Seirra Magazine Rolls out Eco Friendly Paper

Good news from our printing presses: Sierra magazine’s paper is now as eco-friendly as it gets. Starting this summer, issues will be printed on recycled, FSC-certified paper. Chuck Baldwin, the magazine’s associate director of operations, spent six years looking for the perfect pages. And while there’s rarely such a thing as perfection during a quest for sustainability, here’s why the new paper comes pretty close:

It’s recycled. Every page will contain at least 90% recycled fiber and 30% post-consumer waste. FutureMark is the only company in America that offers magazine-quality paper with up to 100% recycled content. Using EDF’s paper calculator, company officials estimate that they divert more than 200 million pounds from landfills every year, and in doing so, save more than 2 million trees.

It stays local. Our new paper also keeps Sierra’s carbon footprint low. The paper is recycled from the “urban forest” of Chicago, processed in the Alsip Mill right outside the city, and printed in Sussex, Wisconsin, less than a three-hour drive away.

It’s conservationist. The Alsip mill uses the latest clean technology, which has already lowered the plant’s VOC emissions by 90% in the last 10 years, and saves 800 million gallons of wastewater every year. During the recycling process, washed-out ink and other residues are collected and used to make landscape cover. FSC certification means that any new fiber content is produced and harvested in responsible ways.

It’s socially responsible. For a company to be FSC-certified, it doesn’t just have to respect the forests, but also the people who depend on them. FSC’s 10 basic principles include protecting indigenous peoples’ rights.

It’s affordable. Cost is often a prohibitive factor for buying good-quality recycled paper, but Baldwin predicts that Sierra will actually save money by switching, thanks to FutureMark’s efficient processes. Unlike large multinational companies, FutureMark is young and focused.

The result? Sierra will be brighter, whiter, and will just feel better. So when you sit down to read about our earth, remember where the paper came from. And when you’re done, pass it along or put it in the recycling bin.

–Christa Morris

This article was originally published by Sierra Club.

June 6, 2011