Green Startup: Plant a Tree When You Buy a Book


Eco-Libris, a new venture (h/t with a green/social component to it is an interesting new for profit, social venture. The company provides book buyers the opportunity to purchase trees for planting each time they purchase a books. This is what they call sustainable reading. (sounds similar to those carbon offsets that folks like Al Gore buy so that they can fly their Gulfstreams guilt free)

While this firm doesn’t appear to be started by campus entrepreneurs, it is the type of product/service that would likely do well on college campuses. We have already seen campus entrepreneurs from ASU launch a hybrid taxi service. BTW, for those who are Jewish or have some knowledge of Israeli history, it is obvious where the entrepreneurs (who are Israeli) came up with the idea. (hint)

When buying a tree via Eco-Libris or a reseller, you receive a sticker to put on your book (kind like a hybrid tag on a car) so that others know that your book has not had a negative impact on the planet.

Can you think of other products/services that neutralize ‘damaging’ consumption behaviors? Could there be some kind of offset for ipods, cell phones, and computers? How about offsets for beer cans? (think Ethos Water, which I believe was bought by Starbucks)

One thought on “Green Startup: Plant a Tree When You Buy a Book

  1. David,

    Thank you for your post on Eco-Libris.

    Firstly you are right – we’re not campus entrepreneurs, but three of the co-founders studied in the university together (we even shared the same dorm apartment), so you can definitely say that the campus helped in bringing us together later on. Also, I’m a member of Net Impact (, which is an organization of MBA students and Alumni who want to change the world and make it greener and better through business.

    One more thing – we see Eco-Libris as the first step in the way towards sustainable reading. We aim to raise awareness to the environmental impacts of the production of books and to provide people with an affordable and easy way to do something about it. Eventually and hopefully sooner then later, books will be made from recycled paper or other eco-friendly materials and logging for paper will stop. Until then we hope to see book readers taking action.

    Thank you,

    Raz Godelnik

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