It's Not Easy Being Green
PPE: E claims to be "the nation's leading green magazine." How does your production workflow reflect your commitment to the environment? Have you experienced any production problems or difficulties as a result?
DM: We use recycled, uncoated paper for the inside pages of the magazine (50 lb. Williamsburg Collage) and for the cover (80 lb. Sterling). At our previous printer, however, we didn't use a recycled cover stock because we had a bad experience—that is, it didn't do well in the mail—with one sheet that we tried. We DO NOT varnish, sacrificing some protection through the mail because those are highly toxic chemicals. Other than that, we think we get pretty good quality on our paper—and using the uncoated stock feels more "eco" and it also fluffs up the thinkness a bit and makes the magazine (which is only 64 pages) feel thicker (for those who unconsciously do the weight test at the checkout). On the other hand, we do not use soy ink, which was Lane's decision.
PPE: Did you consider environmental factors when choosing a printer? What, if anything, is your current printer doing to support your position? In general, do you think printers are environmentally conscious?
DM: Yes—to some degree. One can only be so pure about these things. We're a nonprofit with not much cash to bat around, so the primary consideration was cost, though Lane Press (like many Vermont companies) considers itself environmental.
PPE: Is there any aspect of your operation that you plan to change to achieve further "greening"?
DM: We already do a lot to try to conserve. We try to use both sides of the paper (in press releases, for example). We reuse paper in the copy machine. We use recycled paper for stationery, envelopes, etc. I use open-panel-window envelopes (i.e., no plastic or material of any kind in the window—you can put your finger through it) in our renewal and billing efforts. We jumped into e-mail and use of the Web very early, in recognition of the positive environmental impacts.