Environmentally Sensitive Publishing

Are you helping or hurting the environment? Environmentally friendly practices attempt to leave less of a negative impact or footprint on the environment. Being environmentally conscious helps preserve the Earth for generations to come.

People care about their environment. Consumers want to know that businesses are not plundering the environment in their pursuit of profit. Environmentally friendly practices are especially important to Christians who believe that humans have been given stewardship of the Earth.

For years, numerous environmentalists have sought to raise public awareness regarding the issue of deforestation and the impact it has on the environment. Publishers have sometimes come under fire for their use of trees in making books.

Over time, printers have become more environmentally sensitive in response. Some offer soy-based ink and printing on recycled paper. Others tout certifications showing that they are environmentally sensitive and that their paper originates from a certified-sustainable, well-managed forest. These certifications include:

As a small publisher or independently published author, you can still demonstrate to your readers that you are environmentally conscious. You can include in your book’s end pages or even on the copyright page that your book was printed by an FSC or SFI certified printer with sustainable practices.

Some print-on-demand printers don’t carry these certifications. After all, printing on environmentally-friendly paper is often a little more expensive. So how can you show readers that you care about the environment?

I recently stumbled across a great idea in a book published by a small publisher. In the end pages of the book, the publisher devoted an entire page to environmental stewardship. The page talked about how in order to be environmental stewards, the publisher had partnered with an organization “to plant a tree for every tree that paid the price for the printing of this book.”

The organization that this publisher was sending money to plant trees was Plant with Purpose. This organization will plant a tree for every dollar donated. Other organizations offer similar services including:

I think this is a great way to show your readers your conscientious Earth stewardship practices.

Related Posts:
Earth Saving Ideas for Publishers
Environmentally Conscious Publishing
Unity in Diversity

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Photo courtesy of Karlo Pušić.

2 thoughts on “Environmentally Sensitive Publishing

  1. As a retailer I have mixed feelings about this. After several decades in the business I can quickly spot bleached paper and I know that in some respects it’s not entirely necessary. But then we have other publishers — Zondervan and Thomas Nelson come to mind — which use an environmentally-friendly newsprint type of stock, and if I don’t sell the books quite quickly, the pages start to yellow and in some cases books need to be marked down prematurely. Books exposed to direct or even indirect sunlight are extremely susceptible. But even new books are in my opinion somewhat devalued in terms of content if printed on a cheaper stock. There’s got to a balance somewhere in the middle on this issue.

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  2. Thank you for your additional insights on environmentally sustainable paper choices for books. I know there are some quality environmental paper that publishers can choose, but it does tend to be more pricey. Your warning about choosing inexpensive paper is good and should be heeded.

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