Canadian Firm Prints Potter on Green Pages

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 19, 2003 (ENS) - Fans of the Harry Potter books probably do not associate the little wizard with rainforests or recycling, but that will change for at least 935,000 readers of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." The Canadian edition of the eagerly anticipated book - all 935,000 copies - has been printed by Canadian publisher Raincoast Books on 100 percent recycled, endangered forest free paper, a move that many believe represents a landmark event for environmentally friendly publishing.

"By printing the latest Harry Potter book on 100 percent recycled paper, Raincoast has set the stage for a complete transformation of the publishing industry," said Lafcadio Cortesi, director of the Boreal Campaign at ForestEthics. "Readers everywhere appreciate that the magic is not just what is written on the pages, it is the very pages themselves."

And the author of the largest selling fiction book in history has penned her own heartfelt endorsement of Raincoast's decision to publish Potter's latest adventure on ancient forest friendly paper.

"The forest at Hogwarts is home to magical creatures like unicorns and centaurs," Rowling writes in an endorsement that appears prominently in the Canadian edition.

"Because the Canadian editions are printed on Ancient-Forest Friendly paper, the Harry Potter books are helping to save magnificent forests in the muggle world, forests that are home of magical animals such as Orangutans, Wolves and Bears," Rowling wrote. "It is a good idea to respect ancient trees, especially if they have a temper like the Whomping Willow." potter

According to environmentalists, there is something magical about the very pages the Canadian edition of the latest Harry Potter book is printed on. (Photo courtesy Market Initiatives)
According to research done by Markets Initiative - a coalition project of three environmental organizations, Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Greenpeace Canada and the British Columbia Chapter of Sierra Club of Canada - the 935,000 books printed by Raincoast Books will save almost 30,000 trees in forests such as the Boreal forest of Canada, as well as in Canada's rainforests and throughout the Rockies region.

In addition, it will conserve 20,248 BTUs of electricity - 195 years of electricity to power the average American home - and 2,679,548 pounds of greenhouse gases, which equals 2.4 million miles traveled by car with average fuel efficiency.

The paper used in the books printed by Raincoast was produced by San Francisco-based New Leaf Paper.

The greening of Potter is part of a broader effort by publishers and writers in Canada and the U.S., led by Markets Initiative, to increase the use of environmentally friendly papers in their books.

Thus far, 35 Canadian and 20 U.S. publishers have made formal commitments to use recycled and other environmentally preferable papers, and millions of forest-friendly books have been printed on such paper in Canada during the past 18 months. boreal

Activists say eco-friendly paper can help conserve Canada's Boreal forest. (Photo courtesy Forest Stewardship Council of Canada )
"We look forward to seeing publishers in other countries follow the lead of their Canadian colleagues in helping to safeguard biodiversity and the world's remaining ancient forests," said Markets Initiative's Campaigns Director Nicole Rycroft.

In addition, Green Press Initiative is pressuring U.S. publishers, including the U.S. publisher of the Potter books, Scholastic, to secure endangered-forest free commitments.

According to Green Press, if Scholastic made an endangered-forest free commitment and switched to 100 percent recycled paper for the next Potter book, and printed the same quantity, it would conserve an area of trees some 13 times the size of New York's Central Park and some 24 million pounds of greenhouse gases - equal to the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by a car with average fuel efficiency traveling 21.81 million miles.

According to American Forest and Paper Association figures, less than five percent of the paper used by the printing and writing paper sector contains recycled fibers - in the year 2000 the association says one million tons of paper were used by U.S. book publishers.

The groups promoting the eco-friendly Potter print suggest that fans who live outside of Canada go online to purchase the Canadian edition.

Boreal forest in Saskatchwan viewed from a small plane (Photo courtesy Boreal Forest Watch)