Deborah Taylor-Pearce <dtp <at> she-philosopher.com>
2010-08-13 00:01:29 GMT
First, does anybody (especially our New Zealand/Australia members)
know anything about a book titled _Time to Eat the Dog?_, wherein it
is claimed "by sustainability experts from New Zealand" that dogs have
a worse eco-footprint than some SUVs?
I quickly searched for the book at amazon, and couldn't come up with
My own info on this is from the Winter 2010 issue of Heifer's _World
Ark_, p. 7, "Your Pet's Ecological Footprint":
This provocatively-titled book relates to my own research & efforts to
develop sustainable swag for a medical communications (cancer
education) project, and as always, it's proven way more complicated
than I hoped. Given the known industrial and environmental causes of
cancers -- in the U.S., now surpassing heart disease as the leading
cause of death for those under age 85 -- I figure the last thing the
world needs is a bunch more swag made on the cheap by exploited labor,
using materials and print processes that contribute to climate change
and a poisoned planet.
So, among other things, I'm trying to compare the environmental costs
of organic cotton Tees vs. Tees made from recycled plastic bottles,
vs. Tees made from wool etc....
And I'm looking into the eco-footprint of various print (like giclée,
for fine art prints) and other reproduction processes (e.g.,
silkscreen for Tees) for graphic design.
What I've learned so far (admittedly, not much!) is that this is all
incredibly complicated, and makes a wonderful case study for
application of Darrell Huff's _How to Lie with Statistics_.
I'm having a hard time finding comparable standards for any of this.
I did notice that the Trigger Issues booklet by activist Troth Wells,
_T-Shirt: One Small Item, One Giant Impact_, published at Oxford by
New Internationalist, is
"Printed on recycled paper by TJ International, UK / who
holds environmental accreditation ISO 14001."
There is a little "Printed on Recycled Paper" icon next to this
statement that I assume has something to do with ISO 14001? or perhaps
this is yet another symbol made up by the printer/publisher for their
own use? (There are a lot of organizations out there generating their
own icons for just about everything even remotely related to "green"
products & services.)
So, does anyone know anything about or have experience working to ISO
14001 (which I believe is a U.K. standard)? A quickie search reveals
lots of companies selling their "green your business" services
relating to ISO 14001, but I didn't find any actual text for ISO 14001
or any information about its rules & regulations governing print
Here in the States, I've found companies touting more than just their
use of recycled paper, with icons for things like "Printed with
Certified Wind Power" -- as on the back of the Ibex Outdoor Clothing
catalog (I've temporarily posted a 550KB facsimile of this to my
for those who would like to see for themselves). (And no, the little
strip of cardboard at lower right is not part of the catalog design --
which is pretty clever throughout -- but was placed there by me to
cover over my mailing address.)
But I have no idea what these claims really mean, or how much using,
e.g., wind power, improves a print shop's eco-footprint over using,
say, solar power, or whatever "green" power a local power plant may
What I'm looking for is reliable, statistical information so that I
can make my own trade-offs regarding print production for our new line
(E.g., at least one reader critiqued Annie Leonard's _The Story of
Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our
Communities, and Our Health -- and a Vision for Change_ for the poor
quality of its recycled paper:
"My only criticism is that the pages are very dense --would
have loved more graphics and white space -- and I don't like
the feel of the paper (100% post consumer recycled of course)
but I know the author wanted to walk her talk by insisting on
the highest possible green standards for publishing."
From the review at
There may be situations where I could get away with such lousy-quality
recycled paper, and others where I can not, and it would be nice to
have enough comparative data so that I can make my own informed
At this point, I basically agree with the respondent to the "Easy
Answers" blog on "What are the best fish to eat--for me and the
) who wrote
"Note the title “Easy Answers” There are several
organizations like MBA who make recommendations, but you’ll
find their recommendations conflict with one another. You
need to determine what values are important to you and make
decisions accordingly. Sorry folks, it’s just not that easy."
So, my remaining questions for the list: are there organizations like
this already out there making recommendations for the graphic design
and print trades?
dtp <at> she-philosopher.com
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