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Forest Stewardship Council Certification

June 11th, 2008 No comments

In my quest to produce the most environmentally friendly book possible, I am investigating printers that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada. Their site has links to all of the FSC certified printers in the country.

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Although it would be a lot less expensive to produce my book in Asia, I am willing to pay to “Live More Lightly.” I am sure that each individual who makes this choice influences other printers to change to more environmentally sensitive processes. There will always be a market for the absolute lowest cost production, but our children and grandchildren will pay for the damage we cause today. Friesen’s Corporation, one of the first FSC certified printers in Canada, produced a survey that showed that book buyers would be willing to pay more for a certified publication. I believe that the difference in price will be reasonable and that I can sell my book package for $18.95 Can/US.

I am confident that a Canadian FSC certified printer is doing the best that they can within the limitations of current technology. My father owned a printing business after being an offset printer and letter-pressman in larger firms and my grandfather was a lithographer and a craftsman in time before digital print. The toxic inks, cleaning chemicals and other air-borne pollutants aggravated his lungs and contributed to his smoking-related breathing problems. My father, who retired from the printing business many years ago, also had to deal with toxic chemicals in the workplace, but now inks are vegetable based and digital files make many other toxins obsolete.

I will have to get more quotes and weigh the environmental cost of shipping a lot of books over long distances. I won’t be able to carry large numbers of books on my motorcycle, so I will need to ship books to fulfill orders. I would like to sell my book in stores as well as through the internet and in person. To do this I need a distributor who will accept book orders and ship the books to re-sellers. Most book distributors are in Eastern Canada, and if I can arrange a contract with a distributor then I could have half the books shipped there and half to Vancouver. That narrows the choices to somewhere between Vancouver and Toronto . . . still a lot of choices.

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