Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How to be an Eco-Friendly Bibliophile

One of my friends who hates reading maintains that he abstains in order to save the trees. Each time he visits my home and looks at bookshelves in my room and the books that are piled up on my table (for want of shelving space and some laziness) he invariably remarks that my room is littered with the corpses of scores of dead trees. He also accuses bibliophiles like me to be the cause of global warming. The only way to offset all the damage to the environment that I (and other book lovers) cause to the environment, he tells me with all the seriousness he can muster, is by giving up my addiction altogether and planting trees—one tree for each book that I own.

While I can't give up my addiction, finding some space to plant trees in today's urban India is more difficult than one can imagine it could be. I am sure there are quite a few others out there facing the same difficulty. While I continue to accumulate the books, any plans of working on my friend's suggestion to offset the damage have not gone beyond the occasional potted plant.

Well, help is now at hand. I can now outsource the planting through Eco-Libris. Eco-Libris offers to "balance out" your books by offering you the opportunity to plant one tree for every book you buy at a cost of only $1 (roughly Rs. 40 at the current exchange rate) per tree. All that you need to do is to choose the number of books you want to balance out with Eco-Libris, pay for it online, and a tree will be planted for each of these books.

More details about how Eco-Libris works here.

So count those books. And count your money.

1 comment:

Eylon Israely said...


Thank you for the great post! I really enjoyed reading it and I hope we can help you prove your friend that you can love reading and trees at the same time.

Just to add a little something to your post - we also send our customers a sticker (made of recycled paper) for every book they balance out saying “One tree planted for this book”, so they can later display these stickers on their books' sleeves and proudly show everyone how to be an eco-friendly bibliophile.

And last thing, I am currently reading "Sacred Games" by Vikram Chandra, and since most of it plays out in Mumbai I was very happy to see you are located there :) Is it anything like the book?

All the best,
Eylon @ Eco-Libris