As National Geographic Goes, So Goes the Industry (With Your Help)

Submitted by aatkins on July 17, 2014

Image from Wikimedia

Today, the Green America Better Paper Project and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are excited to announce that National Geographic is using recycled fiber in the pages of several of their publications – including their flagship publication that reaches over 4 million readers!

National Geographic’s move was the result of several years of assistance from the Better Paper Project and allies. Last year, with the support of the Better Paper Project and NRDC, National Geographic published a study finding that in 14 out of 14 environmental categories, recycled fiber is superior to virgin fiber in magazines.  One year later, National Geographic now has plans in place to increase the amount of recycled fiber in their magazines. Their recycled paper use expansion means that more than 1,000 new tons of recycled paper will be used each year.

As a magazine reader, your opinion makes a difference to the publisher. Consumer concern played a big role in encouraging National Geographic to move to recycled fiber, and now it is very important to use your voice with other publishers – most of whom still use paper only of virgin fiber.

We’re asking all Green Americans to let the publishers of your favorite magazines know that you want them to use paper with recycled fiber. (Not sure if your magazine is using recycled paper? Check here to see a list of the leaders in the industry.)

You can send your message to them in any (or all) of the following ways:

  1. Write a letter to the editor – you can usually find an email or mailing address for the editor in the magazine or on their website.  We’ve included the emails of a few popular publications below.
  2. Post to the magazine’s Facebook page.
  3. Send a “Tweet” to the editor using their Twitter address.

Walbran GLW Clearcut-7

Follow the steps below to take action.


1. Letter to the Editor

Send To: Your favorite magazines

Subject: Are you using recycled paper?

Dear Editor,

I’ve recently learned that National Geographic Society (NGS) is beginning to use recycled paper in all the pages of their photography-centric flagship, National Geographic Magazine. I’d like to ask you if you are using recycled paper in your magazine, and if not, I strongly urge you to begin doing so.

Using recycled paper is critical to protecting the forests and biodiversity impacted when trees are logged for paper production and use. A life-cycle assessment (LCA) commissioned by NGS demonstrates that in all fourteen categories studied—including energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, etc. – recycled paper has a lower impact on the environment than traditional virgin tree fiber paper.

NGS worked closely with the Green America Better Paper Project to thoroughly study this issue. I encourage you to reach out to the Better Paper Project ( for assistance and begin using recycled paper as soon as possible.

Thanks for your attention to this important issue.



PS – You can contact the Better Paper Project Director, Frank Locantore by email and phone:, 202-872-5308


2. Post to Facebook

Here are some sample posts you can use to comment on a magazine’s Facebook page:

  • Great publication. Do you print on recycled paper? I’d love to know that you are helping protect our forests and climate. Go to to find out how.
  • Love this article. I want to love it more – can you tell me if it is printed on recycled paper? Go to to find out the benefits of recycled fiber.

Please contact Frank Locantore at the Better Paper Project ( if you get a response from a publisher.


3. Send a Tweet

We understand if you are resisting the plethora of social media. But, in the magazine world, Twitter has become a really useful tool for the editors and writers to communicate with their audience. If you use Twitter, please consider sending some “Tweets.” Here are a few examples:

  • You can help protect #forests, #climate, & #communities by using #recycled paper in [insert magazine Twitter name] #magazine.
  • #whatsinyourpaper [insert magazine Twitter name]? Please contact @BetterPaperProj if you need help switching to #recycled #paper
  • I love your [insert magazine Twitter name] magazine, but hate hurting the planet. Do you use #recycled paper? Ask @BetterPaperProj for help.

Thanks for all you do to make this a greener world!


Contact Information for Several Popular US Magazines

(If your favorite mags are not listed below, you can find contact information for the editor on most publisher websites and Facebook pages through Google).

Every Day with Rachael Ray
Editor in Chief: Lauren Purcell

Good Housekeeping
Editor in Chief: Jane Francisco.

The New Yorker 
Editor: David Remnic His email-

O, the Oprah Magazine
Editor in Chief: Lucy Kaylin

Editor in Chief: Dana Points

Real Simple
Editor: Kristin van Ogtrop

Editor in Chief: Peggy Northrop

Editor in Chief: Scott Dadich

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