We make all kinds of small decisions every day, with little regard for their impact on the environment. One mistake that we make is throwing out old textbooks. According to a report from the National Wildlife Foundation, outdated textbooks are not disposed of properly. This leaves a horrible environmental footprint.
“Many libraries and schools hold semi-annual book sales to clear out old inventory. Some factor old books into mixed paper recycling plans for the year. Still, both K-12 schools and higher education institutions struggle to process the millions of textbooks that become damaged or outdated every year,” the authors say.
The good news is that there are environmentally friendly ways to help the environment by disposing of them in a better way. Here are some options to take a look at.
Finding Better Ways to Dispose of Old Textbooks
Textbooks have the tendency to pile up quite fast, and before you know it, you might find yourself buried under a load of old books that you have no real use for. While some people choose to take the lazy approach and simply keep stacking them up over time, there are far better things you could do that are good for the environment and your wallet at the same time.
You should always be on the lookout for more environmentally friendly ways to dispose of your old books, otherwise you might face a pretty big issue later on. Here are some options to options to look at.
Give Them Away
One of the simplest options available to you is to just give the books away. It might not seem like the best idea, but think about how often you’re using those books and what the chances are that you’re going to need them in the future at all. They might serve someone else better, and someone out there should definitely appreciate the option of having them for free. Just make sure that you go through a legitimate donation channel instead of a shady organization. It’s not difficult to verify the legitimacy of such companies these days.
Just make sure that you give your textbooks to people that are environmentally conscious. You want to know that their new owner will recycle them when they are done. Let your friends know that you reward people that care about the environment.
Recycling is another great option if the books are more specialized and you don’t think anyone would have any interest in them. There are various ways to go about that, depending on where you live. You should not only look into local options, but things like apps and other specialized services that might provide you with direct access to recycling points.
You should know how textbooks can be recycled. According to a survey of 30 schools, 67% of textbooks that are recycled are done so either by grinding, stripping the covers or shredding the books.
There are various convenient solutions on a local level available at many places that should be able to give you great results, depending on how many books you want to recycle and what their nature is. Sometimes, you may even be able to score a nice return on your recycling!
Last but not least, you can also look into selling the books directly if you think they have any value left. Textbook buyback options exist in many places, although the availability of specific features may vary wildly. You should also look into social media as a possible channel for selling off old textbooks. This is especially true if you live in a place with an active college community or something along those lines. Students will sometimes be glad to have the option to get their necessary textbooks at a reduced rate, and you may even be able to sell more than you initially expected if word gets out.
The bottom line is, letting those books stay in your house gathering dust is the worst option you can pick. Anything other than that can work out great if you explore your available options correctly, and it shouldn’t take you too long to find something that matches your requirements at an adequate level. Just make sure that you don’t underprice your textbooks if they still have some value in them. That’s why you should explore your markets carefully and know what options you have available.
Take Care of Your Textbooks Properly to Help the Environment
There are a lot of ways to make the environment better. One way is to make sure that the millions of textbooks we purchase every year are disposed of the right way when we are done. Recycling or gifting them to the right people is the best option to consider.