Promote Environmental Benefits

Of course, one of our biggest concerns when addressing our issue of reducing textbook waste is the environment. Our goal is to analyze this problem and to generate solutions that promote environmental sustainability and an overall healthier environment compared to the harmful behaviors that are currently being exhibited. Upwards of 15 billion trees are cut down each year in the world, and much of the paper created from these trees are going towards books and textbooks.

Stats:

  • On average, one textbook contains around 700 pages
  • One tree can produce about 8,333 sheets of paper
  • 626,000 tons of paper are used to produce books every year in the United States
  • An estimated 30 million trees were cut down last year to produce textbooks

When you rent textbooks, you return the textbook when you no longer require it. When you purchase textbooks, however, after the book is no longer of use, typically it will be put on a shelf or thrown away. When this happens, another individual’s consumer demand is not fulfilled, as it would be if a rented textbook was reused, and more textbooks are needed to be produced. By simply renting textbooks rather than purchasing them, you can reduce the amount of waste that is produced by creating more books than necessary. By reducing the number of trees cut for books, you help reduce global warming; there are more trees to absorb carbon dioxide and create oxygen, and there is less fuel being burned for cutting, transporting, and processing trees into paper. Carbon dioxide is the leading cause of climate change, and so the roles trees have in keeping the air clean is extremely crucial.

There are several different methods to renting textbooks, many of which have environmentally friendly behaviors in themselves. For example, there is a website called Chegg.com that allows students to easily rent textbooks for any length of time. For every textbook that is rented, Chegg has pledged to plant a tree in any location the student chooses. Chegg has planted nearly 6 million trees in 104 unique ecosystems in 18 states across the US and 14 countries around the world. (Chegg.com) 

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