Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Green Books Campaign, What does it take to go green?

Eco-Libris a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices in the industry, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books has launched a green campaign.
The 2nd Annual Green Books Campaign kicks off today, 200 bloggers will simultaneously publish reviews of 200 books printed on recycled paper or FSC-certified paper. The campaign will use the power of the Internet and social media to promote books that are printed in an eco-friendly manner. 

This year sadly I was not able to be one of the reviewers who participated in this years round of reviews. Instead of being a reviewer I decided to spread the word on this really interesting campaign and bring to light some of the aspects of what it takes to make a green book.
The campaigns history: the first campaign took place last November 2009 when over 100 bloggers simultaneously published reviews of more than 100 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. This campaign also involved 40 publishers from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. You can see the books and bloggers that participated on the campaign's page. The campaign was very successful - more than 15,000 readers were exposed to the campaign and it received very positive feedback from publishers, bloggers and readers. Therefore, we decided to run it again this year, but this time with 200 bloggers! This year we are also collaborating with Indigo Books and Music, the largest book retailer in Canada, to increase the campaign's exposure and impact.

campaign’s goal is to use the power of the internet and social media to promote "green" books and increase the awareness of both readers and publishers to the way books can be printed in an eco-friendly manner.

On another note since we are on the topic of going green. It made me wonder what it takes for a book to be green. Can authors request it or is it something they either get with their publisher or not? For the hard answers I turned to a newly made friend that just so happens to be right here in Oregon. Recently I asked some hard hitting questions about going green and this is what she had to say about being a publicist of green only books company:

Kelly Garrett Publicist from Inkwater Press
"A few notes about green printing: we source printers that are FSC certified. One of our printers that we frequently use for children’s books exclusively uses soy-based inks. Our authors don’t really have a “choice” in the matter, and I don’t know if other publishers give their authors options. In our office we also follow green habits.

Some publishers—including us—use POD technology. POD stands for print on demand. Instead of doing large print runs of books, we can print as few as one copy of a book at a time. Some big publishers have starting using POD for their backlists. For example, let’s say a publisher did a print run for the release of Book A. Book A does well enough to for the publisher to keep it in print, but not so well that they want to do another print run of 1000 books a few years after the book came out. So the book can still be ordered by bookstores, etc, but it will be printed on-demand instead of warehoused.

The good: this reduces the chance of “pulped” books (e.g. recycled/destroyed.)
The con: how green is the POD technology?
E-books, how green are e-readers? I doubt the manufacturing process is green since it involves plastics and microprocessors. However, fewer books will have to be printed if people read on e-readers. How many e-books equal the paper savings to balance the manufacturing of e-readers?
Inkwater Press also prints all of our books in the continental United States. This is a positive for several green reasons: By printing close to home, we’re not wasting fossil fuels to ship freight across the world, and it also allows us to ensure that our printers aren’t using lead paint".
Thank you Kelly for sharing the wonderful insight into Inkwater and how you handle business. It is nice to know that you are so passionate about your job and the environment. The world needs people like you who truly care.

I have been curious about the issue of  technology waste; electronics are some of the hardest things to dispose of. I have read some curious articles that cover some of the disposal processes practiced in China and let's just say it is a very scary process.

"Two years ago in a report from EPA they estimated that in 2007 112,000 computers were discarded a day. That is almost 41 million desktops and laptops a year. Imagine that landfill and that is only talking about desktops and laptops. They go on to estimate that out of the 3.01 tons of e-waste in the United States that 86.4% was NOT recycled. So only 13.6% was recycled. Do you really want a product that contains hazardous wastes such as lead, mercury and cadmium to end up in a landfill. Rain could cause water run off or these chemicals to seep into the ground and possibly into our water supply" statistic quote from Technology Disposition Services.
I am just one of those people that I have to have the feel of a book in my hands to get into it. I cannot focus on E-books or readers so I have always steered clear of them. Besides if I break it where do I recycle it then?

Since we are going green today I felt it is noteworthy to bring up that in the not so distant future I will be reviewing a green printed novel from Inkwater Press, here is the scoop on the upcoming read which I think many of you readers will find it very interesting:

Experience the French Revolution in Day of Revenge by Deanna Proach

"As members of the landed nobility, Samuel La Font and Emmanuel d’ LeVasque find themselves on the wrong side of the French revolution. Under the shadow of the guillotine, these royalists wage war against the revolutionaries, at risk to both their own lives and the lives of their families.

Day of Revenge follows multiple characters on both sides of the conflict as they navigate the revolutionary France in this novel full of love, adventure, and intrigue.

As autumn approaches, and fate takes a dangerous turn, will Samuel be able to get his friends safely out of France? Will this band of royalists be able to save the Dauphin from the ruthless grasp of Robespierre and the revolutionaries?

About the author
Deanna Proach resides on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, where she is a professional editor as well as writer and actor. Proach graduated from the University of Northern British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in the spring of 2008.

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Inkwater Press has published more than 600 titles, including fiction and nonfiction, poetry and children’s books. Inkwater Press is a division of First Books, which was founded in 1988. The company is committed to a sustainable future, printing on recycled paper and using no animal-based products".

Thank you Inkwater Press and Kelly Garrett for the highly informative insight you provided us with today. All is what it takes is to get the word out and all is what we can do in the future is request green and search it out. That goes for readers, authors, publicists, and publishers, all is what we can do is ask. I know that if given a choice I would prefer a green printed book over any other choice. 

We have to be mindful of the future and going green is one of the best ways to ensure that the future generations to come also get to enjoy the things in life we treasure, like books.

For more green books check out Inkwater's Bookstore.

Day of Revenge
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