Friday, March 30, 2007

Eco-Hunks: Gerard Gleason and Leonardo DiCaprio

Two men we can all admire are on a mission to help us understand our paper choices and what we can do to take action.

First, the dashing Gerard Gleason, longtime leading expert in the field and the go-to guy for companies needing advice on how to score environmentally friendly paper in clutch situations, has launched his own blog this week. Don't miss it. Paper Thought, will offer expert advice on environmental paper issues, a nice complement to the Paper Planet's content. In Gerard's own words,

"Expect the blog to be full tilt, informative and dripping with sarcasm. A cross between "Ask Andy" and a scolding "Ms. Manners". But no "eco-groovy-tidbit-niche stuff" here...this is going to be about what needs to be done to make environmental paper a reality."
And for all the Leonardo DiCaprio fans wanting something with an equally noble message but a little more fluff, we thought we'd share this clip from Ecorazzi.Com, a blog about celebrity environmental gossip. This short video encourages viewers to "Be Green Like Leo" and includes tips on stopping your unwanted junk mail and encouragement to buy post-consumer recycled products.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Video: Green Awakening in the Paper Industry

This week, the NBC local news affiliate in Washington DC did a short segment in its "Going Green" series on the subject of paper. Watch it online here. Its a very good piece tracking the urgent need for conscisouness in the United States about paper choices. "We use 100 million tons of paper a year." "1/4 of all trees cut in the country go to paper."

It also highlights that today, there are many companies offering beautiful office paper to meet all your needs made from recycled pulp, FSC certified sources, and some even using wind energy in their manufacturing.

Once this video inspires you to get your office to make the switch, you can look for office paper choices at this great website, brought to you by Conservatree.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

US Edition of Harry Potter Goes Forest Friendly

Millions in the US are anticipating curling up in bed with Harry Potter for his 7th, and final adventure this summer. They can now do so knowing that Harry is, as the forest protection organization Markets Initiative would say, "good between the covers".

You might remember the
controversy in 2005, when conservation groups such as Greenpeace were encouraging environmentally minded fans of Harry Potter to buy the Canadian edition published by Raincoast Books. It was printed on Ancient Forest Friendly paper, at the request of author J.K. Rowling. United States publishers stubbornly refused.

However, today, history was made, and Scholastic Inc., the US publisher, did the right thing.

Scholastic announced today that all 12 million copies of the U.S. edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be printed on paper that contains a minimum of 30% post-consumer waste (pcw) fiber. Moreover, 65% of the 16,700 tons of paper used in the U.S. first printing will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the global standard-setter for responsible forest management. This historic commitment is the largest purchase of FSC certified paper to be used in the printing of a single book title.

Lisa Holton, president of Scholastic Trade Publishing and Book Fairs, said, "As a company with an ongoing commitment to protecting the environment for this generation and generations to come, we believe producing this book and our future reprints of Harry Potter books with a minimum of 30% pcw recycled paper is an important publishing decision."

The seventh and final book in J.K. Rowling's series will be released at 12:01 a.m. on July 21, 2007.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Greening of the Graphic Arts

There's few, if any, fields that require high standards of beautiful paper for their success than the field of graphic arts. So if they are "hot" for the eco-friendly paper available today, then the myth of inferior quality is officially (and finally) dead.

The cover story in the March issue of Graphic Arts Monthly, entitled, "How Print Got Green" is an interesting piece by senior editor Lisa Cross, who details the growing movement for eco-friendly practices in the graphic arts field, particularly, more environmentally responsible paper use. She says,

"Use of paper that supports sustainable forestry is the hot "eco" practice. Customers' requests for such substrates has prompted many printing companies to invest in detailed accreditation processes to certify that paper products used support the environment."
The article also provides a useful list of printers that have attained Forest Stewardship Council certification.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Aspen Kicks Kleenex Off the Mountain

In a letter released March 7, Aspen Skiing Company, host to the World Cup ski circuit, notified paper giant Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) that it has removed the company’s tissue products from all Aspen ski mountains, hotels, restaurants. The company also removed all references to the “Kleenex Corner” ski run on Aspen Mountain which has been in place for over 40 years. The decision comes following discussions between the ski resort company and Greenpeace about Kimberly-Clark, manufacturer of Kleenex branded products, and their refusal to end pulp purchases from destructive logging operations in Canada’s Boreal Forest.

For background visit

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Is Oprah a forest destroyer?

Check out this great piece published by Marc Gunther, a Fortune Magazine writer and CNN Money contributor, on his blog that looks into Hearst Magazines and Oprah Winfrey's O Magazine's paper supply. The piece can be read here.

This is the same author we featured earlier on Paper Planet for his excellent piece entitled, "Don't Judge a Magazine by it's Cover."

Marc does a great job trying to uncover the source of Hearst's paper supply and exposes a lack of willingness from the big publishing house to reveal any meaningful information. Meanwhile, Oprah's people pass the buck as well.

Maybe this is just the impetus they need to make good on their Earth Day commitment and we will see changes soon.

Happy reading and don't forget to recycle those magazines and demand their publishers use more recycled fiber while you are at it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Forest Friendly is Climate Friendly

Canadian forest conservation group Markets Initiative is running a striking full-page ad in The Walrus Magazine this month highlighting forests role as our, "First line of defence against global warming." Learn more about what more than 170 Canadian book, magazine, and newspaper publishers are doing about it at the Ancient Forest Friendly website.

Sustainability is Sexy

As reported in Grist, the Young Democrats at the University of Washington (USA) are trying to do something about the wasteful use of the 5,000 virgin fiber coffee cups used and tossed each day (wow) on their campus. They are introducing a marketing effort that includes re-usable mugs that display their new "Sustainability is Sexy" logo. They hope it'll make students think....about sustainability. Read more about their campaign here.

While using recycled fiber in coffee cups still faces barriers of FDA regulations, Starbucks, in partnership with EPN member Environmental Defense, has developed and is using paper cups made from 10% recycled content.

Also, Green Mountain Coffee has introduced the Ecotainer, which is touted as different from other coffee cups because it is compostable, thanks to its corn-based inner liner. Most coffee cups are not even recyclable, due to their wax lining.

The "sexiest" thing of all though, by far, is to do as the UW Young Democrats suggest, and bring your own favorite mug.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Please Recycle This Magazine

The Huffington Post beat us to the punch on a breaking story about a new initiative by the Magazine Publishers Association to increase recycling of magazines...with rumblings of more environmental initiatives on the way. Great stuff, check it out.

"Its the right thing to do for the world"

Today, Nordstrom Inc., the Seattle-based chain of 98 department stores, said it plans to begin using 30% recycled paper for all its catalogs and annual reports. The company also announced it will use paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

"It's something we believe in very strongly,'' Linda Finn, executive vice president of marketing at Nordstrom, said in an interview yesterday. "It's the right thing to do for the world.''

Kudos to Nordstrom. Read more about the announcement here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Saving the (Paper) Planet

We've got big plans here at the non-profit Environmental Paper Network, including continual improvement to the Paper Planet. Over the next year, if we are successful in fundraising, we hope to improve the quality and volume of cutting edge news on people, paper, and ecology provided on the Paper Planet. Plus, the Environmental Paper Network is working to coordinate many other projects that help companies and consumers make the choice of paper made beautiful, that keeps the earth beautiful. Learn more about the EPN and its members at our homepage.

We could sure use your help. Keeping the compact flourescent lights on and putting the stamps on those 100% post-consumer recycled, chlorine-free envelopes requires the support of generous, conscientous souls like yourself.

Please consider donating today. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible and 100% good karma. If you've got two minutes, watch our brief video asking for your support. And thanks for reading the Paper Planet....

Saturday, March 03, 2007

More on junk mail blog has more on junk mail impacts.


A story by Sherry Chiger in the Multichannel Merchant (a catalog industry information source) recently said:

"...a renewed emphasis on the environment and sustainability is part of the zeitgeist."

She noted that Victoria's Secret, Williams-Sonoma and Dell have recently moved to green their catalogs. But she also discusses a critical issue for catalogs: reducing the amount of paper they use, eliminating paper catalogs in favor of online sales and elminating print catalogs altogether. Some developments:

-- The Disney catalog has been eliminated in favor of onleine sales.
-- Sharper Image has reported that it will decrease its catalog circulation by 30% in 2006.

A related article from Chief Marketer report entitled “Precision Marketing Is a Green Initiative,” by Jeff Zabin discusses paper reduction as an important environmental initiative.

Some interesting quotes from his article:

"Consider: This year alone, marketers in the U.S. will have sent out more than 114 billion pieces of direct mail, including catalogs, credit-card solicitations, and coupon packets. This represents an increase of 15% from five years ago. The cost of producing and distributing all these marketing materials? Approximately $59.6 billion—more than five times Wal-Mart’s net income. And that’s up more than $4 billion from last year.

And yet, as every marketing professional knows, most of that mail is thrown out nearly as quickly as it arrives. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), only 2.15% of mailed ads lead to a sale—or, for that matter, to any type of response from recipients. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that in a single year Americans dispose of more than 3.6 million tons of what can truly be labeled junk mail.

Beyond getting plowed into landfills, where it might take a millennium to decompose, the 97.85% of direct mail pieces that would seem to serve no other purpose than to keep marketing vendors and the U.S. Postal Service busy obviously have an enormous environmental impact. By some estimates, more than 100 million trees are needed to produce them. The paper pulp processing requires some 50 billion gallons of water. And then there’s the toxic ink and nonrenewable energy that goes into printing, sorting, and distribution."

More interesting still, Zabin notes that the Direct Marketing Association's justifications and pronouncements on the green-ness of the junk mail and catalog industries "a dubious claim, in my opinion, based on what I’ve seen, and it represents a somewhat feeble attempt to respond to the consumer rallying cry around environmental responsibility in light of the fact that more than half of all direct mail is tossed into the wastepaper basket without so much as even being opened."

I guess there is reason to hope that there is a new zeitgeist in this industry.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Recycled Paper by Catalog Success Magazine

Catalog Success magazine had a recent article about easy steps for cataloguers to take to green themselves by James Maioho. A few choice quotes:

"If you’re a large cataloger, act on this changing climate now, plain and simple. Organizations like Forest Ethics will be on your tail soon enough if they’re not already."


"Regardless of your size, familiarize yourself with the FSC and find out what it means to be certified."


"Familiarize yourself with the ancillary issues such as “chain of custody,” “Boreal Forest” and other key issues."

That's good advice. But cataloguers and companies need to move beyond just seeking a green image... and just get green!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Oscar Gossip

Ecorazzi blog has a post about how the Oscars went green this year and talks about the paper they used. Kudos from me too to NRDC for their work on the event.