As National Geographic Goes, So Goes the Industry (With Your Help)

Image from Wikimedia

Today, the Green America Better Paper Project and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are excited to announce that National Geographic is using recycled fiber in the pages of several of their publications – including their flagship publication that reaches over 4 million readers!

National Geographic’s move was the result of several years of assistance from the Better Paper Project and allies. Last year, with the support of the Better Paper Project and NRDC, National Geographic published a study finding that in 14 out of 14 environmental categories, recycled fiber is superior to virgin fiber in magazines.  One year later, National Geographic now has plans in place to increase the amount of recycled fiber in their magazines. Their recycled paper use expansion means that more than 1,000 new tons of recycled paper will be used each year.

As a magazine reader, your opinion makes a difference to the publisher. Consumer concern played a big role in encouraging National Geographic to move to recycled fiber, and now it is very important to use your voice with other publishers – most of whom still use paper only of virgin fiber.

We’re asking all Green Americans to let the publishers of your favorite magazines know that you want them to use paper with recycled fiber. (Not sure if your magazine is using recycled paper? Check here to see a list of the leaders in the industry.)

You can send your message to them in any (or all) of the following ways:

  1. Write a letter to the editor – you can usually find an email or mailing address for the editor in the magazine or on their website.  We’ve included the emails of a few popular publications below.
  2. Post to the magazine’s Facebook page.
  3. Send a “Tweet” to the editor using their Twitter address.

Walbran GLW Clearcut-7

Follow the steps below to take action.


1. Letter to the Editor

Send To: Your favorite magazines

Subject: Are you using recycled paper?

Dear Editor,

I’ve recently learned that National Geographic Society (NGS) is beginning to use recycled paper in all the pages of their photography-centric flagship, National Geographic Magazine. I’d like to ask you if you are using recycled paper in your magazine, and if not, I strongly urge you to begin doing so.

Using recycled paper is critical to protecting the forests and biodiversity impacted when trees are logged for paper production and use. A life-cycle assessment (LCA) commissioned by NGS demonstrates that in all fourteen categories studied—including energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, etc. – recycled paper has a lower impact on the environment than traditional virgin tree fiber paper.

NGS worked closely with the Green America Better Paper Project to thoroughly study this issue. I encourage you to reach out to the Better Paper Project ( for assistance and begin using recycled paper as soon as possible.

Thanks for your attention to this important issue.



PS – You can contact the Better Paper Project Director, Frank Locantore by email and phone:, 202-872-5308


2. Post to Facebook

Here are some sample posts you can use to comment on a magazine’s Facebook page:

  • Great publication. Do you print on recycled paper? I’d love to know that you are helping protect our forests and climate. Go to to find out how.
  • Love this article. I want to love it more – can you tell me if it is printed on recycled paper? Go to to find out the benefits of recycled fiber.

Please contact Frank Locantore at the Better Paper Project ( if you get a response from a publisher.


3. Send a Tweet

We understand if you are resisting the plethora of social media. But, in the magazine world, Twitter has become a really useful tool for the editors and writers to communicate with their audience. If you use Twitter, please consider sending some “Tweets.” Here are a few examples:

  • You can help protect #forests, #climate, & #communities by using #recycled paper in [insert magazine Twitter name] #magazine.
  • #whatsinyourpaper [insert magazine Twitter name]? Please contact @BetterPaperProj if you need help switching to #recycled #paper
  • I love your [insert magazine Twitter name] magazine, but hate hurting the planet. Do you use #recycled paper? Ask @BetterPaperProj for help.

Thanks for all you do to make this a greener world!


Contact Information for Several Popular US Magazines

(If your favorite mags are not listed below, you can find contact information for the editor on most publisher websites and Facebook pages through Google).

Every Day with Rachael Ray
Editor in Chief: Lauren Purcell

Good Housekeeping
Editor in Chief: Jane Francisco.

The New Yorker 
Editor: David Remnic His email-

O, the Oprah Magazine
Editor in Chief: Lucy Kaylin

Editor in Chief: Dana Points

Real Simple
Editor: Kristin van Ogtrop

Editor in Chief: Peggy Northrop

Editor in Chief: Scott Dadich



An Ahh-Haa Moment: Our April Green Biz Interview with Clean Conscience

For Corie and Jerry Thornton, being green is a holistic pursuit. With their reusable bags designed to help you avoid disposables when you go shopping, they’ve also created a business that uses recycled materials for its made-in-the-USA manufacturing.

“We are very confident that green is here to stay,” says Corie. “Americans can do a lot domestically to help us move towards a sustainable society and economy. Our philosophy is that we should do our part in keeping the US green first. If we are strong at home, we will have the strength, resources and capability to help others either by setting an example or sharing in the fruit of our efforts.”

Continue reading “An Ahh-Haa Moment: Our April Green Biz Interview with Clean Conscience”

Sustainability at Starbucks

This shareholder season, Green America is partnering with Moxy Vote to add consumer voices to those concerned shareholder who are pushing for changes at some of the biggest corporations.

We’re sponsoring Moxy Vote’s letter to Starbucks’s board of directors, requesting the formation of a new board committee on sustainability  to help guide the company towards more environmentally conscious business decisions.

As a company that uses over four billion cups for coffee beverages each year, we think it is very important for Starbucks to consider the environmental implications of beverage container waste at to move to implement recycling policies.

Sign on to the Moxy Vote letter »

Review a Green Business for Your Chance to Win $100 in Recycled-Plastic Kitchen Products

When you register and write a review for any green business listed in the National Green Pages® between now and February 29, you’ll be entered for a chance to win $100 worth of kitchen products and tableware made of 100% recycled plastic from Preserve®, member of Green America‘s Green Business Network™.

This prize consists of the Kitchen Starter Set in apple-green (three mixing bowls, small cutting board, small colander, and measuring cups) and two sets of the Everyday Tableware Packs in midnight-blue (four 9.5″ plates, four 16 oz. bowls, four 16 oz. cups) with Cutlery in pepper-red (set of eight).  


  • Made of 100% recycled plastic (including take-out containers)
  • BPA- and melamine-free
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made in the USA
  • Designed to last. Reuse forever (or return it to Preserve and they will)

How to Enter

  1. Create your profile on the National Green Pages
  2. Find one of your favorite businsses in the National Green Pages, either by searching on name or browsing by category.  (You might need to clear the “Where” box as it will default to your geographical location.)
  3. Submit a review/rating for the business

Review several businesses to boost your chances.  Each rating counts as one entry.  

Contest continues until noon on February 29, 2012.  We will contact the winner via e-mail by March 2, 2012.  Read the official contest rules.

Dirt Rag, Greenability, and Grit Win Environmental Award for Magazines

Green America and Aveda are honored to present the top leaders in sustainable magazine publishing by announcing this year’s winners of the 2012 Aveda Environmental Award for Magazines.

Dirt Rag, a leading mountain bike magazine, was the Aveda Environmental Award Winner; Greenability, Kansas City’s green living magazine, was the Runner Up; and GRIT, America’s rural lifestyle magazine, was the Finalist. All three magazines demonstrate industry leadership on environmental publishing practices.

How much is at stake if magazines get greener? If the entire North American magazine industry included a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer recycled paper in their publications, it would save approximately:

– 1.5 million tons of wood, or the equivalent of 10 million trees;

– 6.6 million BTU’s of energy, or the equivalent of heating 73 thousand homes;

– 1.8 billion pounds of CO2 emissions, or the equivalent of taking 160 thousand cars off the road;

– 7 billion gallons of wastewater, or the equivalent of 5 thousand swimming pools;

– And 780 million pounds of solid waste, or the equivalent to 28 thousand garbage trucks.

For a more comprehensive list of magazines using recycled paper and sustainable production processes visit Green America’s Better Paper Project website: .

20 Plastic Things You Didn’t Know You Can Recycle

1) Bottle and jar caps: Weisenbach Recycled Products accepts clean plastic bottlecaps, plastic jar caps, flip-top caps from personal care products, and flexible snap-on lids (e.g. butter tub lids) to turn into funnels and other items.

2) Brita pitcher filters: Preserve’s Gimme 5 program accepts Brita-brand pitcher filters for recycling. See #11 below.

3) Compostable bioplastics: Find a municipal composter at

4) Computers and other electronics: Find the most responsible recyclers near you at Your local Best Buy store will also accept many types of electronics, large and small—from televisions and gaming systems to fans and alarm clocks. Best Buy partners with responsible recyclers that do not ship items overseas, including Green Business Network™ member Electronic Recyclers International. You can bring three small items per day to Best Buy for free. The company charges a fee to recycle large electronics.

Continue reading “20 Plastic Things You Didn’t Know You Can Recycle”

Plastic (free) Monday: Getting BPA Out Of My Kitchen

Most of us are all too familiar with the dangers of bisphenol-A (BPA), which has been used commonly as an additive in plastic products. BPA, which is an endocrine disruptor linked to an assortment of frightening health effects, including heart disease, reproductive problems, and cancer, started making headlines a few years ago when study after study indicated that BPA can leach from food packaging (including baby bottles) and that it was found lurking in the bloodstreams of a shocking 93% of the adult population in America.

That last statistic really makes me stop and wring my hands — more than likely, I have some estrogen-mimicking BPA moving through my body right now. But worse, it’s not just in my body, but in the tiny, vulnerable bodies of my two young children.

Like many Green America members, I worked to purge our lives of BPA a few years ago, ditching any water bottle or sippy cup that didn’t bear a “BPAfree label. And avoiding BPA has gotten easier many large brands have done away with their use of BPA, and 11 states now have laws on the books prohibiting the use of BPA in products designed for children.

But while researching the current state of BPA for the “Plastics Challenge” Green American, I was reminded of one of the other ways BPA is making its way into my kitchen — in canned goods.

Continue reading “Plastic (free) Monday: Getting BPA Out Of My Kitchen”