Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

Textbooks: How to Save Money and Paper

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Every college student knows the financial – and sometimes physical – pain of buying textbooks every quarter. Regardless of your major, book prices can soar to alarming heights.

Environmentalists are also concerned about the harmful effects of the publishing industry. The Green Press Initiative states that the U.S. printing industries emit enough CO2 every year to equal the environmental impact of 7.3 million cars.

Here are some ways to reduce your carbon footprint and your expenses:

Be tech-savvy and put your favorite electronic to good use to purchase e-books. Electronic books are cheaper and quicker to buy than most hard copies, and they can be read on Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and even some laptops. Plus you get to avoid the backache of carting around a heavy pack of textbooks!

But if you wish to reduce electronic media, buying used books works quite well. As an earlier post says, buying secondhand items really makes a difference in your expenses and your environment. The SPU bookstore often offers textbooks bought back from students (with the important passages already highlighted!). Used books are also quite accessible through local bookstores, online shopping services, and your fellow students.

If you are looking to browse and linger in your book shopping, here are some local book stores that offer used copies:

The SPU Bookstore also has a limited supply of textbooks that are available to rent. This option is great for those who do not want to keep their books after the course concludes.

And the library often carries course books. The Summit program allows inter-school sharing, so even if the SPU library doesn’t have your text, chances are you can order it within 5-7 days.

Author: Sara Kenning

Sustainability Assistant at Seattle Pacific University's Office of Facility and Project Management

One thought on “Textbooks: How to Save Money and Paper

  1. I usually have good luck buying textbooks off of my classmates who just took the same class. It’s cheaper than the bookstore, and wayyyy easier.