Friday, March 9, 2007

Barefeet Turn Green

I like to make sure that the books I'm reading are worth the trees they're printed on. Part of that process is picking good books. But the other part is to choose books from environmentally responsible publishers. "Green publishing" can mean lots of things, including use of recycled paper, soy-based inks, efficient printing processes, and high mileage delivery trucks. If you buy often from one publisher, it's worthwhile checking to see how green they are. And if they're not green enough for you, let them know about it.

Writers should do this too, I suspect, insisting that their books be printed as responsibly as possible. I must confess that I haven't ever spoken up on this issue to my publishers. I guess I've been leaving it to J.K. Rowling and others with mega sales to speak up, while I'm just grateful to get a book out occasionally. Maybe some writers can suggest ways for me & other mid-list authors to approach a publisher about going green--or at least greener.

To see how a publisher might spell out their environmental efforts, visit Barefoot Books. Barefoot, primarily a children's book publisher, goes so far as to curtail business airplane travel for employees, to use local organic food for office refreshments, and to minimize paper communication within the office. I'd love to know how other publishers approach this important issue. Any nominations for deep green publishers? Any tips on how to convince more to turn green?

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