A Canadian book blog: Publishing, marketing, books and technology from a Canadian perspective

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Forest-Friendly Publishing

April 21 is Earth Day. It’s better being green.

My favourite independent US bookstore, Powells, has posted a Green Press Initiative section in recognition of publishers who support the forest-friendly paper initiative. Read about Green Press Initiative.

I was also pleased to see mention of Alice Munro on the wire today. Canadian Press is reporting “The fictional wizard Harry Potter and real-life renowned writer Alice Munro are helping to spearhead a made-in-Canada environmental campaign designed to save the world’s endangered old-growth forests.” Go team!

Markets Initiative is the Vancouver-based environmental group who is working with the Canadian publishing industry to shift from printing on paper that originates from ancient forests to more ecologically sound alternatives, like 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

I’d like to point out that recycled paper is not what it was originally. It is not grey or brown or trashy like newspapers. High-quality recycled paper is out there, and it makes a lot of sense to support the publishers and authors who take a stand—Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Farley Mowat, Barbara Gowdy, Alice Munro, McClelland & Stewart, Raincoast Books, 35 Canadian mags including Canadian Geographic, Walrus, Harrowsmith Country Life, Owl and Cottage Life. I know I’m missing people and I apologize. The point is the economies of scale, the more demand for this paper, the more the printers will source it, the less it will cost, the better it will be for the world.

Here are some of the facts from the CP story:
80% of the world’s large tracts of old-growth forest have already been logged.

Canada, Russian and Brazil hold the vast majority of what’s left

Northern Canada is home to 25% of the world’s remaining frontier ancient forests

Globally, 71% of the world’s paper comes from ecologically valuable forests, rather than from tree farms.


Check the back cover or the copyright page for the tag line on forest-friendly books. It usually something like “This book is printed on acid-free paper that is 100% recycled, ancient-forest friendly (100% post-consumer recycled).”

It’s Earth Day on Thursday. Love the rock you live on.

New Society Publishers ( http://www.newsociety.com ) has for several years been publishing all their books on PCW paper. They’ve started a bit of a movement among publishers. And on their ( to be launched this Earth Day ) revamped web site one will be able to / can find some docs about ecologically aware publishing.

Having planted five or six hundred thousand trees I’ve just realized that my ‘carbon foot-print’ is negative. It’s too bad there isn’t a karma-credits market along the line of the carbon-credits one.

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