Plant a tree with each book

January 10, 2008


Yesterday I had lunch in Sausalito with Eylon Israely, co-founder of Eco-Libris.

The idea behind Eco-Libris is very simple: they sell a $1 sticker you can put on the back of a book which indicates that Eco-Libris will plant a tree with that $1.

1 book = 1 sticker = 1 tree.

It turns out they plant 1.3 trees for every dollar (ie, 4 trees for every $3) because about 1/3rd of planted trees don’t make it, and the goal is to have surviving trees, not just to plant them. So it’s not really that $1 gets you a tree planted, but that $1 gets you a surviving, healthy tree. Even better!

Eco-Libris takes a small percentage of the $1 to sustain themselves, and then contracts out with 3 different tree-planting non-profit organizations they’ve selected, in Africa and Central America.

Ecol On average, people buy a $25 pack of stickers from Eco-Libris.

Eylon discovered BookMooch a few months ago and has sent about 30 books so far. He and I share a passion for Scottish Science Fiction, such as authors Charles Stross, Iain Banks. As it happens, I’m currently reading Banks’ The Player of Games.

Eylon puts a $1 Eco-Libris sticker on each book he sends out via BookMooch. Almost immediately after signing up with BookMooch, he had another moocher “smooch” him and declare they’d smooch anyone who sent them a book with a purchased Eco-Libris sticker on it.

Clearly, the BookMooch community was a natural fit with the Eco-Libris community.

Eylon and I are going to do a mini-partnership, where:

1) for every 10 trees you help get planted (ie, 10 stickers bought) the Eco-Libris BookMooch account will give you 1 mooch point. Make sure you indicate your BookMooch account name in the comments when you buy the stickers. I’ve donated 30 points from the charitable fund to start them off, and if you like what they’re doing, please donate Eco-Libris a few mooch points.

2) Eco-Libris will promote this to their community, which will bring on some new members to the mooching universe.

3) read books, plant trees, hurrah!

52 Responses to “Plant a tree with each book”

  1. Manda said

    I love it!!!! What a great idea!!!!

  2. rachelsmdai said

    Yeah! This is great! I just purchased my first book of 25 —- hurray for the trees and thank you for this opportunity. I will definitely send this information on to my friends and colleagues!

  3. Erin C said

    John this is awesome! I just bought 25 stickers and donated 3 points to this very worthy cause. We tend to valu Environmental issues greatly and try to help where we can.
    Thanks this is a great program to pair up with!

  4. JD said

    Love the idea of planting trees but hate the idea of putting stickers on books . . .

  5. booknutzz said

    This is a really great idea! Bought my first 25 and donated 5 points. I’ll pass along the info. Great Work!!!

  6. booknutzz said

    Got an idea. If instead of Eco-Libris donated us a point, make it so they get to keep that point if we so choose.

  7. Awesome, John. A lot of my fellow writers come down on me hard for being such an avid trader, but this is absolutely ammunition in my corner.

  8. Blue Eyed Cat said

    Nice idea — readers can offset the demand they create for trees. It’s a lot like carbon credits for global warming.

  9. What an interesting project… thanks for sharing!

  10. Joe said

    Great Idea!!

  11. Meridith said

    sounds awesome to me! way to go!

  12. Leeny said

    If you don’t provide your BookMooch username, then you’ll be like any other buyer so the point stays with Eco-Libris.

    This is a great idea, I absolutely love it and will be supporting it. Unfortunately, I can’t do it for all of my books right away, but I’ll start with 25 and build up from there!

  13. catsalive said

    Love it! I’ve just purchased my first lot of stickers.

  14. Jupiter583 said

    How big are those stickers? Can we put them on one of the inside covers? I really wouldn’t want to mess up the cover designs and such…

  15. Stephanie said

    I’m with JD. The idea of planting trees is wonderful, but I don’t want to put yet more kinds of stickers on books.

  16. Joanna Collie said

    Love it! Fantastic.

  17. This is Eylon from Eco-Libris.

    WOW! The response, feedback and bookmooch points donations are great and we really appreciate it.
    Many BookMoochers planted trees with us yesterday so keep it coming 🙂

    As to where to put the stickers on the books. I totally understand this green book lovers’ conundrum. However, the stickers are pretty small and look great. When I use them I usually put it on the back cover in the corner, where it does not interfere with the artwork any more than a bar code would. This is the case with most paperbacks. With bigger editions usually it looks best in a lower corner of the front cover because there is a lot of space. And sometimes I just put it on the inside cover. The trees still get planted 🙂 My 2c.

    Feel free to email me directly with more question:

    And thanks again to John for coming up with this great site.

  18. Mark Williams said

    Eco-Libris is a fantastic organization and the perfect interface for those in our community who are both book lovers and tree huggers 🙂

    Thanks so much for providing a perfect outlet for those on Bookmooch looking to take their mooching in an ever greener direction!

  19. Larry said

    Well I’m a tree lover myself so this is a great idea! Is it available to UK moochers too,onlyy I noticed the $ sign there.

  20. Al Reneski said

    Why not include some organization that will plant trees in the USA?

  21. Remi said

    Where do you but the stickers???

    Great idea!

  22. Remi said

    I meant to say…

    Where do you buy the stickers?

  23. Are the stickers available in Ireland?

    This is a great idea..

  24. Clayman66 said

    I LOVE the idea!!Ill be ordering some stickers when I get paid methinx!!

  25. Laura said

    I ordered mine! Forgot to include my bookmooch username though. Eh, that’s okay. It’s still a good thing.

  26. Remi – This is where you can buy the stickers and plant the trees.

    Laura – please send an email with your username to


    Eylon @ Eco-Libris

  27. Dreama said

    Hi, I was just wondering if you could tell me the type of material the sticker is made of. Is it made of recycled material??

  28. Sunny McCauley said

    Are the stickers made from a sustainable product?
    Planting trees and promoting the project is great. But stickers are usually made from paper, sort of defeats the purpose, yes?

  29. Yes. We use only recycled paper throughout our operation. Our stickers are made from 30% post-consumer waste (PCW) and 70% pre-consumer waste, and they are printed with non-toxic ink. The envelope and the thank you letter, which you receive with the stickers, are made of 100% post-consumer waste.

  30. And another clarification:

    We will send the stickers worldwide without any extra cost. Shipping is always included.


    Eylon @ Eco-Libris

  31. ANGELA said

    Hi, great idea, just purchased 10 books.
    I will enclose the sticker in my books, it will be up to the moocher to decide if they want to actually stick them on the book.
    Now how do we put this information on bookmooch?

  32. Shona said

    I love this too! Just made my first purchase! Cant wait to get the stickers!

  33. Bathsheba said

    Thank you so much for this great opportunity
    Eylon! I’m purchasing 10 for now, for Tu B’Shevat! I hope to be able to purchase more
    asap! Blessings to you and your cause.

  34. Remi said

    How much does it cost to ship to Canada?

  35. Brian said

    Uh, what happens to the trees when they’re grown? Are we just buying trees for Georgia Pacific and Weyerhaeuser?

  36. Kim Downing said

    This is so cool, I’m in!

  37. Karl said

    When the trees eventually die, what happens to the carbon?

  38. kylie said

    yay, plant trees,awesome…but how are we trading books? through the air, over the roads, consuming resources, you know? how are we contacting each other? with a computer that in 50 years will probably be in a dump and even now is just using electricity produced by what? fossil fuels? better plant lots of trees!

  39. Zac said

    That’s really cool!

    I’d like to ask for a function where we can see books recently added? With the option of filtering in “My Country” only?

    So many times I want to just browse new books added and see which ones I like. Is this possible?

  40. Tina said

    This is what upsets me – the Eco-Libris is a GREAT idea, however what are stickers made of??? Paper & Toxic Chemicals for the glue… somewhat defeats the purpose of doing it in the first place.

    Why not plant the trees and take personal satisfaction in knowing you did it, advertising the premise to all via the web and email… not using paper stickers to blab it – we just look like dumb people to all the critics then.

  41. boliyou said

    I love this idea. Thanks! I’m going to share it and hopefully gain a few more participants.

  42. Hi All, Eylon from Eco-Libris here again with some answers to your recent questions:

    Remi – shipment to Canada, as well as to the rest of the world, is free!

    Brian – these trees are planted to stay and live happily ever after! We’re working with planting partners that were chosen not just because of their know-how in planting trees, but also due to their commitment to manage and monitor the planting areas afterwards. In most cases they employ local workers who work with the local communities and are also responsible for following-up, monitoring and evaluating the planting sites. Bottom line: these trees won’t be cut down. For more information on our planting partners please check their page on our website –, as well as their websites (links can be found on this page).

    Karl – when the trees eventually die in a forest, they will release carbon. However we hope to reach in these planting areas a sustainable natural regeneration which will result in a forest that remains a carbon sink absorbing and storing more carbon the it emits. In any case, the trees we plant have many more benefits to the environment and the local communities, besides being carbon sinks (see our benefits page –

    Tina – As I mentioned already here, we use only recycled paper throughout our operation. Our stickers are made from 30% post-consumer waste (PCW) and 70% pre-consumer waste, and they are printed with non-toxic ink. The envelope and the thank you letter, which you receive with the stickers, are made of 100% post-consumer waste.

    Thanks again to everyone for the relevant questions.

  43. Peggy said

    I love the idea! I also would like to know the answer to Zac’s question, is there a way to browse newly listed books?

  44. Erein said

    Dear John,

    Hope this can be a good way to contact you, as you still work in your moving to California.

    Seeing the Spanish and Latino moochers number is still growing, I’d like you to consider the eventual adding of charities caring the environment in our region, who, some of them, do the same work. Anything you could add to the Español area, please contact me.

    Thank you for making my Internet human. You’re inspiration for many of us.

    aka Erein

  45. booknutzz said

    Used my first stickers today, but didn’t put them on the books themselves. I stuck them on the mailing envelopes. Maybe the postmen or women will read and help too! Liked Angela’s idea, think I’ll send a sticker with book and put them on the envelopes too.

  46. Frances M. Bothwell said

    I just went and bought 50 stickers (because I read so much) and it only cost $47, so I get a few extra trees planted! The fact that these plantings will take place in Africa, where use of forests for fuel is rapidly destroying many areas and helping the southerly spread of the desert, and Latin America, where logging is taking a toll on tropical forests vital to the planet’s health, is a bonus. All trees are precious. Trees in these strategic places are beyond words valuable.

    I did not see the “comments” section to place my Bookmooch name to get the bonus, but if I don’t get it, it’s fine. This is a truly worthy cause.


  47. Hi Frances. I gave you the points a few hours ago. I hope you got that message.

    All the best,
    Eylon (from Eco-Libris)

  48. Lisa R said

    Great idea But How about making them Book marks instead of stickers? That way they aren’t defacing books with a sticker. I too hate to place a sticker on a book. Just an idea!
    Thank You.

  49. Sunnan said

    Mailing a bunch of stickers around… what a waste! Planting trees are great, though.

  50. Chris Ames said

    Here’s another good way to help out… Plant a tree – co2balance can help you ethically minimise your carbon emissions and offset the unavoidable CO2 residue.

  51. Eva said

    Lisa R.’s idea of book marks is fantastic! I’d but those by the bundle and stick them in the books that are mooched from me. I have to agree with the few others here that don’t like putting stickers on books but as with them also I love the idea of planting more tress. I will keep donating points though!

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