Editor's note: The following is a guest post from Dane Buxbaum.

Hello. Dane Buxbaum here. I’m the production senior specialist for Heifer International. I am responsible for making sure we stay committed to our mission of caring for the Earth with each paper publication we produce.

Trees Trees are the lungs of the Earth. Photo courtesy of Heifer International.

I go to great lengths to get the best possible combination of price, recycled content and sustainability to make the most of every donor dollar while making responsible use of the Earth's resources. The papers we most often use for our brochures, magazine and other printed materials contain anywhere from 10% to 100% post-consumer waste.

Did you know there is as much or more acreage dedicated to forestry today in North America than there was a hundred years ago? Simple economics dictate that trees be farmed in a sustainable manner to ensure continued supply. Paper and lumber companies are the stewards of some of the largest forests in our country: when they harvest, they replant. And whether we are talking about 3-year-old saplings or old-growth hardwoods, all trees put oxygen back into the atmosphere and utilize carbon dioxide to “breathe.”

Today paper mills everywhere are making progress across many environmental performance metrics. Increased efficiencies and productivity at mills, along with a focus on waste reduction is leading to lower greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, improved energy efficiencies and lower raw material waste through process re-use means lower organic waste to landfill. All this is part and parcel to profitability in the manufacture of paper.

At Heifer International, we use recycled paper whenever possible. There is no single standard for recycled certification, however, we try to be compliant with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standards whenever possible.

FSC, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification are the leading independent nonprofit organizations dedicated to developing and maintaining sustainable forestry. They do this with chain-of-custody certification programs that start with the landowners and continue the chain on through the pulp producers, paper mills and printers. Their purpose is to ensure sustainability at every step so the forests will be with us for centuries to come.

Paper used for our World Ark publication averages 30% post consumer waste, and in fact is at least 85% recycled taking into account the recycling of old magazines that were not sold. This paper is also cheaper than many papers having far less recycled content, which oddly enough costs more than paper with virgin fiber content. Yes, it costs more to print green but we at Heifer International know it’s worth it.

Learn more about the responsible production and use of paper for printing.

Author

Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She has a master's in social work and a bachelor's degree in psychology. She is married, a mother of two, and a wannabe urban farmer, raising her own chickens and killing most of her vegetable crops.