The Convenient Truth…

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In all my years in communications and marketing I must have been responsible for the death of hundreds of trees.  Even in the age of electronic communication we are still using far too much paper and paper products.  The unfortunate thing about that is that paper comes from ground up trees. 

Yesterday, Scholastic Press announced that the new Harry Potter book would be printed on eco friendly paper, including fully recycled stock.  And from the advance orders on this book that is a heck of a lot of trees breathing a sigh of relief.

While that may be a slightly absurd image our forests do, in fact, act as the lungs of our planet, so anything we can do to preserve them is important.

Recently I attended the Environmental Printing Awards ceremony here in Toronto where photographer Edward Burtynsky pointed out that our western forests and the rainforests of South America are the lungs of this planet.  Trees thrive on CO2 and convert it to oxygen.  This is a critical part of our ecosystem – the delicate balance that keeps the air breathable.

Unfortunately, huge swatches of the South American rainforest are being cleared and burned.  Likewise our forests are being clear cut and turned into two by fours and paper. 

However, communicators can help.  The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies good forest management and chain-of-custody procedures for wood products coming out of forests.  Paper manufacturers can earn FSC certification by demonstrating that they adhere to the guidelines for good forest management (which I believe means you don’t chop down every tree in sight).

By selecting papers for printing that carry the FSC certification we can do our part to helping promote the idea of good forest management.  There are full details on the program at their SmartWood website. I am happy to see that a number of Canadian paper producers and suppliers make certified stock available.

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