Recirculate Old Books
Don't let old books waste away. Little good comes from unread old books stored for years on shelves, or in attics, or at the back of basements. Like most people, you probably have a collection of old books that you've outgrown, or no longer need for school or work, or received as a gift but don't plan to read.
The only thing worse than an unloved book in your home is a discarded book in a landfill. Although there are no definitive statistics of the numbers of old books that are thrown away, we do know that approximately 54.3 million tons of paper and paperboard bloat our landfills each year.
Among that total are countless numbers of used books in great condition that could be saved from the waste stream and put into the hands of people who need and want them — children here and abroad in schools that have no financial resources for books, people in nursing homes and hospitals, children and adults who are learning to read, and people who just love books, love to read, and want to do their part to reduce unnecessary waste and help preserve the integrity of the environment.
When you donate, reuse, or recycle old books, you don't just help keep them from overburdening our already bulging landfills; you also help preserve our natural resources. A ton of paper takes up about 3.3 cubic yards of space in a landfill, and it is estimated that 24 trees are needed to produce one ton of virgin printing paper.
I Did This!
Whether you have a few old books in your attic, boxes of old books in your study, or you work for or know a school or business that needs to dispose of a large collection of books, there are many ways to keep these books out of the landfills and put them into the hands of grateful individuals:
The British writer Douglas Jerrold once said, "A blessed companion is a book – a book that, fitly chosen... pours its heart into our own." You can help keep these "blessed" companions out of the landfills by sharing them with others or ensuring they are recycled to rise again.
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