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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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dean Kaplan January 19, 2011 at 11:42 am

Interesting topic. When I saw the headline for this post, I thought you were going to suggest using ebooks and ebook readers. I’ve spoken with several other book lovers, and they, like myself, feel that you just can’t get the same feel with an ebook that you do with a tangible book. I like to be able to look at my book and see the progress I’m making when I observe my book mark getting closer and closer to the middle, and finally, the end of the book.

Sorry for rambling off topic 🙂
.-= Dean Kaplan´s last blog ..Hate Your Ex =-.


traci December 6, 2010 at 10:34 am

Wow this is great info – now if I could just find a list of eco-friendly books on amazon to make it easy too! : )


America December 3, 2010 at 11:03 am

I just wanted to share a beautiful set of books that I was happy to see made the list. I bought two of the Candlewick Illustrated Classics (Gulliver and the non-disney Pinochio) and asked the family to buy more for Christmas. I thought they were some of the more beautifully illustrated books I had seen. I had been looking for adventure books to read aloud with enough pictures to hold the attention of a squirmy little boy and these fit the bill – with a unique artistic bent. Some of them might suit your taste more than others, as each is done by a different illustrator, so you might want to take a look at them in person. I try to go to the library for more disposable reading, but I had wanted to invest in some of the classics to keep until perhaps my son is ready to read himself later. And now I am happy to see that they are on the rainforest approved list. Just though I would share in case anyone else is looking for such a thing for themselves or a slightly different kids’ book gift.


T December 2, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Wow! I had no idea!

I love hearing how these big companies are trying to make a global difference. Thank you for making us aware of this!

Love you! (And miss you soooo much!)


Hilary Jacobs Trout December 2, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Wow this is incredibly useful information. Now how I am going to incorporate this into my baby shower in two weeks where I asked for books instead of registry gifts. I even asked for them to be used if possible and unwrapped in honor of my eco ways. Hmmmmmm…….. Thanks for the info!!!


Daniel December 2, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I like the article, the fact that most book aren’t printed on rainforest protected paper is definitely on of my main considerations for buying a kindle for Christmas.


buterflymom December 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm

That is so interesting. Is there a specific website to find this out?? I’m reading a book that was published a while ago by Bantam Dell of Random House, NY. From 1991.

I have not given this much thought before, thanks.


singlemomseeking December 2, 2010 at 3:50 pm

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