July 05, 2007

Green Update

Sometimes, if you study something long enough, and get a little bit lucky, what seems hard is actually very easy.

We have decided to change printers for Russian Life. Starting with our next issue (September 2007), we will be printing the magazine in Missouri instead of Ohio, at Ovid Bell Press (founded 1924). A number of factors came into play, but not the least of them was the fact that we are able to shift the printing of our magazine to 100% recycled stock. That's right, 100%! This, as I wrote earlier, was our goal in a few years' time!

The stock (CyclusOffset) is top quality and very cool. It is made in Denmark, from 100% recycled office papers, all collected within 300 km of the plant. The paper plant itself is biomass fueled and run very green. And no awful bleaching processes using chlorine are used to whiten the paper.

The stock is a matte-coated, which I like much better, because a gloss-coated stock can be hard to read: it is so reflective. This paper has a nice, substantial feel, and holds colors well. I look forward to hearing what our readers have to say about it...

Of course, it is not the greatest environmental choice, in that it has to be shipped by boat from Denmark to the US and then trucked or trained to Missouri, where our printer is. But eventually some US or Canadian paper plant will catch on and realize they can make green paper more economically from waste paper than from trees.

Given this change, we have stepped up our overall plan for reducing our environmental impact. You can read the whole shpiel here.

Of course, what I am most excited about is that, from this, we will save over 530 trees, and cut our production of greenhouse gases and solid waste in half. Link to the full statement (courtesy the Environmental Defense Fund) as a PDF here.

While our small magazineâ??s changes will not reverse global warming or staunch mankind's relentless depletion of natural resources, our example does show that even a small company with limited resources can, through research and commitment, make the changes necessary to operate in an environmentally responsible manner.

Go figure.

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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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Montpelier VT 05601-0567