Is your reading rainforest-safe?

by singlemomseeking on December 2, 2010

I was at a friend’s birthday party on this week — a former single mom who had a big part in my book — when I overheard this guy talking about publishing. Of course, my ears perked up.

I thought he was about to pitch his soon-to-be-published novel to our dinner audience. But no.

He was talking about the fact that “publishers of popular kids’ books including Where the Wild Things Are and Baby Einstein are using paper linked to Indonesian rainforest destruction–”

Lafcadio — who I later learned is the Forest Campaign Director at the San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network — went on to say that Indonesia’s rainforests (home to unique species like the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger) are under severe threat from paper companies. Rainforests supply cheap pulp to their paper mills in China and Indonesia, and this paper is then used by Asian printers to manufacture kids’ and other books for U.S. and international markets.

Yikes. One of my favorite holiday gifts to give to friends is family is… books. It’s time for me to start shopping with my eyes wide open. (Book publishing and forest destruction is something I’ve wondered about before, so I was relieved when I did some research and found out that Malloy — the company that printed my book —  is doing its job to protect the environment.)

Out of curiosity, I’d love to do random survey of you, my readers.

Find a book that you’re reading right now — either a children’s book or a book on your bedside table.

First, who’s the book publisher?

Next, based on the Rainforest Action Network’s plan to phase out Indonesian paper fiber and paper suppliers, where does this publisher fit?

The recommended companies — that print on rainforest-protected paper — include:

  • Candlewick Press
  • Hachette Book Group
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • MacMillan
  • Penguin Group (Pearson)
  • Scholastic
  • Simon & Schuster

These two companies have failed to make public commitments — or adopt purchasing policies that improve their environmental footprints and ensure the papers they buy are not linked to Indonesian rainforest destruction:

  • Disney Publishing Worldwide
  • HarperCollins

Thanks! Here are more ways to make your holiday shopping rainforest-safe.

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