Save trees with digital textbooks

Dear Porena,



My name is Jon Cheek. I am a recent college graduate in Arborist Perth and I’m concerned about the environmental impact of printing millions of college textbooks every year. Although I bought used textbooks whenever possible, I frequently had to buy new textbooks to keep up with new editions or to get supplemental software.

However, I recently joined a company called Zinio that provides digital textbooks to college students. These digital textbooks are exact replicas of the new printed version, but are offered to students at half the price. They also have many useful digital features such as the ability to search, take digital notes, and use multimedia embedded directly into the page. Most importantly, since they require no physical production, digital textbooks help save trees and eliminate waste.


Steps For Sustainable Publishing

I love paper books, and I am not calling for a boycott. Instead, let us find a more thoughtful approach to paper book and periodical publishing, an approach that might be called “sustainable publishing.”

There are many ways that publishers can make book publishing more environmentally friendly. Readers should be aware of these options, and support publishers who are practicing them.


Buy and Sell Books Using Print on Demand

Instead of printing thousands of books at once from a printer (a book printing company), a publisher or an author can use a Print-On-Demand (P.O.D.) company, such as Lulu or Lightning Source. P.O.D. is a method for printing and binding books (using a digital printing machine) as they are ordered, one book at a time. For most books, the quality of P.O.D. now equals the quality of books printed from an offset press. P.O.D. not only reduces the risks of unsold books, it saves energy and costs regarding shipping and transportation of the books sold. The P.O.D. books are not shipped to a warehouse, they are shipped directly from “the factory” to the customer.
This will become an even more viable option when P.O.D. technology advances, so that we see a steep fall in the price per printed book.

Use 100% Recycled Paper In Your Paper Books

Book buyers: Tell your publisher and bookstore owner that you would prefer to buy books printed on 100% recycled paper.

Support Your Local Library

Sometimes it’s better to borrow than to buy.


Most of my friends who have tried Zinio digital textbooks have really liked them. If you think any of your readers might be interested in digital textbooks, I encourage you spread the word. If you’re curious to see what the textbooks look like, please have a look at our website: . Also, feel free to send us feedback at


Best regards,


Jon Cheek


Jonathan Cheek
Zinio Systems, Inc.

139 Townsend Street

, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA94107
Tel. 415.494.2743



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *