Books are wonderful, but impacts from making the pulp and paper that goes into the billions of books published each year are not. Toronto-based Zerofootprint has announced an offset program for the publishing industry, "targeting the massive impact the publishing industry and business has on our environment."
The goal is to counterbalance natural resource usage to create printed products: tree offset partners include the Forest Stewardship Council and Nature Conservancy, and water offset partners include Waterkeepers and the Rainforest Alliance. Carbon offsets from the Chicago and European Climate Exchanges are also provided for emissions during the production process.
Claimed cost: around 20 cents for a 200-page book.
I would like to encourage everyone on worldchanging to read the latest volume (391) of The New Internationalist entitled CO2NNED. Here is an excerpt: "Offsets do little to challenge our consumption of fossil fuels.... Offsets do not fundamentally challenge the huge inequities in the world. In fact, they sometimes make them worse. Offsetting doesn't pressure companies to switch from fossil fuels to renewables or encourage governments to regulate polluting companies. It doesn't stop airport runways for being built, planes from being flown, cars being driven or even coal-fired powerplants being brought online. In fact, it encourages them to continue and expand. It feeds on the good intentions of consumers and ethical businesses so that the fossil fuel industry can thrive."