Earth-Conscious Ways to Discard Books

With spring in the air, you may be in the midst of a major undertaking to declutter your home. The problem is, decluttering can lead to a large amount of trash headed for landfills. Here are some ways to get rid of books in a more environmentally friendly way, courtesy of KonMari.com:

Rehoming. While some of the books on your shelves may no longer be of interest to you, that doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t appreciate and find value in them. Check with your library to see if your neighborhood has a public book exchange, or consider starting one yourself. You can also check with your local hospital, senior center or youth organization to see if your unwanted books could find a home there.

Reselling. The book you no longer want may be exactly what someone else is willing to pay for. Many avid readers are interested in finding certain genres, authors or titles. Contact a book reseller who may be able to buy all of your unwanted books in bulk. 

Donating. Finding a charitable organization to donate your unwanted books to can be fulfilling for you and greatly appreciated by someone in need. Some organizations donate books to specific populations, such as the incarcerated, those from underserved areas, or those serving overseas. You can also check with your local thrift store to see if they accept gently used books.

Recycling. If your books aren’t in good enough shape to sell or donate, recycle them when possible using the following guidelines:
- Paperbacks: Can be recycled as-is.
- Hardcovers: Remove the cover before recycling as it often includes non-paper materials.
- Water-damaged books: Books in this condition cannot be recycled. Throw them away or consider getting crafty with a papier mache project.

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