Founders Bookstore, the local college bookstore serving Southwestern Assemblies of God University, is doing much more with its books these days.

Recently announcing a unique partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation, Founders will come together with other college bookstores across the country to plant 100,000 trees in a forest for all used textbooks bought or sold this year.

Founders manager Kim Howard has long been an advocate of recycling textbooks with the bookstore’s used textbook program.

“We’ve always supported the buying and selling of used textbooks because it’s no additional cost to the environment … not to mention it’s cheaper for the students and we know that’s a good way to spare trees and help students,” Howard said. “We just wanted to see if we could have a greater impact, see what else we could do … and now we’re building a forest.”

Throughout the school year, Founders will donate a portion of each transaction that includes a used textbook to the National Arbor Day Foundation, with the funds to go toward planting trees.

“We plant trees when students buy used books and we also plant trees when students sell their textbooks back to the bookstore,” Howard said.

“Faculty members are also very important to the process because it is their decision as to which textbooks are re-adopted each term,” she said. “If a textbook is not re-adopted, students receive less money when they sell back their textbooks and used textbooks are usually not available for those classes the following terms.”

The trees planted by Founders will greatly benefit the earth by adding beauty and wildlife habitat, cleaning the air, preventing soil erosion and protecting waterways, she said.

In conjunction with the partnership, Nebraska Book Company/Validis is sponsoring the “Sell a Book, Build a Forest, Buy a Book, Build a Forest” campaign, which began in April and will run through May 2008.

“The ‘Sell a Book, Build a Forest, Buy a Book, Build a Forest’ campaigns are a wonderful way to involve college students in planting trees and improving the environment,” said John Rosenow, president of the National Arbor Day Foundation. “Congratulations to Founders Bookstore and their customers for helping create a greener and healthier planet.

“(The campaign) is currently running in about 250 bookstores nationwide,” Howard said. “A portion of each transaction that includes a used textbook across the 250 stores is going to plant the trees so, on average, each store will donate approximately 400 trees. Our target is to build a forest consisting of 100,000 trees.”

Howard said students can help by selling their books back at the end of the semester, and faculty members help when they re-adopt textbooks for another term.

“That’s the best part. We plant trees when students buy used books and we plant trees when they sell them back,” she said. “Plus, faculty members can play a key role as they re-adopt textbooks for additional terms. The whole world wins.”

For additional information, contact Howard at (972) 923-2929 or e-mail founders@sagu.edu.

E-mail Chicarra at chicarra.dense@waxahachiedailylight.com