By the time you read this, you’ll probably be tired of bundling holiday catalogs for recycling. You may not know it, but many of the 20 billion catalogs mailed each year in this country come from trees logged in Canada’s boreal forest, sometimes known as “North America’s Amazon.” As T. Edward Nickens, who traveled to the heart of this virgin, 1.3-billion-acre forest, points out in “Paper Chase”, some 300 bird species breed in the boreal, and up to five billion birds—adults and their young—migrate south from the boreal each year. “The birds are singing, breeding, feeding,” Nickens writes. “Raising young and laying on the fat for the long flight south. For a full week I’ve been buffeted by the dichotomies of Canada’s boreal forest, alternately awed by what is already lost and the possibility that yet remains in its untouched and unfragmented reaches.” Please read about the steps you can take, listed at the article’s end, to help save the boreal and our birds for future generations.
For its part, Audubon is proud to announce that in 2009 our magazine, except for covers and pullouts, will switch to being printed on 100 percent recycled paper (90 percent post-consumer recycled) called Leipa, thanks to a deal engineered by Heidi DeVos, our director of production and operations. Not only is this a first for Audubon, but to our knowledge no other mainstream consumer magazine has a higher post-consumer recycled paper content. The use of recycled fiber reduces pressure on forests and, according to our paper broker, “uses substantially less of the energy that would be required to make similar grades from virgin fiber. So less greenhouse gases are emitted into the environment.” This paper is also certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and produced without any chlorine.
Over the years Audubon has repeatedly touted the benefits of organic and local food. Mike Tidwell now makes a full-throated case for vegetarianism in his opinion piece, basing his argument on how much meat consumption contributes to greenhouse gases and energy use (“The Low Carbon Diet”). Only three percent of Americans are vegetarians, Tidwell concedes (and for the record all but one member of Audubon’s editorial staff eat at least some meat). What’s more, ranching will long be a way of American life, as Hillary Rosner makes clear in her review of two new books on the subject (“High Steaks”), including one about a “science-based, holistic style” of land management that supports both ranchers and wildlife. All we ask is that when we give advice like that offered in the two articles above, you think about it and do what you can. The cumulative effect will be enormous.
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