5 Ways to Recycle Your Old Textbooks

There are many things that students can do with their old textbooks. Unfortunately, the text industry regularly churns out new editions of costly books and passes this expense on to the student. Many books are used for a semester and forgotten long after. Don’t let your textbooks go to waste. Recycle your college texts in these creative ways to give them new life and contribute to the greater good.

  1. Campus Buy-Back Programs
    College campuses often stage buy-back programs for textbooks at the end of the semester. After final exams, when you don’t need your books anymore, send them back to your campus bookstore. The college will actually buy the books back from you, and while you won’t get a full refund you can at least recoup some of your cash. Many of these books will hit the shelves again next semester, so that students can reduce waste, spend less, and get additional mileage out of a single book.
  2. Help the Justice System
    Our prisons are meant to rehabilitate convicts, but repeated arrest statistics tell us that something isn’t working. Some organizations are making efforts to put more positive energy into the criminal justice system by providing books for prison libraries and education programs. Books Through Bars accepts book donations and distributes literature to prisons so that convicts can get educated and earn the second chance that they deserve. This is a great way to put your old textbooks to use in a worth cause.
  3. Contribute to the Green Movement
    One of the best ways to recycle your old textbooks is shockingly simple–recycle them. The good folks at RecycleYourTextbooks.com accept donations of books new and old to be recycled for a good cause. This company puts unused textbooks back into circulation and uses its profits to support the American Cancer Society. The organization has already raised thousands of dollars to support cancer research and help the world become a healthier place.
  4. Send Your Texts Abroad
    Charitable organizations all over the world are doing their best to promote education in developing countries, but the struggle is a difficult one. Educational materials are expensive, and these charities do not always get the funding they need to make a difference. Send old textbooks to organizations like Books for Africa or Books for the Barrios to give your old texts a second life in a less fortunate area. Everyone has the power to help support this noble endeavor.
  5. Sell to Incoming Students
    Money is a major concern for students everywhere. Tuition rates are higher than ever, and student loan debt is becoming an almost crippling burden for many college students and graduates. To ease your financial strain, try to sell some of your texts to incoming students. Post on Craigslist, put your books up for sale on Amazon, or communicate with students in your school directly to put your books in the hands of new students who need them. You get to put extra money in your wallet, and new students get cheap used textbooks for college. This arrangement benefits both parties.

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