Bas van Lier - How Much Paper Goes Into a Tree?
In part seven of the successful Children’s Questions series, Bas van Lier answers fifty questions about sustainability. As for the title: ‘With one tree trunk of around ten metres long and thirty centimetres thick, you can make about eight thousand sheets of A4 paper. Enough to print three hundred of these books.’
Concrete examples like this are very helpful, particularly with such a potentially tricky subject. Royalty expert Cor de Horde had an easier job with his contribution to the series: Does the Queen Have a Front-Door Key? As did Christa Carbo with Do the Police Ever Get Speeding Tickets?
The toughest themes always seem to end up on Bas van Lier’s plate, but he consistently rises to the challenge. In this series he manages to make even the European Union entertaining in Will Everyone in Europe Soon Speak European?
Here we learn about CO2, melting ice caps and cars that run on ‘pee power’: a hydrogen vehicle can cover twenty-five kilometres on seven litres of urine. We encounter the cleanest and dirtiest places on earth – Cape Grim in Tasmania (cleanest) and the Chinese city of Linfen (dirtiest) – and a Pacific island made of 100 billion kilos of floating plastic waste.
Closer to home, what’s better for the environment: oranges from a greenhouse or from another country? Plastic or cardboard? Many adults won’t immediately know the answer. There’s no reason to get bogged down in doom and gloom, however. People are doing their best to improve things and children who want to do their bit will find plenty of tips in this book.
Bas van Lier is a freelance journalist and the author of informative children’s books on a variety of subjects including films, money and royal weddings. They include From Writer to Bookshelf and The Sea Book, which won a Zilveren Griffel in 2004.
- ‘For once, a clear explanation of sustainability.’ – de Volkskrant