Guest Column: Being ‘Green’ Not a Priority?
Still, if you publicly criticize the value of recycled paper, you tend to sound like parents of the 1960s who said that rock 'n' roll was not music. They had a point, but the assertion destroyed their credibility with young people. We can't afford to do that.
In general, the use of recycled paper is good—in fact, very good—for the environment, and it's popular with end users.
When we started printing our biggest magazine, Mother Earth News, on recycled paper eight years ago, the price was about 15 percent above that of virgin paper. Because sustainability is our subject matter, we figured it was a good idea anyway. Over the years, the quality of our recycled paper has improved dramatically, and the price has come down to the point where it is competitive with virgin papers.
The more publishers start using recycled stock, the more high-quality recycled paper will be available. New demand also is creating new value in white papers we harvest for recycled pulp, thereby improving the economics and infrastructure of recycling.
Assert Your 'Greenness'
There are a bunch of efficient ways to assert your organization's commitment to sustainability, many of which may even reduce your costs. Here are some of our favorites at Ogden Publications, in order of cost savings and simplicity:
1. Install digital thermostats that shut off climate control when your office is empty.
2. Install efficient ballasts and bulbs in office lighting fixtures. Provide natural light wherever possible.
3. Change power settings on your computers for minimum power usage.
4. Buy mass-transit tickets for employees.
5. Offer special parking for carpools.
6. Offer special parking for bicycles and motorcycles.
7. Make sure you are soft-proofing on screen and that your prepress processes take content direct to the plate.