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
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Photo courtesy of Karlo Pušić.

Environmentally Conscious Publishing

Most of us are concerned about the environment. We want the Earth to be here for future generations, and more importantly, we want it to sustain life for years to come.

To that end, sometimes the publishing industry has come under fire for not being environmentally friendly since it takes trees to make paper, and books are printed on paper (interestingly, you don’t hear much about how many trees it takes to make nice plush toilet paper).

In recent years, many publishers have become more “green” conscious, using recycled paper and using print-on-demand so that large amounts of unsold books don’t end up in landfills.

The Green Press Initiative (GPI) has now come out with an Environmentally Responsible Publisher Certification (ERPC). Publishers who adhere to certain standards can use the ERPC logo to show consumers that they are conscientious stewards of the environment.

I have not run the numbers, but one small publisher I know reports that when they calculated the emissions for producing recycled paper and the extra shipping of that paper to the print facility, they found that the environmental benefit was negligible.

This publisher decided to be environmentally conscious in a slightly different way. They partner with an organization called Plant with Purpose to plant a tree for every tree that goes into the printing of their books.

I do believe that being environmentally conscious is important, however, I also believe that those consumers who are the most concerned about the environment will purchase the digital version of your books instead of the print ones.

So, whether you seek to implement the Environmentally Responsible Publisher Certification or you partner with an organization called Plant with Purpose, or you do neither, you can always let your customers know that if they are concerned about the environment and saving trees, they can purchase the digital version of your books.


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