EReader + EBooks = Environmental Preservation

If you’ve been reading Savvy Verse & Wit right along, then you know I’m passionate about saving the environment. I’ve offered tips in the past about how to take part in the movement, and I’ve reviewed books about doing your part or how others have done their part.

While I love the smell and feel of books in my hand, lets face it, trees are used to make those books. Are there books made from recycled paper? Sure. But only 0.23 percent of publishers are committed to increasing the number of books made on recycled paper, according to Eco-Libris. Moreover, only about 5 percent to 10 percent of paper used by book publishers is recycled.

(I snagged the above logo from Goodworks Blog.)

Meanwhile, the Book Industry Environmental Council announced that it was committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the publishing industry by 20 percent or to a 2006 baseline by the year 2020, and an 80 percent reduction by 2050.

This process is going to take a long, long, long time, and even then it may be too late. As avid readers, it is our job to make demand meet the need. We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we need to increase the use of recycled products. We all can make small changes.

For those of us with the means, we can do something more than buy only books made from recycled paper. We can purchase convenient and useful eReaders, like the Amazon Kindle, the Sony eReader, or the upcoming IREX eReader.

Some features I would like in an eReader are:

  • the ability to download books wirelessly and without connecting to a computer;
  • is easy-to-use interface and functions;
  • won’t hurt the eyes;
  • something that is compatible with other documents, like pdfs and newspapers;
  • allows you to make notations or mark sections for future reference;
  • is compatible with MAC and PC;
  • is energy-efficient;
  • has a large enough screen so people who wear glasses don’t have to squint;
  • is compact to fit in a bag, purse, or carry-on luggage;
  • has significant built-in and expandable memory;
  • is light to carry;
  • can operate in a variety of languages;
  • and wouldn’t it be great if it came in different colors?! Or had some great styling accessories?!

IREX Technologies has offered to give one book blogger participating in Book Blogger Appreciation Week an eReader, click on the link for details.

Book bloggers are some of the most avid readers, and while we are encouraging others to get in on the joy of reading, wouldn’t it be great if we also stepped up and did our part for the environment too?

I, for one, would love an eReader even if it was simply for travel purposes. I take flights to visit my parents at least once a year, and I know that I would use an eReader more often than not. Imagine all the trees I could be saving, let alone all the trees the bloggers I know, who review books, could be saving too.

The only troublesome part has been the cost of these devices, particularly for me. While I hope that I win the IREX eReader, I know that whoever wins it will put it to good use. I just hope I opened some of your eyes to the damage we unwittingly cause to the environment by buying books that do not use recycled paper. If you would like to offset your book purchases, please check out Eco-Libris’ plant a tree program to offset those purchases.

Rubies in the Orchard by Lynda Resnick

“Take a hike with me. Follow your dreams.” (Page XX)

Lynda Resnick’s Rubies in the Orchard is one part marketing strategy, one part personal story, and one part how-to formula. Resnick is a woman of direct experience in the rough-and-tumble world of advertising and marketing, and her chops shine through in this nonfiction book. She and her husband have successfully resurrected Fiji Water, Teleflora, and The Franklin Mint, but one of their best successes—POM–blossomed from a group of pomegranate orchards her husband bought years before.

Rubies in the orchard are the intrinsic value of products, and these are the values that must be communicated to customers, says Resnick. Following each marketing anecdote–from her days as a small business owner amidst scandal to her very profitable empire of companies–Resnick offers sage marketing advice that can be used not only in the boardroom and executive offices, but at home too. For example, she says, “You get a lot further in life by showing what you don’t know and asking for help than you do pretending you know it all” (Page 24).

Throughout this delightful book, Resnick boxes out the main points she is trying to hit home with readers, and these little reminders keep her examples fresh in mind. Readers will be particularly astonished about how a set of fake pearls worth $34 at the time of purchase ended up being auctioned off for more than $200,000, and how those pearls became integral to Resnick’s success at The Franklin Mint.

Marketing and advertising could be viewed as boring by some readers, but Resnick’s wit shines through in this success story.

“He had a habit of making the financials look rosier than they actually were. . . . but the poor chap was so accustomed to manufacturing crooked numbers each quarter. . . If he had exhibited a drinking or substance abuse problem, we could have sent him to rehab, but where do you send a recidivist hooked on funny financials?” (Page 76)

While some aspects of Rubies in the Orchard may come off as preachy, particularly for conservatives not sold on the reality of global warming, she does make a viable points about why businesses should go green. Readers who are interested in an autobiography or learning more about the marketing world would be pleased with this fast read.

If you are interested in this book, I’m giving away my copy to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment below.

Deadline is July 24, 2009

Let’s Celebrate Earth Day Every Day!

Today, April 22, 2009, is Earth Day!

I’d like to urge everyone to celebrate Earth Day every day! I try my best to celebrate the Earth by recycling, reusing, and buying recycled products.

Here’s some simple tips for you to try at home, if you don’t already.

1. Use cloth napkins rather than paper

2. Use dish towels rather than paper towels to clean up messes and dry dishes; Just don’t use the same one for both tasks.

3. Rather than get a cup of coffee in those paper or Styrofoam cups, use a reusable coffee mug for your car

4. Same goes for your water, soda, and whatever drinks you need on the go; use a reusable bottle, like these from Sigg.

5. Another great tip I saw on Oprah today was to use reusable lunch ware, which you can find here. If you go to Oprah.com, you can a limited time 20% off coupon.

6. If you get plastic bags from the grocery store, you can reuse them to pick up after your pets, rather than buy those individual baggie products to pick up animal waste.

7. If you get paper bags from the grocery store, you can reuse those to cover your kids books, and they can decorate them however they choose.

8. Really, you should use a reusable canvas bag, and I know you book bloggers have them for all those books. Reappropriate one for your groceries.

9. There should be no excuse for not using energy efficient light bulbs, which are widely available and some stores sell them in packages of 4 and 6.

10. Make sure to turn off the water while you brush your teeth and turn off lights in rooms that you are not in or using.

11. My biggest tip is to walk where you can and take public transportation whenever possible.

Here are some great links:

Earth Day.Net
Smart Living in the Washington Post
A Patchwork of Books‘ Living Green Tips
Green Living Tips
Leaving Green Now
People’s Garden Project
Community Gardening

What tips can you offer? I challenge you to post your living green tips and leave a link here.

***Giveaway Reminder***

Don’t forget to enter the Keeper of Light and Dust giveaway, here and here. Deadline is April 28 at 11:59 PM EST.

There’s a giveaway for 5 copies of Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch, here; deadline is April 29, 2009, 11:59 PM EST.

Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel

Most women will look in Cosmo or other beauty magazines for the latest cosmetic and fashion tips, but what many of these magazines don’t tell you is that the products manufactured by these companies are using chemicals and other compounds that once your skin absorbs them could cause other ailments or problems. While I don’t readily wear makeup or use cosmetics, I gladly took on a TLC Book Tour stop for Julie Gabriel’s The Green Beauty Guide. I love holistic looks at our everyday lives and books that seek to provide an alternate perspective to how we live our lives whether its from turning holiday celebrations green or learning how to reduce our own carbon footprints.

The Green Beauty Guide goes beyond the typical fad advice given by glossy magazines, providing the reader with recipes to create their own natural shampoos, facials, and other products, while at the same time providing readers with the know-how to become savvy cosmetics shoppers. Check out the Ten Commandments of Green Beauty at the end of Chapter 2.

Through a combination of science, insider information about the cosmetic industry and government regulation, and common sense, Gabriel dispels some of the myths espoused by the cosmetics industry. For instance, did you know that the skin absorbs about 60 percent of the substances applied to its surface? I didn’t, but now that I do, I plan to be more careful about what solutions I use. Think about your morning routine. . .how many cleansers, lotions, and gels do you use before you leave the house each day? Examine the ingredients of those bottles, and you’ll see exactly how many chemicals you expose your skin to every day. Given the complexity of skin and other systems throughout the body, it is no wonder that diet, exercise, and other behaviors can influence how well those systems function. Beauty or the health of your skin is tied to all of those things and more.

One of the best sections in the book discusses green washing, which will help those newly interested in the “green” movement to discern which products actually are safer for them and made from natural products, and which are merely using the presence of natural products to claim they are “green” or organic. Gabriel even provides Green Products Guide with a one-, two-, three-leaf system that categorizes how natural a product is. Other helpful sections of the book provide ways to make your own green beauty products, with a list of necessary tools, ingredients, and tips on where to purchase the ingredients. I also was surprised to find green beauty tips for babies in terms of diaper area care, massage oils, baby wipes, and bathing for babies.

Overall, this guide has a great many tips for those looking to expand the care of themselves and their environment into cosmetics and beauty care. I recommend this for those who wear makeup, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and other products, which is pretty much everyone. We all should take better care of our planet and ourselves, and what better way than to start with the beauty products we use.

Julie graciously offered to write up a guest post for today’s stop, so without further ado, I’d like to thank her for taking the time out of her busy schedule to share with us how The Green Beauty Guide was born.

Thanks a Lot for Your Rejection by Julie Gabriel

My book, THE GREEN BEAUTY GUIDE, is dedicated to my daughter. It would be nice to say that she made me not a green goddess, but this is not true. She made me a green junkie, a green paranoiac, and sometimes a green pest. Being an Aries, she possesses enormous powers of persuasion. Basically, she made me write THE GREEN BEAUTY GUIDE when she was two weeks old. Not a two-week old newborn, but a two-week young fetus.

Three years ago, I was obsessed with writing a book on green pregnancy. As I went through my “certified organic” pregnancy, which I meticulously planned for the whole twelve months – and that means three-month detox before the conception plus normal nine months of pregnancy – I could not be happier than share the joy of having the pregnancy the green way. I wanted to tell moms that it’s fun, healthy, and perfectly doable, to be pregnant and green.

But somehow, as all new authors know, there was a problem with my “platform.” I am not a doctor; neither am I a celebrity mom. I am not even a doula or a registered nurse. In England, it’s good enough to be a nanny if you want to write books about parenting, but all I had to produce to support my case was my background in journalism, my education as a holistic nutritionist, my career in fashion media, and my growing belly. All this is hardly relevant to pregnancy and parenting, agents told me. If you were manufacturing baby clothes, sure, you can write about pregnancy, but what’s your platform? I changed the proposal back and forth, I tossed one idea after another, but it just didn’t seem to work.

Then I had a lightbulb moment. It was an actual lightbulb I was changing in our bathroom in Toronto. The bathroom was jam-packed, floor to ceiling, with my green beauty finds: organic shampoos and mineral sunscreens, herbal baths and odd-smelling stretch mark oils, homemade candles and bath salts. As a diligent green mom, I opted out of any synthetic chemicals in my beauty routine. What’s my problem? I thought. I know so much about all these wonderful, fragrant, oily and shimmery things that make us pretty, happy, and hopefully healthy. I have switched from my chemical hair colors to henna, I am using organic lotions and scrubs, and I am even making my own soaps – so why not sum it all up in a handy book? Next week I spent writing a green beauty book proposal which was shaping up very quickly and so naturally. It was growing, flowing, and eventually overflowing with great information that I accumulated over years of writing about skincare, hair, and makeup. And as I see now, it was a wise move, to embrace your real background and speak about things you know quite well. Very soon, I met the agent who was excited about my green beauty project. Adina Kahn of Dystel&Goderich, and I spent the next few months polishing my materials, and very soon she found not one but two great publishing houses who were interested in my book!

The bottom line is: never assume that you are rejected because you are a bad writer. I spent the whole year pursuing a project that was completely wrong for me at that particular period in my life. I know so much more about babies and parenting today than I did then. Not “if” but when I write a book about what it takes to be a green parent, I will be able to provide my readers with a lot more valuable information than I could two years ago.

All I want to say is this: the timing for the book is always right. It may be a truism, but whatever happens, happens for a reason. There are so many people involved in the publishing process, all of them cannot be wrong at the same time. If the book doesn’t work, it’s not that the idea is bad; maybe the time is just not right. Maybe you are not ready for this book; maybe the reader is not ready for it. Sometimes all the life wants from us is a bit of flexibility.

And I will be doing a book on green pregnancy, I promised that to my daughter. But it will be a completely different kind of pregnancy book. The kind I wouldn’t even dare to think of three years ago.

Thank you Julie for sharing your green pregnancy experiences and publishing struggles with us.

Interested in winning a copy of The Green Beauty Guide?

Leave a comment expressing what you do to reduce your carbon footprint or stay green. Please include a way for me to contact you either valid blog or email address.

Deadline for the contest is Dec. 16, Midnight EST.

***Don’t forget my Pemberley by the Sea contest. It ends on Dec. 10 at Midnight EST. Sorry open only to U.S. and Canadian addressed residents.**

Also Reviewed by:

She is too Fond of Books