Learning to 'Green' Your Books

They clutter your shelves, your coffee tables, your nightstands. But instead of tossing dog-eared, dust-collecting books in the trash, there are numerous "green" options for your old tomes.

In the United States, 30 million trees are used to make the 3 billion books sold each year -- that kind of guilt might drive a person to change their reading and recycling habits.

Call it spring cleaning your library.

VIDEO: Green Your Book CollectionPlay

Online book swaps have been growing in popularity and there are now several options, including BookMooch.com, 2SWAP.com and BookSwap.com. Users can sign up and list the books they want to unload. Other users can peruse the lists of available books and when they find something they like, all it costs is postage.

Many charities are also more than happy to accept used books. The International Book Project sends donated books to schools in developing countries.

Books are also the second most donated item to the Salvation Army, after clothing.

Books bring in $500 million per year in the Salvation Army's thrift stores, money that funds a network of adult drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs around the country.

Thrift stores and libraries will also usually take used books as well. Just make sure to get a receipt for tax deductions.

And there's always plain recycling. Readers can check with their recycling centers or contact places like ALA Recycling Industries.

ALA says it's not paying for old books, but that it's a better option than throwing all that paper in the trash.

For more information on environmentally responsible reading and publishing, CLICK HERE.