Moon Willow Press Toolkit

The Moon Willow Press Toolkit is available for download here (PDF).

Moon Willow Press Toolkit

Mary Woodbury

Published in British Columbia, Canada by Moon Willow Press
Copyright © 2013 by Mary Woodbury
Fifth edition

Thank you for downloading this free e-book. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form and its cited links are contained.

ISBN: 978-1-927685-03-7

Printing is not encouraged, but if you wish to print this toolkit, please do so only on post-consumer or recycled paper.

This document is a living document and will be updated with participation from other publishers and organizations. Please contact Mary Woodbury for inclusion of new findings and resources.

Photos © by Mary Woodbury.  These photos are from Turkey Run State Park in Indiana and from British Columbia.

 Author and Publisher Biography

Toolkit author Mary Woodbury is owner and publisher of Moon Willow Press, a micro-press focusing on celebrating the written word while helping to sustain natural forests.

Mary was born in Louisville, Kentucky, lived most of her life in the Midwest and in southern California, and currently lives in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. Mary obtained BAs in English and anthropology from Purdue University in 1993, and has been an editor and writer since, starting with Prentice-Hall in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mary was chief editor of Jack Magazine, a decade-long web journal exploring the nature and ecology of several literary movements emanating from the Beat authors of the 1940s and 50s. The magazine is permanently archived at Stanford University’s LOCKSS program.

When Mary moved to Canada in 2008, she worked as Director of Operations for a Vancouver-based non-profit that helps to preserve, restore, and protect the Fraser. She now works at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She also writes a nature blog, Ecologue, at and catalogues climate change fiction (or “cli-fi”) books at


I wrote the first edition of this toolkit in 2010 for my brand new press, Moon Willow Press. I was searching for ways to reduce my business’s environmental impact while producing my favorite product since childhood: books. This booklet provides background information for Moon Willow Press’s publishing philosophy (see Appendix B) and offers tools for publishers to ensure responsible business practices for taking care of the natural resources we have left on the planet.

When I was little, my favorite past-time was sitting beneath big oak trees, reading books. I loved to soak up the world around me, both imaginatively and intellectually. This picture leaves juxtaposition behind, however, in that nearly four billion trees worldwide are cut down each year for paper — the same paper used for those lovely books we read.

Combining my life-long love of reading and forests led to the nature of Moon Willow Press, with a vision to be able to continue to do both during an era when there are many endangered forests and irresponsible management of forests. Moon Willow Press’s byline is helping to sustain forests while celebrating the written word. It isn’t just trees we’re worried about but tree environments in totality: soil, water, air, fauna, flora, and all indigenous connections — including people — in forests around the planet.

-Mary Woodbury


The written word is seeped into our history, dating back to symbols used 30,000 years ago. Humans have written, drawn, carved, and incised glyphs and words onto stone, wood, shells, bones, metals, animal skins, and, of course, a wide variety of plant fiber, including hemp, bamboo, papyrus, palm trees, and other pulp. It seems we have a lot to say, and are driven to keep saying it. We document, inform, and entertain on a daily basis.

How can we go about continuing to celebrate the written word while helping to sustain forests at the same time? This booklet helps you to understand the great forest resources we have on this planet as well as what threatens them. Then we go on to point out problems of the paper publishing industry as well as work toward solutions when it comes to choosing the most renewable, efficient, clean, and reusable materials in the publishing industry.

This toolkit wouldn’t have been possible without many organizations’ online resources, which have provided a wealth of information, such as Eco-LibrisFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)Forest Stewardship CouncilGreen Press Initiative, Natural Resources Canada, and many others.

World Forests

Forest lands comprise one of our greatest natural resources, covering one-third of our planet and providing materials for shelter, fuel, and food as well as giving us the fabric for information and entertainment material. Forests also provide a rich natural ecosystem, help to keep our climate in check, protect against erosion, assist in filtering air pollution, help safeguard our water resources and coasts, and shield from avalanches and storms.

Forests are naturally biologically diverse, allowing their species to continuously adapt to their surrounding ecosystems; this multiplicity takes into account natural genetic diversity, ecological roles, and the variety of life forms within forest ecosystems.  When there is little or no disturbance of native forest lands, these are known as primary forests. Size and variety of species, along with how those forests are managed, vary and help to define the health and state of a forest.

Canadian Forests

Boreal Forest

Many sources in this toolkit reference U.S. figures instead of Canadian ones, though the U.S. has logging interests in Canada’s forests as well. Of the estimated 2.5 million acres cut down each year just from the Boreal forest, about 65% of that is used for paper publishing, and 80% of that goes to U.S. consumers (source: Green Press Initiative).

Scenic Canada boasts over a third of the world’s Boreal forest, a fifth of the world’s temperate rainforest, and a tenth of the total global forest canopy. Boreal forests comprise a biome characterized by coniferous forests, whereas temperate forest biomes contain mostly deciduous trees.

According to Canopy Planet, Canada’s Boreal region is one of the last and largest intact forests left in the world, at 1.4 billion acres. Boreal forests account for 20% of the world’s remaining closed canopy forests, store 30% of the carbon in the world’s land ecosystems, and cover 35% of Canada’s land mass — not to mention housing an estimated 1.5 million lakes and containing the largest expanse of freshwater wetlands in the world. Add to this breathtaking picture, the Boreal region is also home to some of the largest remaining herds of woodland caribou in the world, numerous migratory waterfowl and land birds, black bears, wolves, lynx, fish, insects, plants, and old-growth lichen and trees.

Land ownership in Canada is mostly Crown land, including over 90% of Boreal forests. Less than 8% of the Boreal forests are protected.

Forestry is Canada’s largest export-based resource. However, there are many threats to Canadian forests, including logging and development, forest fragmentation by roads, hydropower, mining, oil and gas development, disruption of wildlife, degradation of the natural “water treatment” for rivers and lakes, seismic lines disruption, displacement of indigenous peoples and their economic and spiritual connections to the Boreal, and destruction driven by U.S. consumption (mostly from a demand of paper products but also hydropower).

The following photo shows the forested regions of Canada.  (Zoom in to read the legend.)

Source: Natural Resources Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010, and the courtesy of the Canadian Forest Service.

Great Bear Rainforest

Canada is also home to the Great Bear Rainforest, which our press is writing a series about. The Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, Canada, is part of the Northwest Pacific Temperate Rainforest and was named by environmentalists campaigning to protect and conserve this 70,000 km2 kilometer area. Temperate rainforests are rare, and the Great Bear, along with the rest of the rainforest, makes up one-fourth of all temperate rainforests in the world. It’s also special because it is the largest undeveloped temperate rainforest on the planet and has a number of unique species. Moon Willow Press’s goals are to educate people about the forest and about threats to the area, including the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project, which would run twin pipelines through a portion of this forest as well as introduce more tankers, along with supertankers, to the coastal ecosystem that makes up the Great Bear.

Read more: Part 1: Oil Sands Overview | Part 2: Ancient Realm | Part 3: The Spirit Bear | Part 4: Wolves Lost in Time | Part 5: A Journey in the Making | Part 6: The Old-Growth | Part 7: Serengeti of the North | Part 8: Oil Sands Aren’t Forever | Part 9: Wild Salmon  | Part 10: People of the Rainforest, Since Time Immemorial | Part 11: Inside and Outside of the Skeena


Canadian forests have been around for thousands of years; the Boreal forest in its current form began to surface at the end of the last Ice Age. In the last 5,000 years, the region began to show similar species composition and biodiversity as what it currently exhibits. The Boreal forests of North America occupy 35% of total Canadian land area and 77% of Canada’s total forest land, stretching between the northern tundra and southern grassland and mixed hardwood trees (source: Natural Resources Canada).

More history from Natural Resources Canada:

  • 20,000 – 5,000 years ago: Wisconsin glaciation (last Ice Age) receded, and forest cover regenerated across Canada.
  • Native cultures established themselves across Boreal forest; controlled fires were often set.
  • 1670-1870: The fur trade brought European influence to Boreal forest.
  • Mid 1880s: Demand for lumber and depletion of forests pushed forestry activities in the southern areas of the Boreal.
  • Late 1880s-early 1990s: Growth of literacy and consumer spending spurred the demand for paper, and the first pulp and paper mills were established in the Boreal.
  • Post- WWII: Existing pulp and paper mills were expanded, and new ones built.
  • 1950s: Power saws replaced hand axes and cutting.
  • 1970s: Mechanical skidders replaced horses for hauling, and trucking began to replace seasonal water transportation.
  • 1980s: Improved harvesting equipment increased cutting efficiency.
  • 1990s: New technologies and development of new products improved utilization of tree and wood waste, and enabled the use of previously unused species.
  • Recyclable material usage increased.

Over thousands of years, native people have evolved close and efficient interaction with the land, making use of a large variety of trees, shrubs, herbs, moss and fungi for everything from food, medicine, clothing, and building materials to ceremonial materials (source: Senate Subcommittee on the Boreal Forest, 1999, Chapter 3, Aboriginal Realities).

A good timeline is available at the BC Forest Service. The government website Forest Management in Canada also has some interesting historical and current forest data. Forest management across Canada is mostly implemented by provincial departments.

Canada’s vast forests were delightful visions to fur traders, settlers, and explorers, though many lands were cut and cleared to make room for homes and economic development. Many pioneers had the conservationist forethought to protect what were back then seemingly endless forest regions, and these people should be respected and admired today, as forests in Canada and the rest of the world are faced with forest mismanagement and industry demands. The Canadian Encyclopedia has a great article titled Environmental and Conservation Movements.

In an article titled Paradise Lost: Climate Change, Boreal Forests, and Environmental History, Nancy Langston, president of the American Society for Environmental History, said that twentieth century foresters portrayed Boreal regions as naturally unhealthy and in need of rescue. Since those times, modern ecologists and environmentalists have challenged that view by introducing a new metaphor: instead of a place of sickness and ill health, Boreal forests are the lungs of a world imperiled by global warming and worth protecting because they make up one of the world’s largest carbon sinks.

Threats to Forest Lands


Like many natural resources, forests are constantly endangered by humankind. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, “Deforestation, mainly conversion of forests to agricultural land, continues at an alarmingly high rate — about 13 million hectares per year.” Their findings show that restoration, planting, and natural expansion of forests have slowed the net loss.

The largest reduction in forest lands is caused by deforestation for agriculture or other development and by natural disasters, such as fires. Many countries practice afforestation, or planting on lands that were not previously forested. And of course, some natural regeneration occurs as well.

According to the FAO, even though forest plantations are increasing, they still account for less than 5% of total forest areas: 78% of these are for wood and fiber production, and the remaining 22% are instituted for soil and water conservation.

According to Canopy Planet, “Deforestation accounts for an estimated 20% of global carbon emissions — that’s higher than emissions from transportation, aviation, and IT industries.”

Climate Change

Forests are natural carbon sinks in that they amass carbon chemical compounds for an indefinite time period. When forests expand, atmospheric carbon is decreased and absorbed in trees and soil. When forests are destroyed, this carbon is released into the atmosphere, representing the finality of the cycle of forests. Growing stock and carbon stock help to measure carbon contained in forests: growing stock measures the volume of stem wood and gauges the amount of carbon contained; carbon stock is a measurement of how much carbon is stored in the all the world’s forest ecosystems, including soil and biomass as well as somewhat in dead wood and non-living organic debris on the forest floor. According to, “Overall, the world’s forest ecosystems are estimated to store some 638 Gt (638 billion tonnes) of carbon, which is more than the amount of carbon in the entire atmosphere. Because of large data gaps for soil carbon in the major Boreal forests, this figure probably underestimates the total amount of carbon stored in forest ecosystems.” In short, forests can affect the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide, helping keep warming in balance. Trends in carbon stocks and forest biomass between 1990 and 2005 are shown here.

Though climate change discussions are often broiled in political and religious flames, and often times too much attention is paid to a few trees instead of the entire forest (excuse the pun), there is plenty of evidence for glaciers receding, sea levels rising, and Arctic sea ice disappearing. The precise numbers on how much the earth has warmed or might warm, dependent on data collection methods and climate models, may still be under debate, but there’s no doubt that our planet is warming. This will call for a degree of understanding and adaptation among us all.

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.

– Kahlil Gibran

According to the David Suzuki Foundation and Natural Resources Canada, climate change may result in the following:

  • Forest dispersion and shifting due to rising temperatures and changes in rain and snowfall, which will lead to a decrease in soil moisture and some vulnerable species extinction (such as the white spruce).
  • Forest fires, due to hotter and drier summers.
  • Rising treelines, which is determined by the temperatures of the growing season; as global temperatures increase, the predicted treeline behavior will advance upslope, shrinking the alpine ecology.
  • Forest disease and pests: warmer temperatures are expected to make conditions favorable for the survival rates of invasive species.

Canopy Planet reports that the Boreal forests of Canada and Russia together are the world’s largest and most important storehouses, holding 22% of the total carbon stored on the earth’s land surface.

According to, “An estimated 13 million km2 of forest, a little more than a third of the world’s forest area, are considered primary forest. Nearly half of all primary forest is found in South America, a quarter in North and Central America, and nearly a fifth in the Russian Federation alone.

A number of countries reported that they have no primary forests left. These were mostly countries in Europe and in the arid zones of Africa and Western Asia.

Though primary forests still represent a little more than a third of the world’s forest area (36.4%), in absolute terms, the area of primary forest has been shrinking by about 60 000 km2 per year over the last 15 years. While the loss has been slowing down in some regions, it has been increasing in South America and some other regions. Brazil and Indonesia alone accounted for a loss of 49 000 km2 per year during the period 2000–2005.”

Endangered Forests

Endangered forests are termed so for protective reasons because they contain a large amount of the world’s remaining old-growth, primary, and ancient forests — and because harm done to their outstanding ecological significance could be irrevocable. Frontier forest generally refers to a forest that is large enough to retain its biodiversity and is relatively intact and undisturbed, has viable species populations, is dominated by native species, and has a mix of tree types and tree ages.

The Green Press Initiative lists the Canadian Boreal forest, Indonesia’s tropical forests, Southeast U.S.’s forests, and South American forests as some of the most endangered forests in the world.

Forest Ethics lists four types of endangered forests: intact forest landscape mosaics, naturally rare forest types, forest types that have been made rare due to human activity, and other forests that are ecologically critical for the protection of biological diversity. Intact forest landscapes may be under threat and have become fragmented. Rare forest types may be rare due to naturally small amounts on the landscape or because of human activity. Forests with high diversity have many species and endemism. Other forests may include those not fitting with in other categories and can also be remnant natural forests in landscapes that are otherwise highly degraded by such things as logging.

Cultural Impacts

Many indigenous and forest-local peoples’ entire economic and social lives are threatened and, worse, completely taken away when arboreal balances are broken. All over the world are native peoples who have relied on forests to support their livelihood for thousands of years. Traditional lands such as these require natural balance and protection. Though some reservation lands are protected, many times treaties are not enforced and native protests are often ignored or have violent repercussions. Industry and agriculture are usually responsible for pushing unsustainable forest practices.

Further reference:

  • ForestEthic’s work with Great Bear Rainforest First Nations, Communities in the Sierra, Downstream from the Tar Sands, and Sustainable Local Economies.
  • Green Press Initiative’s Social Impact Fact Sheet give some worst practice scenarios, including the conflicts in Espírito Santo, Brazil; Grassy Narrows First Nation in Ontario; and Indonesia’s logging and its Kuntu village.
  • Eco-Libris’ planting partnerships and programs.
  • Rainforest Alliance’s worldwide forestry programs in Africa, Asia and Oceana, Europe, Mesoamerica, North America, and South America.
  • Rainforest Mongobay’s People of the Congo Rainforest.

Reforestation Programs

Appendix A shows reforestation programs around the world, but this listing is not exhaustive. There are many organizations, small and large, that focus on offsetting land deforested for mining, agriculture, paper products, and development with reforestation efforts. According to the BC government site, British Columbia has almost as much forest as it did 150 years ago, with about 3% of those being converted from forest to other uses. By law, all harvested areas must be replanted to mirror the diversity of natural forests. About 20% of these forests regenerate naturally, and the rest are replanted (timber licensees pays for the cost of reforestation). Seeds come from seed orchards or select seed from healthy trees.

Not all countries have such protective laws, which is where reforestation or afforestation programs work to either reestablish forests or plant them anew. Afforestation establishes new forests in areas that were not forests previously.

Publishing Industry

The paper publishing industry contributes to forest ecosystem loss. The following are a number of paper facts:

  • Nearly 4 billion trees worldwide are cut down each year for paper, representing about 35% of all trees (source:
  • More than 30 million trees are cut down annually for virgin paper for the production of books in the U.S.  Some facts about the book publishing industry are here (source: Eco-Libris).
  • Paper publishing is the fourth largest industrial source of greenhouse emissions in the U.S (source: Green Press Initiative).
  • The U.S. book industry uses less than 10% recycled fiber, the newspaper industry about 35%, and over 40% industrialized wood is used to make paper  (source: Green Press Initiative).
  • The paper industry emits the fourth highest level of carbon dioxide among manufacturers; the printing and writer sector uses about 95% virgin fiber (source: Green Press Initiative).
  • The average American uses nearly 700 pounds of paper each year, a doubling in per-capita consumption since 1960 (source: Environmental Defense Fund).
  • The FAO estimates that deforestation accounts for 25% of the annual emissions of carbon used by human activity (source: Green Press Initiative).
  • Paper comprises 40% of landfill materials, and decomposition of it produces methane, which traps heat 21 times more than carbon dioxide (source: Green Press Initiative).
  • Compared to using virgin wood, paper made with 100% recycled content uses 44% less energy and produces 38% less greenhouse gas emissions, 41% less particulate emissions, 50% less wastewater, 49% less solid waste and — of course — 100% less wood (source: The Daily Green).
  • Post-consumer, recycled fiber requires 30-40% less energy and conserves 2,000-3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide for each ton of virgin fiber it replaces (source: Green Press Initiative).
  • Book paper in the Southeastern U.S. is one of the top 10 paper products and represents 6-10% of all regional paper production (source: Green Press Initiative).
  • Social impacts include indigenous communities being displaced and losing traditional-use lands to paper companies (source: Green Press Initiative).

Tools for Publishing Responsibly

With all those impacts our industry is guilty of, it’s time we own up to some responsibility as authors, publishers, book-sellers, and printers. We can go as little or far as we want with some of these tools, but the further, the better. A wise old man once said, “God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.” That man was John Muir.

Forest Stewardship Council Resources

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization internationally known for promoting responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC has a certification system that provides “internationally recognized standard-setting, trademark assurance and accreditation services to companies, organizations, and communities interested in responsible forestry.”

Environmental Paper Network Calculator

The Environmental Paper Network Calculator is a great tool for helping you make better paper choices, and showing what your impacts will be when doing so, contributing to the saving of wood, water, and energy, and helping to cut pollution and solid waste.

Digital vs. Offset Printing (and Printing on Demand) Research

Digital printing makes more sense economically usually, since the setup of the book is a one-time only task, pre-press errors are easy to fix, very short runs are more cost-effective, revisions and updates are easy to make, and the printing itself is very fast.

Offset printing has traditionally offered higher quality imaging due to the plates and inks it uses, and can be more affordable with very large orders. On the downside, it takes a while to burn, mount, and register plates, and even more time to get the color right and print the first page. Printing fewer than 1,000 sheets isn’t desirable for offset printing, and is where digital printing comes in handy.

Many printing companies offer both offset and digital printing.

Offset printers can be improved by using 100% vegetable and biodegradable inks, minimized energy for distribution, and recycled aluminum plates. Buyers may demand that printers use totally chlorine-free (TCF) processes. But according to A Comparative Study of the Environmental Aspects of Lithographic and Digital Printing Processes, developed by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), significant environmental issues remain, including chemicals leading to the formation of smog, dust, and emissions resulting from press and platemaking being dangerous to workers’ health, wastewater chemical discharge leading to groundwater contamination, and solid waste contributing to landfills.

Digital printing does not use inks, but printers might use non-toxic toners, which should be disposed for recycling. Digital printers also do not use water like offset printers do, and use less power.

Both types of printers should have management who make good choices about paper, energy, chemicals, and recycling of materials.

The RIT study concluded that there is more room for comprehensive studies, but based on the two presses compared, the digital press showed overall lower resource consumption, waste generation, and environmental impact.

Printing on demand (PoD)–a digital option wherein books are printed only when ordered–minimizes waste even further by never producing unwanted copies. However, PoD businesses may charge an overly high rate to publish on demand, so the business model is not currently sustainable for publishing houses. The PoD technology is aimed toward those who self-publish a few books and don’t mind paying a high fee to do so.

E-books vs. Paperbacks

While the verdict might not yet be out on the impact of e-readers (they are still relatively new on the market), a study by Cleantech suggested that “the carbon emitted in the lifecycle of a Kindle is fully offset after the first year of use.”

However, Eco-Libris lists several studies and discusses the Cleantech study here, suggesting that it’s too early to declare the Kindle a clear winner above physical books. Another study by Jake Thompson is here. There are other e-readers, and nowadays Kindle is also available for free on mobile phones. To date, there is no study to show that the carbon footprint of any e-reader is less than that of a physical book. Most studies suggest that if a reader stores more than the average number of books read per year onto their e-reader rather than buying physical books from a bookstore, e-reading is more sustainable. However, studies also point out that currently most people who buy e-books continue to buy physical books.

It is important when considering the environmental impact of both print and e-books that the entire life cycle is considered, including the following:

E-book Print book
Manufacture of e-reader non-renewable material Over-printing and waste
Recyclability of reader material after use Destruction of forests
Carbon emissions Carbon emissions
Upgraded technology frequency Water and energy usage for making paper fibers
Shipping materials Shipping books

E-ink technology is interesting and has been used not only in the Kindle but in the Sony Reader, iLiad, Cybook Gen3, and the Barnes & Noble nook. E-ink technology is comprised of a fusion of chemistry, physics, and electronics, and according to the E-ink website, “The principal components of electronic ink are millions of tiny microcapsules, about the diameter of a human hair. In one incarnation, each microcapsule contains positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles suspended in a clear fluid.”

Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper Use

The Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper Use is published by the Green Press Initiative. It states goals of addressing climate change, protecting endangered and highest value forests, supporting best practices in forest management, reducing production impacts, recycling, reducing consumption, and supporting human rights. By following the guidelines in this paper, you can commit to your part in the book industry with the stated overall goals.

The Green Press Initiative offers other toolkits as well.

Canopy’s Book Kit

Canopy Planet offers an amazing toolkit for book publishers, including tips, a glossary, links, and paper types. Also see their trend reports and good reasons to choose Ancient Forest Friendly™ paper.

Canopy’s Ecopaper Database

Canopy Planet offers a large database of North American Ancient Forest Friendly™ and other environmentally preferred papers. This database is a worksheet that can be filtered by brand name, paper type, paper step, grade, minimum recycled content, web rolls or sheets, certifications, Ancient Forest Friendliness, and coated/uncoated types. Ancient Forest Friendly™ refers to paper that is 100% recycled or FSC-certified.

Convention on Biological Diversity’s Guide

The CBD put together a guide for conservation and sustainable use of forests in regards biological diversity. This is a good tool for getting an overall look at good practices in forest management that deal with biodiversity, agroforestry, forest landscape restoration, forest protected areas, and unsustainable and unregulated harvesting.

Paper Grades and Pulp

The website PaperOnWeb is a vast resource of paper information, including grades of paper, waste paper, and pulp; basis weight; paper ISO sizes; paper density; wood, paper, and pulp properties; and chemical information.

Paper Suppliers and Printers

Here are some items to question and research before making decisions about paper suppliers and printers:

1. Do they operate in compliance with federal, provincial, and state guidelines?

2. Do they manage their lands in a manner that protects and conserves water, soil, forests, air, and other parts of an arboreal system?

3. Do they actively keep up-to-date with practices used in forest management, environmental studies, and so forth?

4. Do they collaborate with outside parties who are active in forest conservation?

5. Does their conservation methodology account for biodiversity?

6. Do they follow FSC or other certification?

7. Do all aspects of manufacturing (i.e. not just wood but energy, chemicals used in inks, etc.) comply with good practices for responsible paper use?

FSC Printers and Suppliers

When printing on paper, choose FSC-certified paper, which comes from forests that aren’t primary, old growth, or ancient forests but from well-managed sustained and renewable forests — or print on post-consumer (recycled) paper or other fibers.

Printing Costs

According to Eco-Libris, a study compared printing a 220-page book on both recycled and non-recycled paper. For 100 books, it costs $25.00 less to print on non-recycled paper, for 500 books it cost $150.00 less to print on non-recycled paper, and for 5,000 books it cost $500.00 less to print on non-recycled paper. Though the costs is slightly higher for recycled paper, we may see this trend changing in the upcoming years due to more publishers demanding responsible paper choices.  Of course, the overall true savings lies in air, water, soil, trees, and energy.

Office and Personal Toolkit

1. Use only post-consumer for office and personal needs.

2. Recycle paper on your own and in your business. Make sure that a clearly marked bin is set up in your office or home, and enforce people to use it.

3. Reduce paper waste by not printing e-mails and other items that can be read online, printing double-sided, printing on scrap paper, and setting up an electronic-only business conduction.

4. Reduce the weight and quality of paper that is being printed in the office.

5. Use a paperless trail when possible and be sure to electronically back up data, reports, and other correspondence.

6. Use libraries instead of buying new books. Donate old books to libraries or charities.

7. Most magazines and newspapers have online issues; some are still fee-based, but many are free. Cancel print subscriptions and read online instead.

8. Use seed and other treeless paper as an alternative to small press office needs, such as for business cards, thank-you notes, and brochures.

9. If you’ve done all this and still have paper waste, think about composting. Moon Willow Press’s BC shows how you can use paper for making compost.

Appendix A: Resources

The following are references to further your understanding of forestry, whether you are a logger, conservationist, printer, publisher, forester, etc. This listing is by no means comprehensive, and is really a skeletal framework for a much larger scope of resources. I invite you to contact me with references you feel should be included.

These listings are provided for reference only, and Moon Willow Press cannot attest to the validity of each link, but most seem to be good resources for further study.

Alliances, Associations, and Listings’s Listings

Association of BC Forestry Professionals

Australia’s Sustainable Forest Management

Canadian Forestry Association

Canadian Forestry Links

Commonwealth Forestry Association

National Alliance of Forest Owners

National Association of State Foresters

Nepal Forestry Organizations

Nordic Forest Owners’ Associations

Planet Friendly’s Listings

Rainforest Links

Russian Forest Club of NGOs

Urban Forestry South NGOs

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Forestry Listings

WorkSafe BC

Certification and Models

Book Industry Environmental Council

Forest Stewardship Council (Canada)

Green Press Initiative (with a new certification for publishers)


Smartwood Certification

Forest Management

Forest Management in Canada (Government of Canada Depository Services Program)

Forestry Commission (UK)

US Forest Management

General Reference


Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005

Jack Magazine: Trees

Moon Willow Press: Great Bear Rainforest Series

Natural Resources Defense Council: The Canadian Boreal Forest

Paper Planet Blog

The Straight Dope

Legislation for Environment and Natural Resources


Historical Information

Canada’s Forests (book)

Western Forest Insect Work Conference

Paper Alternatives and Green Paper Products

Note that continued research in the future should explore the environmental friendliness of alternative papers. The manufacture and development of these fibers should also be managed well, just like tree fiber.


Eco-Libris’ Article on Wheat Straw

Ecomall: Earth-friendly paper

Fibers for Paper, Cordage, and Textiles

Hemp Paper

Kudzu (National Geographic)

Kenaf Paper

Living Tree Paper FAQ

Rainforest Relief

Rice Paper

Sustain Eugene

The Free Library

WiseGeek’s Alternatives to Wrapping Paper

Paper Recycling

Baled Waste Paper

Better Paper

Natural Resources Canada’s Guide

Paper Fiber

Paper Recycling Online

Recycle America


Recycle Now

U.S. Statistics (Green Living)


Canadian Council of Forest Ministers

Center for International Research

Climate for Ideas

Conservation Biology Institute

Forest Shop (books)

International Union of Forest Research Organizations


Questia’s Forest Conservation

Sustainable Forestry and Conservation

Ancient Forest Alliance

American Forests

Canada Boreal Initiative

Canopy Planet

Coast Forest Conservation Initiative

CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society)

Dogwood Initiative

Forest Ethics

Environmental Paper Network

Global Forest Coalition

International Forestry Group (UK)

International Institute for Environment and Development

Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation

National Wildlife Federation

Native Forest Network (Wild West Institute)

North American Association for Environmental Education

International Tropical Timber Organization

Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Relief

Sustainable Forests Partnership

Tanzania Forest Conservation Group

Trust for Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable Publishing

Follow the Reader

IISD Publications Centre

Rethinking Paper & Ink (book)

Sustain Print

Two Tomorrows

The WAC Clearinghouse

Tree Planting and Reforestation

Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR)

Billion Tree Campaign



Green Belt Movement

Monteverde Conservation League


Ripple Africa

Sudan Reforestation Project

Sustainable Harvest International

Tree Nation

White Light Global Group

World Reforestation Foundation

Appendix B: About Moon Willow Press

Moon Willow Press is a micropress committed to helping sustain forests while celebrating the written word. We supplement book publishing with our nature blog at and with our newest project exploring climate change themes found in literature at We launched in 2010, began publishing print titles in 2011, and have a small but growing catalogue. Located in Coquitlam, British Columbia, we publish fiction, non-fiction, and prose that explore science, nature, and culture. First-time authors are given consideration, but please be sure to read the submission guidelines and book contract.

Mary Woodbury is the owner of Moon Willow Press, a sole proprietorship business, license 84985 9467 RT 0001.  MWP is registered with Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) Canadian ISBN Service System (CISS) and archives its publications with LAC’s catalogue. Moon Willow Press began publishing books in 2011.


The world is changing, and we will change along with it, either by choice or circumstance. Publishers can help dramatically by making critical choices in using the right fiber in publishing. Using post-consumer fiber and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper helps to drastically reduce the quantity of greenhouse gasses, water, and trees used in publishing, while using only renewable resources (not old-growth or endangered forest lands). It is Moon Willow’s mission to follow the green model and to publish not only entertaining and quality reading, but also to promote books that help people of all ages understand, respect, and adapt to the changes in our natural world.


Tally: 684 trees planted since 2010

Moon Willow Press likes to balance out book sales with book-making resources. It takes a while for trees to be planted once a donation is made, but so far MWP has helped with the following:

Proceeds from the sales of The Little Big Town resulted in 260 trees planted by the Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR) in Guatemala. Dr. Anne Motley Hallum spent three weeks in Guatemala, hosting volunteers during the 2010 planting season, and also helped deliver food to villages where residents had lost property during the flooding from Hurricane Agatha. These trees are not used for harvesting by loggers, but for prosperity.

Proceeds from the sales of Infernal Drums resulted in 242 trees planted by Sustainable Harvest International, a partner of Eco-Libris. These trees are being planted in Central America in areas where tropical rainforests have been slashed and burned for farming. Sustainable Harvest also works with farmers to teach them new organic, sustainable techniques of agriculture, including the planting of trees.

33 trees planted in the Nkhata Bay District, Malawi, Africa from general sales and donations.

Members whose donations are planting trees: Jed Brody, Morgan Woodbury, Sandra Sponaugle, Alan Woodbury, Randi Derdall, and 22 others (27 trees)!

122 trees planted from our 2012 summer reading program donations and Peter Magliocco’s donations (100% royalties from his Texting Poems to Darwin’s Ghost). This funding helps farmers like Felipe Galdamez, who, along with his wife and son in Belize, used to live in a dilapidated house which leaked during heavy rains. Now he has two acres of plantains and is growing coconut and other trees around his farmland, enough to feed himself and share with his local community.

Other donations include Jed Brody donating 100% of his royalties to Sustainable Harvest International from the sales of The Philodendrist Heresy as well as MWP donating a portion of sales from the same book to Guarding the Gifts–a Gitga’at First Nation organization helping to preserve the Great Bear Rainforest.

Moon Willow Press has chosen to donate to Eco-Libris’ tree-planting program in order to help balance out trees from the books we sell. Eco-Libris has three world-planting partners. Trees are planted in developing countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, and Malawi. The reforestation and planting are done along with the collaboration and support of local people living in these communities. The trees planted are all non-invasive.

Planting ecologically appropriate trees reduces CO2, fights forest destruction, increases biomass and tree productivity, reduces soil erosion, and gives farmers alternatives. Further economic benefits are:

  • Protection of important water resources
  • Decreases the chances for natural disasters such as floods
  • Improvement of crops: some trees are interplanted with crops to conserve the soil and organically fertilize the crops
  • Education for increased awareness of the importance of conserving natural resources
  • Additional food and income from fruit trees
  • Empowerment for the adoption of sustainable land-use practices

Moon Willow Press is partnered with Eco-Libris and was certified by Green Press Initiative in 2012, when it also earned gold-level certification as a Certified Environmentally Responsible Publisher. We have signed the Book Treatise on Environmentally Responsible Publishing–choosing printers that use only recycled or FSC-certified fiber.


Moon Willow Press’s values are twofold: a commitment to publishing quality works and to using an environmentally friendly model in the process.

Partners and Memberships

Moon Willow Press is partnered with Eco-Libris and has been certified by Green Press Initiative. In 2012 Moon Willow Press became a gold-level Certified Environmentally Responsible Publisher by Green Press Initiative.

 Book Industry Treatise on Environmentally Responsible Publishing

Moon Willow Press has signed the Book Industry Treatise on Environmentally Responsible Publishing.

Paper Choices

To save paper, Moon Willow Press uses short-run and on-demand print services, offers e-book alternatives, and prints only with FSC and other forest certified paper, and post-consumer fibers.


Moon Willow Press is committed to donating a portion of profits to organizations that work in sustaining world forests.


Moon Willow Press uses short-run and on-demand printers. Shorter print runs are more possible now than traditionally, due to publishers being able to choose digital printers instead of only lithographic printers.

In the past, offset printers had higher quality, but that is changing. Offset printing may still be cheaper for very large quantities of books, but short-run costs should be balancing that out with uniform costs regardless of quantity, lower storage costs, less pre-press error-fixing, and so on. The distribution costs and initial investment in large quantities of offset press can also be high. For a small press like Moon Willow, we print either in short runs or on-demand in order to save resources. There is no need to have unused or unsold books shelved and later in a landfill because they didn’t sell. We will never throw away books. We will give them away first!

E-book Publishing

MWP publishes e-book versions of every print title. E-book technology has come to a long way, with e-ink being perfected to the point people now enjoy reading on electronic devices and with readers being offered across other, non-e-ink platforms. E-books make sense economically and environmentally, being completely paper-free. However, Eco-Libris has pointed out that the energy required to manufacture and dispose of an e-reader may be greater than that of a traditional book dependent on how many e-books a person reads per year. More studies need to be done on the e-book energy consumption and sustainability compared to that of a physical book. Yet, it is also common sense that paper consumption is vastly higher when printing a book and so if you’re worried about trees and fiber usage, it makes sense to adopt the policy of choosing printers and publishers who follow FSC standards when buying traditional books. The more e-books per year that you read, the less energy consumption overall of the e-reader compared to that of physical books.