Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

As global warming is upon us in the form of melting glaciers and rainy deserts, I am nevertheless deeply inspired by movements for sustainability in America, and especially in Portland. Our radio stations remind us daily to take shorter showers and use energy-saving light bulbs, and our city happily boasts the largest urban park in America--and that means lots of trees.

Publishing can be a tough industry to work in when sustainability is a main goal, though. As much as e-books are building in popularity, people still like the feel of physical books. I admit that holding a book fresh off the press sends me to a place close to nirvana--the smell of the ink, the weight of the pages, the perfect size of the volume within my hands. I simply don't get that experience from reading on my computer screen. Unfortunately, trees and other natural resources are sacrificed to provide us with these small wonders.

We at Indigo do all we can to support sustainability. We've always printed as little as possible, reused our paper, and recycled it when we were done with it. Our staff is currently made up of public transportation and bike lovers, and our gifts to each other are usually plants. We turn off the lights when we don't need them, put our computers into hibernation, and reuse our print cartridges. But there's still more we could do.

Inspired by the Green Press Initiative, we now print on recycled paper and track our paper usage so we can plant trees and replenish forests based on our paper usage throughout the year.

You can help too. Watch for publishers who participate in the Green Press Initiative (Amber Lotus, who calls Portland home, is one) and by doing so save tons of trees, water, greenhouse gases, and solid waste. Support these businesses and encourage others to join the effort.

And of course, remind yourself to follow the three Rs, to compost, and to live for reducing your carbon footprint.

Happy Earth Day from Indigo.

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