Day To Day
A Textbook Before You Buy One!
It’s two days before classes start and it’s time to hit the bookstore for textbooks…you begin to wonder, ‘what small fortune am I going to have to spend this time around?’ Now your basket is loaded to the brim with books as thick as small trees and you begin to ask yourself, ‘how many forests had to be cut down for this semester’s learning’? Now you are three weeks into your classes and only two of your five professors have required or even advised you to open your campus cash draining forest clearing textbook…
Sound familiar? (If you are a freshman, this will be the story of your life for the next few years…sorry) In order to save a ridiculous amount of money, trees, and carbon emissions it’s best to wait at least a week if not two or three before purchasing your textbooks. This will allow you to get a handle on your classes and whether or not you actually need their textbooks. More often than not lecture notes and powerpoints will get you an ‘A’. If within the first few weeks you are required to do reading, the bookstore will still be there waiting for you.
Here is a trick of the trade. Some classes only require textbook reading before tests (the only real way to find this out is by taking the class, unfortunately) and most university bookstores have a 24 to 72 hour return policy. If you put 2 and 2 together you have yourself a textbook for studying that costs no money and doesn’t need to be replaced on shelves (once returned, of course,) which means no new trees will be cut down and no new carbon emissions will be released. Sometimes, however, when textbooks are not bought within a certain amount of time, they are returned to the supplier, so it’s best to check with the bookstore. (I learned the hard way.)
Go With Used!
At this point pick up a used textbook because this essentially completes the most efficient recycling process possible. Used textbooks will also save you money and if you are lucky…studying time. Often professors will use the same textbooks for years so used books will have important highlights and notes, which you can use to reinforce your reading!
E-readers, which conveniently store hundreds of books, save vast forests from being cut down and prevent countless CO2 emissions over the span of their lifetime. Although there are some immediate drawbacks such as CO2 release caught up in the manufacturing process, the pros heavily out weigh the cons. Some universities such as Princeton and Arizona State have already begun to replace paper textbooks with e-readers and more will follow, so check with your bookstore before purchasing paper backs.