Thank National Geographic for Embracing Recycled Paper


Target: Gary Knell, National Geographic Society CEO

Goal: Applaud National Geographic’s dedication to sustainability

One of the most widely read and highly esteemed publications in the world has begun incorporating recycled fiber into every page of its award-winning magazines. Working closely with nonprofit organizations Green America and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the National Geographic Society (NGS) is piloting a program to incorporate five percent recycled fibers to begin with, with the hope that they will be able to increase the recycled content over time. According to the vice president for global sourcing, “our goal – and our challenge – is to balance our desires to utilize as high a percentage of recycled fiber as possible, maintain the highest quality and aesthetic standards, produce affordable products and minimize our impact on the environment.”

This move constitutes a major win for environmental groups that have been pushing to increase recycled fiber content in the magazine industry. Of the more than 15,000 different magazine titles in the U.S., only about three percent currently use any recycled content at all. There have been doubts about whether recycled paper is suitable for publications that rely on high quality photographic reproduction – doubts now laid to rest by NGS’s success. As a leader in the industry, National Geographic is able to set industry standards for both excellence and for sustainability.

By making this change, it is estimated that the company’s annual savings will include: 26,000 trees, enough energy to power 145 homes, greenhouse gas emissions to the tune of 238 cars, 19 olympic sized swimming pools’ worth of water, and 33 garbage trucks’ worth of solid waste.

“The magazine that has showcased the natural wonders of the world for generations is now helping to preserve them in its very pages,” says Darby Hoover, NRDC senior resource specialist. “National Geographic’s world-renowned photography is unparalleled—if they can continue to captivate their audience in print by using recycled content, anyone can. By adding recycled fiber into their magazines, National Geographic is joining a growing movement that can help ensure the world’s forests can live on the pages of their magazine—instead of in them—for years to come.” National Geographic is working to prove the viability of recycled fibers beyond any doubt. Thank this forward looking company for their commitment to lowering their ecological footprint.


Dear Mr. Knell,

The National Geographic Society’s recent embrace of recycled paper is an important win in the fight for a sustainable and ecologically balanced society. The courage to innovate will be indispensable if we are to save ourselves from climate catastrophe.

As a leader in the magazine industry, National Geographic’s methods matter as much as its intentions. Thank you for your commitment to environmental leadership and conservation.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mario Spann via flickr

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