We all have a duty to protect the natural world.
Climate change and environmental degradation disproportionately impact people in poorer communities. These communities include many readers we support and we have a responsibility to them to reduce our environmental impact.
To that end, we have been working to understand and reduce our carbon footprint.
Our environmental impact
There are environmental costs to our work. We ship the books we provide by sea and overland around the world – a process that creates emissions.
Wherever possible we use shipping companies that take steps to reduce carbon emissions for the books we send.
In London, we keep our office and warehouse as green as possible by working with utility suppliers that are committed to an environmentally sustainable approach. We also have a code of practice which includes recycling, responsible use of resources and purchasing.
Our environmental benefit
While there is an environmental impact to our work, there is also a benefit. Our work creates environmental benefit in four ways.
1. Extending the life of books
There is a carbon cost to every book that is printed, and so it is vital that we get the longest life possible out of each book. Many of the books we receive would be recycled were we not able to extend their lives by donating them to our partners. By keeping them from being recycled, we reduce waste and the carbon used in the recycling process.
2. Quality education for more sustainable communities
We enrich classroom learning by providing books to existing school libraries, creating new school libraries and training teachers in how to use books to support classroom learning. This work improves the quality of education that children receive and, in the long-term, education enables people to make more informed life choices and creates awareness about environmental issues.
3. Increasing environmental awareness through reading
We provide books in schools and libraries around the world about the climate crisis and the urgent need to protect the natural world. These range from picture books for the youngest readers through to university level texts on sustainable farming practices for agriculture students. These books inform and raise awareness of the need for change at a global level and how, together, we can safeguard our shared future.
4. Conservation support
We also work with organisations that have environmental protection at the heart of their missions. In Malawi we are working with SolarAid to create Solar Libraries where families can borrow books and solar lights – reducing emissions from kerosene lamps and enriching education.
In Zambia, we’re working directly with conservation NGO African Parks to support its work in schools improving the quality of education that children living around national parks receive and increasing their understanding of conservation.
Meeting a global challenge
Reading Around the Reserve has brought books to the classrooms of more than 40,000 students aroundThe Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi – and the impact will go far beyond their classrooms:
The challenges we face are global, and we must educate the next generation on the importance of conservation. These wonderful books will help us to show young people here in our communities that our world is beautiful and fragile, and that we have a shared responsibility for its future.Samuel Kamoto, African Parks Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve Park Manager, Malawi
Our vision is a world where everyone has access to books that will enrich, improve and change their lives.
Read our latest publications, including our Annual Review and BookLinks; our quarterly newsletter for organisations working to encourage reading.
At Book Aid International all the income we receive is from voluntary donations – we receive no government grants.