Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Tell Smithsonian: Practice What You Print

Smithsonian Institution is a leader in environmental education but gets a failing grade for refusing to use any recycled paper in Smithsonian Magazine.

Forests are essential to life on our planet and are a major ally to combat the destructive impacts of climate change. However, every day, natural forests are disappearing at a rate of 20 football fields per second because of pulp and paper production. Paper production also requires an immense amount of fresh water and can pollute the air and nearby waterways.

Each ton of magazine paper made from virgin (non-recycled) fiber requires 18 trees to be cut down. This also releases sequestered carbon into our atmosphere. After it’s used once, paper is often sent to the landfill, where paper products account for 40% of all solid waste, and releases toxic methane during its decomposition. However, recovered paper can be used up to seven times, meaning that if we simply use recycled paper effectively, we can relieve a significant amount of the pressure on forests for virgin wood.

Smithsonian Magazine has the chance to be a leader in publishing by choosing recycled paper. As an institution which claims to advance sustainability, incorporating recycled paper into its magazine would be a logical step.

Join us in calling on Smithsonian to practice what it prints and move to recycled content paper!



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