As people across the world are adapting more and more to green ways of life by eating organic, traveling green, shopping green and even dressing green; Greenpeace, the global environmental pioneer, is calling for people to "read green".
A girl reads the title page of the Chinese edition of Ami: Child of the Stars in the Beijing Book Building on Wednesday, August 6, 2008. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]
The organization's latest drive sees the Chinese edition of Chilean author Enrique Barrios' Ami: Child of the Stars published on 100 percent recycled paper.
"The first print of 50,000 copies saved 313 trees, eliminated 73.4 cubic meters of landfill, saved 1,840 liters of water and 11,000, kilowatt-hours of electricity," Ma Lichao, a campaigner from Greenpeace Beijing told CRIENGLISH.com.
The publishing of the book is part of the Greenpeace "Book Lovers for Forests program", which urges publishers to use environmentally friendly paper.
China is the world's second largest paper consumer following the United States. In 2006, the nation's publishing industry used 5.34 million tones of paper but few came from sustainable sources.
Therefore, Greenpeace suggests Ancient Forest Friendly Paper, which the organization says, is free from ancient forest fibers and contains 100 % recycled fibers or Forest stewardship council (FSC) virgin fiber paper with a high recycled content be used.
The main issue that has deterred publishers from switching to recycled paper or FSC certified paper is the high cost due to current low demand for such forest friendly resources.
However, publisher of Ami: Child of the Stars; Beijing Hongwen Guan Publishing & Planning LTD. dispelled these worries.
"Actually when I heard the price for publishing Ami using recycled paper I was quite surprised. It was lower than I had expected. Moreover, the quality of the paper is as good as those books printed using traditional paper." Yang Wenxuan, editor-in-chief of the publishing house said through a telephone interview with CRIENGLISH.com.
"The essence of the book, which is to call on people to love and protect our globe, matches with Greenpeace's call to use environmentally friendly material to print books, and that's why we chose Ami," Yang added.
Over 30,000 of the books have been sold through the internet and in bookstores, according to the publishing company.
In Beijing Book Building, located in Xidan district, around ten copies of Ami: Child of the Stars were sold each day, a rather impressive number among the numerous books that hit the shelves during the summer holidays, says Shi Lei, a staff member at the bookstore's children's books section.
"Ami remained in the top ten in the Book Building's new hits billboard, but not every buyer knew its environmental significance," Shi said.