Earth Saving Ideas for Publishers

April is Earth Month and April 22 is Earth Day. The purpose of these campaigns is to celebrate the diversity and richness of our environment while raising awareness and respect for the many environmental challenges we face today.

As publishers, we use many of Earth’s resources to produce books. I encourage you to take some action this month to take care of our planet and conserve the rich resources Earth provides.

Here are four ideas of how you, as a publisher, can reduce your consumption of resources and care for our Earth.

1. Print your next book on SFI-certified or FSC-certified paper.

SFII stands for Sustainable Forest Initiative. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. Roughly 25% of timber cut annually in the United States is used for paper production. Both these organizations exist to ensure that paper products come from well-managed forests. A growing number of books now bear the SFI or FSC label, telling customers that the fiber in them was responsibly harvested. You can find a list of these certified types of paper and the printers who use these papers on the Sustainable Forest Initiative website and on the Forest Stewardship Council website.

2.  Use an ink-friendly font in your next book.

Did you know that some fonts use more ink than others? Using a font that consumes less ink is a good way to conserve resources. The top five ink-saving fonts are 1) Century Gothic; 2) Times New Roman; 3) Calibri; 4) Verdana; and 5) Arial. However, Century Gothic uses about 30% less ink than Arial. For those more versed in fonts, serif fonts (those with short horizontal lines at the top and bottom of characters) tend to use thinner lines and less ink than a san serif type font.

3.  Use an energy-saving search engine.

Computers use electricity to run. We all can take small steps in our everyday life to save energy. Blackle, a search engine powered by Google, was created to save energy through using a black screen. While the energy savings may be small, simply using Blackle to search the web can remind you everyday to conserve resources and not be wasteful. Blackle can be found at www.blackle.com.

4. Plant a tree.

Trees are one of nature’s greatest assets. The reasons to plant a tree are many. Trees provide clean air and shade. However, as a publisher, the primary reason to plant a tree is to give back a part of what you use so it will be there for others in the future. Publishers use paper, lots of it. If every small publisher planted a tree this month, we will be helping to ensure that both the beauty of trees and the products they produce will be available for future generations.

I would love to hear which of these already do or are planning on doing to take care of this beautiful planet that God has given us stewardship of.


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