Thursday, May 31, 2007

Priority Mail Delivery for Recycled Packaging

Lately, the United States Postal Service has been in the environmental hot seat. It has been facing a growing chorus of voices seeking a more effective, enforceable way to opt out of unwanted direct mail, a.k.a., junk mail.

But this week they made a notable step in the right direction environmentally. According to Postmaster General John Potter, the US Postal Service will begin using packaging made with recycled materials and take other steps to reduce its impact on the environment.

From Reuters: "Each year, the Postal Service hands out 500 million envelopes and boxes for its Priority and Express mail, its fastest delivery options.

By making those packages with recycled materials and using less ink and more biodegradable adhesives, the service hopes to keep more than 15,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, which contribute to climate change, out of the air."

Using their purchasing power to drive environmental innovation in paper products, they join a rapidly growing list of large institutions doing the same. The Post Office says it worked with over 200 suppliers on making the environmental and design improvements.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Knowing the Score of Your Paper

This week, in Vienna, Austria, WWF launched a new tool to help paper producers score the environmental quality of their products.

Suitable for all paper grades — from high-quality business paper to packaging paper — the WWF Paper Scorecard is a simple all-in-one tool that covers the main environmental impacts of paper production, including forest management and efficient use of fibres, CO2 emissions from use of fossil fuels that contribute to climate change, and pollution from chlorinated compounds and waste.

According to WWF, the scorecard, unveiled at the international paper industry event Prima 2007, enables responsible paper producers to show how they can minimize negative environmental impacts of the paper products they sell, while at the same time helping paper buyers to select the most environmentally-friendly papers. For paper producers and users willing to improve, the scorecard can be used to further measure environmental performance over time.

“The new scorecard is a self-evaluation tool for the industry and also a test of their transparency," says Margareta Renstrom of WWF.

What are your thoughts on this new tool? Share your comments.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

First 100% Recycled Coated Sheets Hit the Market

New Leaf Paper is launching Sakura 100, a new product representing a significant advance in the category of recycled coated sheets. New Leaf Sakura 100 is designated Ancient Forest Friendly™ and manufactured with Green-e® certified renewable wind energy. It is the first coated paper manufactured from 100% post-consumer waste (PCW).

Environmental attributes of New Leaf Sakura 100 reflect New Leaf Paper’s holistic approach to sustainability:
· 100% post-consumer waste, which preserves forests and reduces landfill and greenhouse gas emissions
· Processed chlorine free, which helps keep rivers free of poisonous bleaching products
· Designated Ancient Forest Friendly™, which reflects the highest environmental standard in North America
· Manufactured with 100% Green-e® certified renewable wind energy, which helps reduce the nation’s output of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming

New Leaf Paper is the largest paper company in the U.S. that deals exclusively in environmentally superior papers. Since 1998, the San Francisco-based company has led the paper industry in developing and distributing environmentally responsible papers that compete aesthetically and economically with leading virgin-fiber products. New Leaf Paper offers a selection of more than 30 coated, uncoated, and board grade papers, many with 100% post-consumer waste recycled content; its inventory products are all manufactured with Green-e® certified renewable wind power and biogas energy.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Frank Locantore - Mover and Shaker

Co-Op America's Wood-Wise Program Director has won a prestigious award, and one that is well deserved. Folio magazine has named him "one of the top magazine 'Industry Influencers'". Frank has been trying to move the magazine industry to use more reyccled paper and get on the green bandwagon, not a small task. Congratulations Frank!

Here's the news. And while you're there check out resources for getting your magazine onboard.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Google Earth Video Shows Threat to Caribou

Our paper choices really do have an impact all the way back in the forest, and sometimes they can come into conflict with the survival of amazing, important wildlife.

A 3 minute video (below) released last week by ForestEthics entitled, "Cutting Down Caribou," provides a startling perspective on clearcutting's impact on habitat in the Rocky Mountain Foothills of Alberta, Canada. Thanks to striking, creative use of Google Earth technology, ForestEthics gives us a reason to be concerned and to act accordingly as responsible consumers.