Vanity Fair Green Issue

Despite a
green cultural movement—real or perceived—and a spate of so-called “green
issues,” magazines have largely failed to convert to recycled paper.

There
are
about 100 magazines currently printing on recycled paper, says Frank
Locantore,
director of the Magazine Paper Project for Co-Op America. Locantore
says cost, misconceptions about cost and general ignorance of
publishers have contributed to the lack of conversion.

Even a large number of “green issues” aren’t printed on sustainable paper (see:
Vanity Fair’s 2006 “green issue” for a case study
on just how disappointing not following through can be to the green community),
something Locantore says is the ultimate irony. And even when they do, most
magazine publishers don’t continue the practice for their non-green issues. Nonetheless,
he says, there’s a momentum building for magazines to continue to demand green
alternatives from their paper suppliers.

“When we first started looking into using recycled paper, we weren’t exactly
impressed,” says Kristine Kern, general manager of Mansueto Ventures. “You
could see the garbage—literally, you could see the garbage in the paper.”

Now, Mansueto’s magazines—Fast Company
and Inc.—are printed on 100-percent
recycled paper that is 85 percent post-consumer waste. And Kern says the
company pays less than it would to print on regular paper.

“Price and quality don’t have to be sacrificed to make the switch,” says
Locantore.

“We’re always encouraging our readers to make the most of what they already
have—to find new uses for things they might otherwise throw away,” says Dale
Dougherty, editor and publisher of Make and Craft, which will switch to 30-percent post-consumer
recycled paper last month.
“So when it comes to recycling—why not take that advice ourselves?”