Green from the Get Go
By Michelle Mather
It’s spring and the world around me is greening up before my eyes! The lawn, which was brown just a few days ago, has quickly turned into a lovely emerald green thanks to all of the wonderful sunshine and rain we’ve had. Trees are breaking bud and wildlfowers are blooming. It’s easy to love spring!
People are “greening up” too. I’ve noticed that more people are identifying themselves as “environmentalists” and newspapers and magazines are full of articles and tips on how to live a more “planet-friendly” lifestyle. A few of my long-time friends, who know that Cam and I have been enviro-conscious for over 20 years, have said to me “You must be so happy that everyone is finally listening – you guys were way ahead of your time.”
Businesses are beginning to make changes too. Every day I read or hear about another business that has managed to reduce their energy requirements, or begin to recycle their packaging or cut down on their transportation. Often I read about these businesses with a sense of wonder…. I wonder how they have manged to stay in business and be successful while apparently being wasteful and inefficient and with an obvious disregard for the planet!
It makes me realize what a truly different business Aztext Press is. Right from the start, we have made decisions based on our environmental consciousness. Obviously when you run a business “off-the-grid” you run it as energy efficiently as possible and the energy you do use is “green” and renewable. We use laptop computers which are more energy efficient and we turn our computers, printers and lights off when not in use. Ever notice how well lit most office buildings are, even late at night?
We’ve never bought packaging for our products… we have always just re-used the boxes and packaging that our books and DVDs come in and I visit local grocery stores to pick up the rest of the boxes we’ve needed for shipping etc.
We learned early on in the publishing business that one way we could cut costs would be to have our books printed in China. Even when you factor in the cost of shipping finished books across the planet, it would be cheaper for us to print our books in China. We choose to pay a higher price to print our books here in Canada which not only employs Canadians but keeps our transportation carbon footprint smaller. We then warehouse our books at our printer in Manitoba which is a more central location for shipping them to our distributor in the U.S. or throughout the rest of Canada.
To be honest, when I try to list all of our “green” practices here at Aztext Press, it is hard to identify them. Living lightly has been part of my life for so long that I find it hard to remember how other people/businesses do things!
Of course the “greenest” aspect of our business is the subject matter. Helping our readers to learn and make decisions about energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation and organic gardening is the most important thing we do!