Remember the smell of a public library? The distinct scent of leather binding and aged, dog-eared pages in the background as you ran your fingers down the alphabetical titles. And the sound of pages turning frantically from the research section and compared to those turning methodically from the patrons reading fiction. Or the magazines and newspapers from around the globe. When I was a little girl a library card might as well have been a limitless credit card.
So maybe it’s time we take a trip back to the public library and remember what it’s like to share a book with a complete stranger – if not for the nostalgic benefits, at least to reduce your carbon footprint.
According to Conservatree, one tree makes roughly 8,333 sheets of paper.
According to the Sierra Club, one 8′ diameter, 45 foot tall tree makes 10,000 – 20,000 sheets of copy paper – let’s pick the midpoint of 15,000 sheets of paper. Assuming a book is about two pages per sheet of copy paper, that’s 30,000 book pages. With an average of 225 pages per book, that 133 books per tree. Probably what a large book store orders of most books.
This may seem like a lot, but have you ever walked into a local Barnes and Noble? There are dozens of new books coming out every month, with hundreds of locations needing copies. I mean, remember when the sixth Harry Potter installment came out? In its first day alone it sold 6.9 million copies in America. At 652 pages per book, that’s a lot of paper and, therefore, a lot of trees and carbon output from all that manufacturing.
And trees have an enormous impact on our CO2 emissions. A single tree can absorb up to 48lb of CO2 a year; and an acre of trees in that same year can absorb the CO2 emissions of a car driven 26,000 miles. With the amount of cars on the highway during rush hour, we can use all the help we can get. For more tree facts and benefits visit Colorado Trees.
Basically, the more books we share, the better air we breathe. So give it a try. Take your kids, your grandparents, or just go yourself and enjoy that library smell again.
But don’t forget your library card.
For a good environmental read Green Blizzard recommends the classic environmental must read – which is undoubtedly available at your local public library or quickly downloaded (paperless) to your e-reader, or found in a used book store, or borrowed from a well read friend’s book collection.
Make sure to check online beforehand to avoid a wasted trip (especially if it’s a drive) and nowadays you can extend the return date online, if you need a few more days.