IP Wants You to Go Paper. Grow Trees.™

Kudos to International  Paper!

Their sponsorship of a new awareness campaign aptly titled ‘Go Paper. Grow Trees. delivers the facts – and nothing but the facts! – about how using paper actually does benefit the health and growth of trees and forests worldwide.

And since we depend on forests for many reasons (social, ecological and economical), it is important we all do our part to spread this message to everyone within earshot (or eyeshot).

The main purpose of this campaign is to educate the public as to the challenges that private landowners face in cultivating forests. And since a vast majority of the 750 million acres of U.S. forests are privately owned1, it is up to these private (usually family) owners what will happen to our forests.

“It’s important to understand that tree farmers and other private landowners plant about 4 million trees every day… about three to four times more than they harvest. By planting trees and managing forests responsibly, landowners are given the financial incentive they need…”
– Teri Shanahan, VP of Commercial Printing, International Paper “

When we DON’T use paper, the income that tree farmers would normally receive is drastically reduced, which then leads to their inability to keep these forests going. To ensure their business’s survival, many tree farmers have begun to convert their forestlands to more profitable sources of income, such as agricultural crops or selling the land for development.

Either way, it results in a loss of forestlands, reducing our ability (yes, it affects all of us) to receive many of the health benefits we currently take for granted – things many of us don’t even think twice about like clean water, fresh air, etc.

Needless to say, it is important that we, as consumers, spread the word (and repeat the mantra) to Go Paper, Grow Trees. Because printing is good and paper products are a “sustainable, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable resource2.”

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1Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2010

2http://whattheythink.com/news/48005-international-paper-site-shows-paper-demand-contributing-forest-growth/

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How To Go Green: Office Edition

There are tons of ways to green your office at no cost to you. And let’s face it, with the holidays looming, who isn’t looking to save money right now? We’ve compiled a list of 5 tips below. Following even just a few can make a difference – not just for the environment but for your wallet as well!

1. Print Responsibly.
Start by evaluating everything you print on a daily basis. Are you only printing what you need? Are you using recycled paper? It’s amazing how much useless information we all print, but the first step is to take it all into account and remember to print only what we need and use recycled substrates whenever possible.

2. Go Vinyl Free.
Take a look around your office right now and gather everything that contains some sort of vinyl (binders, folders, reports, etc.). Not only is vinyl almost impossible to recycle, it can also be harmful to your health. Did you know there’s a better option? Reduce your dependence on vinyl and Go Low-Carb today.  

3. Bring reusable utensils and packaging.
No need to use disposable cutlery when you can easily bring your own silverware for lunch. It’s much better for the environment and more cost-effective than using disposable. The same goes for the way you package your lunch. Choose reusable lunch bags over paper and aluminum water bottles over plastic and feel good about reducing your carbon footprint.

4. Install energy efficient lightbulbs.
This is probably one of the easier tips to pull off, if you haven’t already. It’s a win for everyone, your boss will save money on the electric bill and you can feel better about reducing your energy consumption.

5. Turn off all computers and lights.
At the end of the day (or anytime you know you will be out of your office for an extended period of time), make sure to turn off your computer and lights. Every little bit helps and you wouldn’t believe how much energy and carbon emissions you can save by remembering to do this daily.

Is there anything we missed? Share with us below how you gave your office (or home, bedroom, etc.) the green treatment!

Visit TreeHugger.com for a plethora of resources on going green.

Don’t Forget to Fallback

This weekend marks the first Sunday in November, which means… Daylight Saving Time!

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back this Sunday, November 7, 2010. If you’re really dedicated, you can do it exactly at 2:00 AM which is when Daylight Saving Time commences. 

How could you forget though? Daylight Saving Time marks the time of year where the sunrises are earlier and more importantly, those of us with early alarm times get to gain an hour of sleep! (Of course, it also means that we get less light in the evenings, but we’re trying to stay positive here!)

Here’s to wishing everyone a great (and relaxing) weekend!

Follow Green Books N Binders on Twitter.

Making the Case for Printed Books

About a week ago we received our Graphic Arts Association e-Update and a specific article caught our eye. It alerted recipients to an article printed in the Washington Post entitled “iPads and Kindles are Better For The Environment Than Books”. Written by Brain Palmer, the article glorifies e-books, essentially saying that in comparison to print, e-readers are the “greener” option. Naturally this struck a chord with the Printing Industry of America’s CEO Mike Makin and he wrote a response letter making the case for print. We’ve posted the letter in its entirety below. Please, read and more importantly, share this article with as many people as possible to further solidify the notion that Print is GOOD!

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From the Office of the President and CEO

October 8, 2010
Mr. Fred Hiatt
Editorial Page Editor
The Washington Post
1150 15th St. NW Washington, DC 20071

Dear Mr. Hiatt:

This letter is in response to the 8/24/10 article “iPads and Kindles are better for the environment than books” by Mr. Brain Palmer which appeared in The Green Lantern column of The Washington Post. Unfortunately, the article did not present a full and complete representation of the comparison between printed books and e-readers and their impact on the environment. Therefore, Printing Industries of America would like to provide information on several areas of environmental impact of e-readers and books that were not included in the article and if considered, would not support Mr. Palmer’s conclusion.

The conclusions drawn by Mr. Palmer in regards to the environmental impact of e-readers and printed books are based on a limited number of attributes and fail to consider the complete life cycle of the two products. The only way to accurately compare the environmental impact of a product is to evaluate its entire lifecycle which includes raw material procurement, transportation, production process, product use, and final disposition. This article explores only some of the production aspects of each product and falls short of what would be considered an objective review of the facts.

Most concerning is the absence of a discussion about several critical aspects, specifically the issue of raw material sourcing, product use, and end of life implications. In addition, the assumptions made about ink production are not accurate. Regarding raw material sourcing, books are made primarily from paper, a completely renewable resource. North American forests are well managed and continue to increase in both land area and volume of timber grown.i E-readers, on the other hand, are made primarily from plastics derived from fossil fuels, and metals and minerals mined from the earth, which are not renewable.

The article compares the carbon footprint of producing e-readers and books, but misses one of the most critical components of any carbon footprint, the source of carbon emissions from the energy required to manufacture and use the product. A significant portion of the energy required to manufacture paper is renewable. In 2008, members of the American Forest and Paper Association derived 65% of the energy used at pulp and paper mills from renewable sources.(ii)  E-readers are manufactured primarily in Asia, where the most prevalent source of electricity is coal, a nonrenewable resource.

Paper based books require no energy to use. E-readers use batteries that must be charged with electricity on a frequent basis and the infrastructure that allows for the origination, storage, and dissemination of electronic data represented 1.5 percent of all electricity consumed in the United States in 2000.(iii) In 2009, nearly 70 percent of electricity in the United States, used both to charge e-readers and power electronic data centers, was generated from fossil fuels, which are not renewable.(iv)

The article also claims that ink production for books has a worse effect on the environment than production of e-readers. The author provides no references or meaningful support for this statement. Several lifecycle assessment studies of printed products indicate that paper represents the majority of the overall environmental impact of printed matter. Ink represents less than five percent of the overall impact of a printed product.v An article which compares the impact of e-readers and books found that the health effects of producing an e-reader (mainly due to air pollution) is 70 times that of producing a book.(vi)

Lastly, the article does not consider the end of life implications for each product. Books and e-readers have very different environmental impacts when it comes to end of life. First, paper based books can be easily recycled. As of 2008, American’s recycled 55.5 percent of all waste paper generated.vii The American Forest and Paper Association recently reported that in 2009, 63.4 percent of all waste paper available was collected for recycling.(viii)

Of the 2.76 million tons of electronic waste collected in 2008, only 13.6 percent was recovered for recycling.7 The remaining 2.38 million tons were discarded primarily in landfills, where improper management leads to releases of the heavy metals and other toxic chemicals contained in electronics, or shipped overseas. According to the Basal Action Network, 50-80 percent of electronics that are collected for “recycling” in America, are shipped overseas where they are often unsafely dismantled which includes the practice of burning the electronic devices to recover the exposed metals.ix Such practices often involve children who are exposed to the extremely toxic smoke and fumes and the residues also contaminate the air, soil, and groundwater.

Printing Industries of America continues to work with its members and the industry as a whole to foster an understanding of the environmental and economic benefits that can be achieved through the use of sustainable printing practices. Printing Industries of America is proud to be a founding organization of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (UUwww.sgppartnership.org), a program designed to recognize printers that are superior environmental performers. Printing Industries of America encourages The Washington Post to continue its focus and recognition of sustainable practices while providing objective and comprehensive reviews.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact me at 412-259-1777 or mmakin@printing.org.

Michael Makin
President and CEO Printing Industries of America 

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i Smith, W. Brad, Miles, Patrick D. Perry, Charles H. Pugh, Scott A. Forest Resources of the United States, 2007. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-78. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington Office, 2009.
ii AF&PA, Sustainability Report, 2010. http://www.paperspecspro.com/paperspecs/papertalks/images_081810/Sustainability.pdf
iii U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fact Sheet on National Data Center Energy Efficiency Information Program, March 19, 2008.
iv U.S. Energy Information Administration, Net Generation by Energy Source: Total (All Sectors), September 10, 2010. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table1_1.html
v Nichols-Dobson, Phillipa. LCA applied to the Printing Industry. Pira International, September 8, 1997
vi Goleman, Daniel and Gregory Norris. How Green is My iPad? The New York Times, April 4, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/04/04/opinion/04opchart.html
vii U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States Detailed Tables and Figures for 2008. November, 2009. http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw2008data.pdf
viii AF&PA News Release. AF&PA announces increase in paper recovery, meets goal ahead of schedule. March 22, 2010. http://paperrecycles.org/news/press_releases/2009_recovery_stats_released.html
ixPuckett, Jim, et al. Exporting Harm. February 25, 2002. http://www.ban.org/E-Waste/technotrashfinalcomp.pdf.

What to do at GreenFest D.C.

As the Green Festival in D.C. approaches (it takes place this weekend, October 23-24!) we are growing more excited to be exhibiting at such a meaningful event. For those of you who are in the same boat as us (and unsure what to expect) we’ve compiled a list below of must-see and must-do items while you’re at the show – courtesy of greenfestivals.org.

• Real organic garden, the Local Food Project and growing your own food.

• Paper and print making.

• Recycling games and fun for the kids.

• Greening tips and practices for your home and office.

• The chance to speak with experienced green business owners and managers to help you create or improve your own sustainable green business.

• -The Ambassadors of Bolivia and Venezuela speaking about how the international community is handling global warming issues.

• Sipping on a glass of organic wine or beer during happy hour in the Organic Beer and Wine Garden! Pair your beverage with the sweet sounds of musical performances from local artists next door on the Music and Spoken Word Stage

• Learning Hoop-dance, Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi.

• Finding your inner fashionista at the Eco-Fashion shows for kids, adults, and green weddings.

• Shopping for home supplies, organic, sweat-shop free clothing, building supplies and home services, jewelry, art, and more in the green marketplace.

… and that’s just a small snippet! Visit http://www.greenfestivals.org for the full rundown.

Don’t forget to come see us at Booth 429 while you’re there and learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint with no added cost!

Green Books N Binders exhibiting at Green Festival 2010

Green Books N Binders will be exhibiting (Booth 429) at this year’s Green Festival taking place in Washington, D.C., October 23-24. 

Visit our listing on GreenFestivals.org

Green Festival is the nation’s largest sustainability event. With hundreds of exhibitors and attendees, it is a great way to get inspired while, at the same time, mingle with like-minded people. With expert speakers, green shopping, workshops and even organic wine and beer, this fun-filled event is definitely worth attending.

Want to go? Get more information on attending by visiting the Green Festival website.

While there, be sure to stop by Booth 429 to learn about our take on sustainability and participate in our Recycling Challenge for a chance to win some great giveaways!

See you there!

Broadcast your Green

Green Books N Binders is now on YouTube!

Enabling yet another way to connect with us (because we know that’s just what you needed), our new YouTube Channel is designed to keep everyone informed about our eco-friendly products (including our recycled binders) as well as events we attend. We will be updating the content regularly so be sure to bookmark it and revisit often!

View our channel by visiting this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/GreenBooksNBinders

Or you can find us by searching our email: marketing@greenbooksnbinders.com

On the GreenBooksNBinders channel, you will be able to “Like” videos, share them with your network, receive updates via bulletins and leave comments, either on specific videos or our channel as a whole. As you can see, the possibilities are endless!

We are looking forward to expanding our YouTube network and we need your help!

Subscribe to our channel and/or add us as a friend and we’ll show you how we “Broadcast our Green.”