Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Print grows trees.

You've all heard it lately, haven't you? The print industry is suffering. Whether it is magazines, newspapers or books, they are all being replaced by digital media. This should save trees, shouldn't it? Allow for more forests and parks and a renewed interest in the environment, right? Well, in fact, it does not. Tree farmers make a profit for growing their trees and selling them to paper mills for paper making. They have an incentive to continually plant more trees after chopping down old trees. With the "death" of printing, farmers are beginning to chop down trees, sell land for other uses (like another cookie cutter neighborhood), or turn to a different kind of farming (cattle or crop farming).

Believe it or not, the print industry created a nice circle in terms of tree production. It was a bit of a win-win situation (even more so when people recycle their used paper). So, find out how you can help print grow trees. The site will help you make an informed decision about printing or staying digital. I believe this is an important step for designers to consider and I hope that they will continue to print materials. While digital is nice, something about print media is more personal, more creative and completely tangible. Sooner or later, digital could become so normal that a real book or paper will be something sought after. I certainly hope that is never the case, but you have to think of those possibilities.

Image via a screen grab of the website

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