There are various ways to adjust our lifestyle to be more eco-friendly, sustainable reading is one of the ways we can achieve that.
The truth is whether we accept it, acknowledge it or try to adjust our lifestyle, climate change is real and daily we are confronted by its consequences, check the news. Our actions affect OUR environment.
Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and personal resources. Source: Conserve Energy Future
There are three sets of individuals on the face of planet earth. The first set of individuals are those that are aware of climate change, human impact on the environment and its effects but they don’t do anything to improve their impact on the environment because they don’t believe their actions would change anything. The second set of individuals are those that have heard about climate change, human impact on the environment and don’t want to know anything about it. The last set of individuals are those that are aware of climate change, human impact on the environment, its effects and are passionate about sustainable living. While this post is not extensively discussing climate change, its effects and sustainable living (I will encourage you to read more about these concepts), my focus in this post is how book lovers can adjust their lifestyle to reduce their impact on the environment.
My undergraduate thesis was on the relationship between personality traits and environment attitudes, it made me more interested in how my actions affect the environment. I did a little bit of research while coming up with this post and I learnt a lot in the process.
It might interest you to know that books have an impact on the environment, whether they are paperbacks, hardcovers, or e-books. Everything affects the environment one way or the other.
1 Buy Thrifted Books: Reading is good, fun, entertaining and necessary. In as much as we want to live sustainably, we have to read. One of the ways to make a better eco-friendly decision is to buy thrifted books. According to Vagabondary, thrifting is more gentle on the environment and helps to reduce waste and pollution.
2 Read More e-books on Your Phone Instead of Using an e-reader: In our mind, we expect reading e-books to be eco-friendly than buying physical books which is to an extent but it is way more eco-friendly if we read them with on phone than an e-reader because according to the New York Times the materials invested in the production of an e-reader is equals to at least fifty printed books. When you read on your phone using apps like Scribd, Kobo books, Okada books, Bambooks, Audible and others, you are eliminating the need for an e-reader because we would likely use a mobile phone and you will be using a device instead of two. Use what you already have. This might be hard for individuals that get distracted easily (is this not everyone?) but it is something that could be adjusted to. There are also benefits to using an e-reader, if you want to make a decision, do more research.
3 Borrow Books From The Library: I know you just rolled your eyes or you want to skip this point for the next especially due to the fact that the library culture is not big in Nigeria due to lack of infrastructures but if you live in a city/country that enables it, get a library card, be friends with your local library and borrow a book instead.
4 Buy More Books That are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Approved: According to Forest Stewardship Council, FSC certifies forests all over the world to make sure that their standard measures up to the highest environmental and social standards. Products made with wood and paper from FSC forests are marked with the ‘tick tree’ logo. Whenever you see this logo on a book, know that buying that book is not harming the world’s forests.
5 Give and Donate Books: Swap books with your friends, give out books on your Instagram or in real life and donate your books to a good cause.
Bonus point: Talk about it, create more awareness about sustainable living. I sometimes feel like whatever I am doing to make an impact is too small but at the end of the day I ask myself, do I want to keep destroying my environment or do better? Do read more about this topic and eco-friendly lifestyle adjustments.