Healthy Planet is a charity that believes in doing small things to create and allow big changes. It offers ordinary people a chance to make a difference and get involved in projects to help conserve the environment in lots of different ways.


One of the ways that particularly interests me is their Books for Free project. Healthy Planet say they champion grass roots and green causes that promote healthy living. One way to do this is to save books from the pulping system when they are no longer wanted, and keep them in circulation through the process of donation and recycling.

Books for Free saves books from the pulping process and repurposes them, putting them into empty buildings in town centres and opening Books for Free outlets in city centres. The difference with these book shops is that every book in them is free. You, as a member of the local community are actively encouraged to go along and take some of the books home, read them, and then pass them on to someone else when you have finished with them.

The book shops are staffed and equipped by volunteers who put up shelves, sort stock out and promote the causes of the Healthy Planet charity. The Books for Free programme gives away 300,000 books every year.

There is a branch of Books for Free in Leicester, on the high street, which is why I came across it. The opening hours vary depending on the availabilty of volunteers, but if you’re passing a branch and it is open, please pop in and support their brilliant scheme. If you can’t see a book you want for yourself, maybe find a book that you might want to gift to someone else, or add to your school library.

Find out more about Books for Free by clicking on the site here.