, lemon or lime essential oil into a spray bottle of water).

Bottom line: Great book for anyone who really wants to know how to reduce the health hazards at home.

To learn more visit http://www.myhealthyhome.com/

And check this video out:

Disclosure: We received the review copy from the publisher.

We're giving away a copy of this book, courtesy of the publisher!

How you can win? Very simple. All you have to do is to add a comment with one thing you do to make your home healthier. We will have a raffle on Wednesday, May 25, 5:00PM EST between all the readers that will leave a comment by then. The winner will be announced the following day.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Good Management is Not Firefighting by Joel Quass joins the 100 Trees Project!

We're happy to update you that Good Management is Not Firefighting by Joel Quass, a great management book teaching you how to successfully manage using what you already know, has joined the "100 Trees Project"!

This joint program was launched by Infinity Publishing, a leading self-publishing company together with Eco-Libris to promote environmental sustainability among its authors. Through the program, authors that publish with Infinity are able to plant 100 trees for the title they publish. These authors also have the option to add a special "100 trees planted for this book" logo to their book's design, as a way to showcase their commitment to environmental sustainability.

What 'Good Management is not Firefighting' is about? Good Management Is Not… tells you what is! I demonstrate that there really aren’t any new ideas in management theory. There are just new ways of looking at the same concepts. This is really exciting because it means you already possess the basic information to be successful as a manager. The key to your success is making your people successful. When your staff understands their job, they become motivated to perform at their peak and become true leaders in your organization. In my book I give you tools to help your managers get it, making you and your employee’s winners.

About the author: Joel Quass’ career in management began over 35 years ago. He has owned 4 business’ including Quassword Cards, “The Crossword Puzzle Greeting Card”, which he ran with his brother Brian and Strawcastle Snax, a vending company in Williamsburg, Virginia which he took from $90,000 to $¼ million in gross sales when he sold the business 2 years later. He has held management positions in four companies including his current position with a big box retailer. Joel received a BA in Political Science from Christopher Newport University. Joel has taught employees and managers in small and large group settings

Good Management is not Firefighting is available for sale on Infinity's website.

Other books on the
"100 Trees Project":

The Last Original Idea: A Cynic's View to Internet Marketing by Alan K'necht and Geri Rockstein

Buffalo on the Ridge by Deanna Meyer

What Love Is...A-Z by by Elle Febbo

Raven Wings and 13 More Twisted Tales

Ishift- Innovation Shift

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Barnes & Noble Bankruptcy Index: Borders may have a buyer while B&N put all their eggs in one e-nest

Sorry for the two day delay, but we're here with the weekly update on the B&N bankruptcy index. This week the stock continues to go up, probably still because of B&N's plans to introduce a new e-reader later on this month.

Still no word about the future of B&N's brick and mortar stores as B&N seems to be putting everything it got on the Nook and e-book sales, a risky bet that might be too risky for a brick and mortar company
. Bottom line: This week our B&N bankruptcy index stays in the 50-59 zone: Bankruptcy is a clear and present danger.

ust a short reminder - As Borders filed for bankruptcy couple of months ago, we started looking at Barnes & Noble, the nation's largest book chain to see if they will follow Borders and also go into bankruptcy and if so, when exactly.

To do it more analytically we launched few weeks ago a new B&N Bankruptcy Index, which is based on 10 parameters, which receive a grade between 1-10 (1 - worst grade, 10 - best grade). Hence we receive a 0-100 point index scale, which we divide into several ranges as follows:

90-100: B&N is in an excellent shape. Couldn't be better!

80-89: B&N is doing great. Bankruptcy is no longer a real threat.

70-79: B&N could do better and has to be cautious of bankruptcy.

60-69: B&N doesn't look too good and bankruptcy is becoming a more realistic threat.

50-59: Bankruptcy is a clear and present danger.

49 and less: Red alert! Bankruptcy is just around the corner and is likely to happen within a short time frame.

We will check the
B&N Bankruptcy Index every Thursday, updating each one of the parameters included in the index and will analyze the trend. You can follow the weekly changes in the index from the day it was launched on the Barnes and Noble Bankruptcy Index page on our website.
So here's our update for this week (in brackets is last week's grade):

1. Confidence of the stock market in B&N
This parameter will look at the performan
ce of the B&N stock (symbol: BKS) in the last week. The performance of B&N's stock is an indication of the confidence the market has in the ability of B&N to maintain a viable business.

So let's look at last week's figures (for consistency we look at results from Wed. 5/4 to Wed. 5/11):

5/4: $12.01
5/11: $13.46
Change: +12.1%

As you can see, B&N's stock went up in 12.1%
. Just for comparison, Amazon went up 2.2% last week and the S&P500 Index lost 0.4%.

I believe the stock is going up this week because of the same reason it went up last week - the excitement from the news on B&N's upcoming announcement (on May 24) on the launch of a new electronic book reader.

StreetAuthority thinks it's also all about the Nook:

Back in March, I suggested "the odds are increasing for a convincing turnaround." My logic rested on two pillars: First, a massive shrinkage in the store base of rival Border's would help drop-in traffic in those neighborhoods affected. Second, the company's Nook electronic reading device was starting to emerge as a real contender among the small group of e-readers. As it turns out, it's the Nook that explains why shares of Barnes & Noble have taken off like a rocket, rising 50% in less than a month. (Seeking Alpha)

So it looks like the stock jumped only because of the news on the upcoming e-reader, but since this trend is already going on for two weeks and gaining some sort of momentum, this wee's grade is going up in half a point
: 5 (4.5)

2. What analysts say on B&N

Katie Spence still doesn't believe in B&N:

I'm not giving up my books just yet. There is something about the smell and texture of an actual book that simply can't be replicated by e-books. That said, the future of the brick-and-mortar Barnes & Noble looks bleak. With companies such as Amazon dominating in sales, both in e-books and paperback, the time of bookselling superstores is gone. (The Motley Fool)

Spence sees that B&N is putting all her money and efforts into the Nook and ebook sales and she's wondering "are the Nook and e-book sales enough to keep Barnes & Noble afloat?" That's a good question - B&N is taking a very risky gamble here, leaving the stores, which are still its core business, out of the picture.

We don't see a significant change in the market sentiment and therefore our grade stays the same: 5.5 (5.5)

3. New strategy to regain sales in the brick and mortar stores
Just like Borders, B&N still doesn't have yet a clear and comprehensive strategy that will transform their brick and mortar stores from a liability back to an asset.

Still, there's nothing here. Not even a sign of a new strategy. This week's grade stays the same: 3.5 (3.5)

4. What B&N is saying about itself
We didn't find any quotes this week. Our grade for this parameter stays the same: 6 (6)

5. Steps B&N is taking
One interesting step we learned about from the WSJ was B&N's offer to Borders to buy 10 stores, along with the company's website and customer lists. Borders refused to the offer according to the article. This week's grade stays the same: 6 (6)

6. Competitors
This parameter will mainly look in
to Borders and how its problems affect B&N. WSJ reported earlier that "Borders Group Inc. is in discussions with a potential bidder for more than 225 stores that would keep the bookstore chain operating as a going concern, said people familiar with the matter. " Still it's not clear if Borders can find a buyer to the whole business, as according to Bloomberg "No Bidder Said to Be Found to Buy All of Borders." We'll have to wait though and see if it such a deal will actually happen or not and what it will include before we change the grade. Therefore this week's grade stays the same: 5 (5)

7. Financial strength

Katie Spence mentions in a comment she made to her article that "if you look at B&N's long term debt you will notice that it is currently at $260.4 million where as previously it was at 0. Additionally, its total current liabilities exceeds it total current assets and that is with a change in its annual reporting date (usually a bad sign for any company). All in all, the signs are looking bad for the brick-and-mortar company."

This is not a good news from a financial strength perspective and therefore our grade goes does by half a point: 6.5 (7)

8. Strength of the digital business

Nothing much happened on this front. This week's grade stays the same: 8 (8)

9. Sense of urgency
It looks like B&N still think they have time and are not worried at all, or at least not worried enough to begin doing something with their brick and mortar stores (again, we don't believe more toys in the stores and extra room for the Nook is a winning strategy). If we can learn something from the Borders' case, it's how fast things go bad when your reach a certain tipping point of financial distress or distrust of your stakeholders (consumers or publishers for example). This week's grade stays the same: 5.5 (5.5)

10. General feeling
This parameter will be an indication of our impression of all the materials read and analyzed for this index. Our feeling that things are still not looking too good for B&N hasn't changed this week and actually we feel that somehow the company is a bit lost when it comes to find how to generate more sales in its brick and mortar stores. This week's grade for this parameter stays the same
: 5 (5)

This week's Barnes & Noble Bankruptcy Index: 56 points (56)

As you can see, this week's index is set at 56 points, which means B&N is getting deeper into the 50-59 zone: Bankruptcy is a clear and present danger. It's still not the red zone but it means that bankruptcy is getting closer and is becoming a real threat to B&N. See you next Thursday.

To view the weekly changes in the index visit Barnes and Noble Bankruptcy Index on our website.

You can find more resources on the future of bookstores on our website at www.ecolibris.net/bookstores_future.asp

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Working to green the book industry!