Saving Trees One Kindle at a Time – My Quest to Help Save the World

Photo by Flickr User: fauxto_digit

Ever since we were little tots, we have been taught to “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” In school we were asked to place all our paper scraps from collages in the blue recycle bin, to absolutely not throw our pop-cans in the trash in the cafeteria, and to bring a reusable water bottle to school everyday. But what really does all of that mean? Were we really saving rain forests and preventing penguins from getting stuck in plastic pop holders? Maybe. Maybe not. 

But what I do know is this: “what we are living with (right now) is the result of human choices. And it can be changed by making better, wiser choices.” -Robert Redford.

So this term of my senior year in college here at the University of Oregon, I am pledging to help save one particular aspect of this “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra. I’m going to help save TREES. Yes, trees. Surprise, surprise there is another Eugene bred hippie on the loose.

I started off on this quest by asking for a Kindle Fire for Christmas in hopes to not only save money on books, but to save well. . . paper, and therefore save trees. And I must admit, this was a very hard concept for me as a journalist, creative-writer, book enthusiast, and flat-out notebook lover. But at some point I have to realize that all the gorgeous first edition hard copies that line my small urban apartment aren’t exactly helping save the environment any, especially the 400-page course books on environmental studies. How, ironic.

So my lovely parents or shall I say, Santa Claus, bought me the Kindle for Christmas. And I began to explore this gift that I had been given. The gift of holding hundreds of books (weighing only 14.6 ounces) at my fingertips. Available to buy I found two of my course books for my Anthropology of Human Sexuality class, and available to borrow from Amazon Prime I discovered a teaching edition of A People’s History of The United States for my Journalism course on Gender and Diversity.

But I still had a problem: where was I going to buy my other three books? And then it hit me: Chegg.

Chegg.com is an online bookstore where you can buy, rent, and sell textbooks: both used and new. With each textbook you buy or rent, Chegg plants a tree. Currently Chegg has planted over 5million trees and counting through its partnership with the American Forest Global ReLeaf Foundation.

“From the San Juan National Forest to Pondicherry, India these new trees, planted worldwide, help regenerate areas damaged by wildfire, strengthen River Bounds, and restore wildlife habitats. Every quarter we fund critical reforestation projects that are improving the environment – so thank you, and we’ll keep planting” -Chegg

So, not only did I save money (around 20 bucks total) on the rest of my books, but I also helped replace the paper I was stealing from them (trees that is.)

I must say my quest to save the world is off to a very good start by day 1 of winter term 2012.

What will you do to help?

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