Thanks in part to a recent switch to 90 percent recycled paper, Dirt Rag Magazine was awarded first place in a contest of magazine publishers for using environmentally responsible paper and production practices.
The 2012 Aveda Environmental Award, presented by Green America’s Better Paper Project, recognizes environmental leadership and achievement. Pittsburgh-based Dirt Rag was chosen because of its switch to new paper and printer — funded through a partnership with Clif Bar — as well as its innovative ways to encourage the staff to bike to work and its commitment to cycling advocacy. Dirt Rag has been leading the way in independent coverage of mountain biking since 1989.
“Because our staff and readers are avid mountain bikers and spend a lot of time outdoors, we treasure the environment and do what we can to minimize our footprint. As a natural extension of this, we are proud to use the new paper,” said Dirt Rag’s publisher, Maurice Tierney. “It’s as simple as walking the walk.”
Greenability, Kansas City’s green living magazine, was the runner up; and GRIT, a rural lifestyle magazine, was the third finalist.
How much of a difference would it make if more publications followed Dirt Rag’s lead? 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 73,000 homes;
- 1.8 billion pounds of CO2 emissions, or the equivalent of taking 160,000 cars off the road;
- 7 billion gallons of wastewater, or the equivalent of 5,000 swimming pools;
- And 780 million pounds of solid waste, or the equivalent to 28,000 garbage trucks.
Dirt Rag’s new paper, produced by FutureMark Paper Company of Illinois, is guaranteed greater than 90 percent recycled with 30 percent post-consumer waste, and is Forest Stewardship Council Certified and Process Chlorine-Free. To go with the new paper, Dirt Rag has also transitioned to a new printer, Schumann, a family-owned company from Wisconsin that specializes in one or two-publication companies. The new paper and printer made their debut in Issue #158 of Dirt Rag and Issue #14 of its sister magazine, Bicycle Times. Bicycle Times covers transportation and recreational cycling and is published six times a year.
These big changes would not have been possible without the help of Clif Bar. Through its generosity, it provided the financial means to make the switch possible.
For a more comprehensive list of magazines using recycled paper and sustainable production processes visit Green America’s Better Paper Project website: http://betterpaper.ning.com/page/better-papers-better-magazine
About Aveda: Empowered by its mission, Aveda believes that authentic beauty is one that works in harmony with the greater web of life and leads its business through environmental sustainability. For this reason, Aveda partnered with Green America in 2005 to found the Aveda Environmental Awards for Magazines. Akin to Aveda’s corporate leadership in environmental and social sustainability, this award recognizes the achievements of magazines committed to environmental leadership in an industry where less than two percent of all magazines contain any recycled content. For more information on Aveda’s mission and guiding principles visit http://aveda.aveda.com/aboutaveda/guiding_principles.asp.
About Green America and the Better Paper Project: Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today’s social and environmental problems. Green America’s green economy programs encourage corporate responsibility, tackle climate change, build fair trading systems, advance healthy, local communities, and provide green purchasing and investing information for families and businesses. Green America’s Better Paper Project is creating a greener magazine industry in the US and has assisted over 150 publishers in selecting environmentally responsible papers for their magazines. For more information, visit http://www.greenamerica.org and http://www.betterpaper.org.