January 01, 1990

Publishing Green

Publishing Green

Where We Are Coming From

RIS Publications, the publisher of Russian Life magazine, was founded in 1990 on the principle that paying attention to international issues matters. While U.S.-Russian relations and the history and society of the world’s largest country are important, there is no larger international issue than the health of this planet. We believe that all magazines - not just those focused on environmental issues - should be published with as small an environmental impact ("footprint") as possible.

The 1% Difference
Of the 18,000 magazines published in the United States, just under 1% are like Russian Life and publish on post-consumer recycled paper. Get the facts on the environmental costs of magazine publishing as practiced by the other 99%.

RIS has had Russian Life printed on paper with Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) content since 2006, while keeping an eye on our high standards for quality. Since late 2009, our paper has also been FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, meaning the pulp is harvested from sustainably managed forests.

Our magazine printer (Ovid Bell Press, in Fulton, MO — founded 1924) has a broad commitment to green publishing. OBP uses agricultural-based inks and recycles ink waste for use as fuel in cement kilns. OBP also recycles used printing plates for the aluminum and recycles its paper waste. Our magazine is printed direct to plate, which means no use of film to create plates; we also use digital photography almost exclusively.

Beyond the Magazine

We are a small company, but one sincerely concerned about our impact on the environment. Therefore:

  • All of our operational material (letterheads, marketing material, renewal notices, envelopes, etc.) are printed on paper with the highest recycled and PCR content possible,* with agricultural-based inks, and preferably FSC-certified;
  • We purchase only 100% recycled paper for our office paper (laser-printing and copying needs);
  • All our books, maps or publications are published on paper with the highest recycled and PCR content possible,* with agricultural-based inks; a possible exception to this will be short-run digital publications, which are environmentally-advantageous by virtue of the fact that product is printed only to demand;
  • We practice waste-reduction and smart recycling practices with regard to all office waste.

We welcome feedback from readers, clients, and persons and companies which have assistance and advice to offer us in this transition. While we realize that our small company’s changes will not reverse global warming or staunch the 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.

* We word this carefully ("the highest recycled and PCR content possible") for the time being. Research into potential paper stocks is ongoing. To date, we have found that PCR stock is hard to come by and not perfectly verifiable. Our immediate goal is a minimum 30% PCR stock on all the above items, if we can find printers close enough to us geographically that stock this. Our long-term goal is 100% PCR content stock on all items we produce. Currently our letterhead, renewal notices and envelopes can be printed on 30% PCR.

About Us

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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Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567