Be a treehugger

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"Take nothing but pictures

Leave nothing but footprints

Kill nothing but time."


                                                                                                                                              From Google Images

     With scheduling for next semester happening as we speak, I think now is a good time to talk about textbooks. Textbooks can be awfully expensive and cause a headache for many students. However, with the advice from my awesome, eco-conscious mom, I've learned that getting textbooks can be affordable and eco-friendly as well.

     Under my entry "Mindless ways to be good to the planet" my mom left this comment:

     "There are so many simple things that can be done to be more eco-friendly. Another idea for college students that is eco-friendly and has the added benefit of saving money is to buy used textbooks -- or even better -- rent textbooks. I guess there are even websites where you can swap textbooks and only pay for shipping. I just read that on the website that was listed in the blog entry."



                                                                                                                                                          From Google Images

     Next time you are looking for a textbook, go to Chegg is simple. You find the book you need, pay to rent it and at the end of the semester return it for someone else to rent. Chegg is awesome for several reasons. 1) The price you pay to rent on Chegg is way less than what you would buy it for (I know this from personal experience). 2) You return the book so that it is reused. 3) Everytime you rent a book on Chegg they plant a tree, which I think is phenomenal. They say that over 3 million trees have been planted so far. Chegg is easy to use and they have 51 different subjects of books to choose from. In addition, shipping your book back at the end of the semester is free, just print a shipping label from their site. Saving you money and saving the planet, there is no better combination.



                                                                                                                                                   From Google Images

     Another magnificent website to check out is Better World Books is a "for-profit social enterprise." They collect donated books and sell books on their website. The books that they sell help fund literacy programs around the world. Here are some stats from their site on the impact their sales have made:

  • Raised over $8.6 million for literacy including
    • $5.0 million for over 80 literacy and education nonprofits
    • $3.6 million for libraries nationwide
  • Contributed more than $1.8 million to college service clubs who have run book drives
  • Directly sent more than 3.3 million books to Books for Africa, the National Center for Family Literacy, and Feed the Children
  • Collected over 45 million books through active book drives at over 1,800 colleges and universities and collections from over 2,000 libraries

Better World Books is also extremely earth-conscious. Here are some facts from their site on the impact they have had on the environment:

  • Re-used or recycled over 53 million pounds of books
  • Reclaimed more than 720,000 pounds of metal shelving from libraries across the United States
  • 17,000 tons of carbon offset on shipping is another website where you can rent textbooks. It works basically the same way as Chegg. Rent, use and return. A bonus for using this site is that for every order you place, they make a donation to First Book, an organization that gives books to children in need.

    I highly recommend using these sites because they are socially and environmentally aware and responsible. I love that they are thinking about sustainability, reusing and preserving. Consumerism is becoming a real issue - we want new things all the time. As consumers, we need to start becoming more mindful about what we buy and what we use. Textbooks are just one thing, but every little thing counts. So go ahead, be a treehugger and rent your books next semester.

     Let me know, do you already use these sites? If not, will you after reading this? Do you have any other websites or suggestions?

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I haven't ever used a textbook-rental site like this, but I wish I would have! At least now I can try to make a positive impact in my last semester of college.

In addition to the advantages of reusing textbooks to make an environmental impact, there is also a huge cost savings when you rent textbooks. We've probably saved anywhere from 50 - 75% -- sometimes more -- off the cost of new books each semester. Also for students who choose to keep their textbooks, there are huge cost and environmental advantages to purchasing used books. Websites like offer used textbooks that are just like new. Sites like search a variety of other sites to find the best prices for used textbooks. Also I've recently seen sites where students can swap textbooks. I haven't really looked at those yet, but I guess it's time to start purchasing for next semester so maybe now's the time to start looking there.

Jessica: IUP has begin to study purchasing electronic books, including e-textbooks. They're said to be far more friendly to trees, obviously, and they're said to be much cheaper.

And IUP is not the only institution to be pondering this move. Duquesne University is one []. Other campuses cite some drawbacks, however [].

I wish there were a way on campus to turn in unused printer paper, notebooks and office supplies at the end of the semester to share with other students! What are other ways to be a greener student?!!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ms. Jessica Ann Clevenger published on November 7, 2010 5:43 PM.

Wearing green was the previous entry in this blog.

Saving the environment, one electronic device at a time is the next entry in this blog.

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