Energy Conservation Project You are what you read: the environmental impact of book production. By:Tara Chamberlain
Questions <ul><li>How often do I purchase books? </li></ul><ul><li>What resources go into making a book? </li></ul><ul><li>What are some of the ways to reduce the ecological footprints of book production? </li></ul>“ Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.” Chinese Proverb
Book paper: <ul><li>A general term to describe a type of paper suitable for printing offset printing, book paper can have many different finishes and may be coated or uncoated. Premium book paper is also called Bible grade. </li></ul>
Some facts about the book publishing industry: Number of new titles published annually in the U.S.: 172,000 (2005 figures) Number of books produced annually in the U.S.: 4.15 billion (2006 figures) Number of books sold annually in the U.S.: 3.09 billion (2006 figures) Number of U.S. book publishers who signed the Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper Use to improve their ecological footprint: about 150 .
Facts: 3rd: Rank of the pulp and paper industry in the list of largest industrial greenhouse emitters. 30 million: The number of trees that are cut down annually to produce the books sold in the U.S.. 5%-10%: Percent of recycled paper currently used by U.S. book publishers in the production of books. 2,108: Pounds of greenhouse gas emissions prevented by replacing one ton of virgin fiber with one ton of post-consumer recycled fiber.
Resources 116: Number of average weighted books (one pound) that can be created from an averaged sized paper-yielding tree. 4.4: Gallons of water used to create one book.
Methodology I will keep track of how often I purchase books during the month of October. I can then use this information to estimate how many books I buy during a year. With this data I can estimate what my environmental impact might be when I purchase the books I love to read.
Data Books purchased during the month of October…. 10 Average number of books purchased in a year …. 120
Analysis Number of trees used to make 120 books: 1 X 10 people …10 X 100 people… 600
Analysis Amount of water used to produce 120 Books… 528 X 10 people… 5,280 X 100 people… 52,800
Ways to make a difference <ul><li>Look for books printed on recycled paper </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage publishers to use recycled paper </li></ul><ul><li>Check out books from your local library </li></ul><ul><li>Download books from the Internet </li></ul>
Call for further study More Internet sites are offering books to download. What is the environmental impact of ebooks compared to traditional book publishing?
Conclusion As consumers we have the power to make change happen. Before this project I did not give much thought to the environmental impact of book publishing. After completing the project I have learned that there are ways that I can be a more responsible consumer, including looking for books printed on recycled paper or downloading books from the Internet.