This publishing company has come up with a fantastic project that is connecting literacy with sustainability in a particularly tangible way.
Who doesn’t love the feel of coarse, well-worn paper in the fold of their hands? But while flipping through a printed book is as nostalgic for the next individual as it is for you, it unfortunately isn’t the most sustainable way to become more educated or lose oneself in a story.
According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Americans use 69 million tons of paper and paperboard annually. A large percent of that goes into publishing more than 2 billion books, 350 million magazines, and 24 billion newspapers every year.
But don’t despair, the publishing company Pequeño Editor has come up with a fantastic project that is connecting literacy with sustainability in a particularly tangible way. For the project called Tree Book Tree, the publishing company created a hand-stitched children’s book made from acid-free paper, ecological ink, and jacaranda seeds that will grow into a tree after you’re done reading it.
The aim of the project is to teach kids ages 8-12 where books come from, as well as provide them with a hands-on way to give back to the environment.
The book, titled “Mi Papá Estuvo en la Selva,” or “My Dad Was in the Jungle,” is about a rainforest, and promotes respect for all living things.
After reading the story, kids can use what they learned and plant the book in soil. With a bit of patience and tender loving care, it will eventually grow into a tree.
“Everything we read is part of our mental library and what we are as people. So reading is rooted in us and transforms us: makes us grow and change,” explain the publishers on the project’s website.
You can watch the incredible video describing its process and purpose above.
Even though about 65 percent of paper used in the U.S. ends up being recycled, it is estimated that more than half of the world’s forests may disappear by 2030. For this reason, teaching kids to conserve resources and repurpose what they have is critical.
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