A Composite Environment Impact Index (CEII) was developed to quantify the carbon footprint of a variety of things. Recycled paper production uses 170.07 pounds. Paper pulp made from wood makes 298,562 pounds of impact. Regardless of whether a book is from recycled or virgin paper, it makes a much bigger environmental impact than an ebook.
At Understand Publishing our focus is on producing leading edge bundles and ebooks for the educational and general interest consumer. However, due to the reality that many people still prefer hard copy books, we must meet consumer demand. We do so. But while producing traditional books, we remain committed to maintaining a low impact footprint on the environment.
Economical Print Runs:
At Understand Publishing we publish both small run educational books and larger print runs for books for the general public. For smaller and specific audiences, we partner with sustainable vanity printers for printing our paperback and hard copy books. By managing the size of our print run based on books sold on a one-on-one basis, we can drastically reduce the amount of unsold books that are shipped to warehouses (thus increasing our carbon footprint), which eventually ends up as printed waste filling our landfills. In this way we can move 1 book to 1 customer at a time, with zero waste.
Paper Used in Printing Our Large Print Runs:
Paper is a major component of every book. But unfortunately, the commercial printing process for large quantities of books creates enormous amounts of carcinogens, hazardous wastes and pollution to our environment.
At Understand Publishing we use 100% post consumer waste recycled paper (100% PCW) for the cover and for the interior of our paperback and hard copy books. This means that no virgin fibers were used. Recycled paper creates a market for what would otherwise be waste. Using post-consumer recycled fiber effectively keeps paper out of the landfill. Also, less energy is used to convert old paper into new paper than it does to cut down trees and turn them into virgin pulp, which means we can publish fewer books about global warming.
Chlorine Free – Add to this that the mill uses oxygen to beach the paper, thus not using Chlorine, that is acid-free. Using chlorine-free paper helps to reduce two classes of persistent organic pollutants, dioxins and furans into the enviroment– chemical by-products of bleaching in papermaking.
Ink Used in Printing Our Books – By using soy-based inks over standard petroleum-based inks in commercial printing, we make a major impact on the health of the environment. Using petroleum-based products like ink for printing reveals our addiction to oil and fossil fuels. Soy ink contains non-toxic soybean oil, which is the same oil used in cooking. Eventually oil wells will run dry, and we will one day be forced to find sustainable alternatives for all petroleum-based products, including ink.