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New Rainforest Safe Book List Tells Parents How to Go Green for Summer Reading

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO ¬– Just in time for summer reading, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has released a list of 25 children’s books that are “rainforest-safe.” All books are printed on post-consumer recycled, FSC certified or recycled paper, allowing parents the assurance of knowing that their childrens’ books are not contributing to the loss of endangered rainforests.

Despite the publishing industry’s substantive progress on reducing its environmental footprint over the past decade, a recent report by RAN, Turning the Page on Rainforest Destruction: Children’s Books and the Future of Indonesia’s Rainforests, documented clear links between children’s picture books printed overseas and rainforest destruction, raising alarm among parents, publishers and authors concerned about environmental issues. RAN’s 25 ‘rainforest-safe’ books list demonstrates that the publishing industry can implement environmental commitments and that rainforest-safe books are not only possible; they are already being produced.

“With our rainforest-safe book list, parents and kids won’t have to choose between loving books and loving rainforests,” said Lafcadio Cortesi of RAN. “These books prove that there are workable alternatives to printing on paper that destroys the world’s last remaining rainforests.”

The list includes popular green titles such as:

The Earth Book by Todd Parr
The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
SpongeBob to the Rescue!  By Alison Inches
Bunny’s Garden (Pat the Bunny) by Golden Books
Nature Discovery in My Backyard by Rebecca Mattano

RAN’s recent Turning the Page on Rainforest Destruction report found that a majority of the top ten U.S. children’s publishers have released at least one children’s book that tested positive for paper fiber linked to the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests, including some books that describe the benefits of rainforest conservation.

“Books are a major way that we share environmental values with our kids,” continued Cortesi. “Increasingly kids books are being printed overseas and on paper that is contributing to deforestation and climate change. Does that really reflect the values we want books teach our children?”  

Worldwide, the degradation and destruction of tropical rainforests is responsible for fifteen percent of all annual greenhouse emissions. The carbon emissions resulting from Indonesia’s rapid deforestation account for up to five percent of global emissions: more than the combined emissions from all the cars, planes, trucks, buses and trains in United States. This huge carbon footprint from the destruction of forests and peatlands has made Indonesia the third-largest global greenhouse gas emitter, behind only the U.S. and China.

The full list of rainforest-safe books can be found at http://ran.org/readinglist and RAN’s report can be found at www.ran.org/bookreport. The rainforest-safe book list is not comprehensive and RAN intends to keep adding “rainforest-safe” books to the list as a reference for parents who want to support alternatives to printing books on rainforest paper.

Accompanying photos and images can be downloaded free at: http://rainforestactionnetwork.smugmug.com/Rainforest-Free-Paper

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Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org

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