Planting a Paper Trail: Doing our Part to Offset the Impact of the Paper Products We Use

There’s something of a paradox in publishing a magazine about embracing an outdoor lifestyle. As an organization our bread and butter is publishing stories about the outdoors and how to conserve natural spaces. And yet to tell those stories, we rely on the pulp and paper industry. Is it a little bit like printing a PETA poster on pig skin? Hopefully not…


words :: Nelson Phillips    photos: Juliet Tanas

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So what’s a magazine to do? We already print on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. (We looked into 100% recycled, but found that the chlorine and other chemicals used in the process made it, in our opinion, more problematic than printing on FSC paper.) We encourage conservation awareness, and follow the Bruce Trail’s take-only-pictures-leave-only-footprints dictum—but that’s not enough.



This month, the Mountain Life—Blue Mountains crew got together with Aquatic Biologist Sarah Campbell of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority to plant trees in an effort to offset the carbon impact of the paper products we use to tell our stories.



Armed with shovels and buckets filled with cedar and spruce seedlings provided by the NVCA, we tackled a floodplain section of Black Ash Creek on the east side of Collingwood, Blue Mountain looming in the background. The area is a recovering trout spawning ground and like all other creeks and streams around here, feeds and helps to maintain the overall health of Georgian Bay and the Great Lakes.



What’s better, the whole Ontario ML team came ready to roll up their sleeves. Publishers, photographers, writers, editors, distributors, salespeople, bookkeepers, interns, and assorted young’uns to boot. The aim is to make our offering every year, so eventually we’re responsible for a surplus of trees and have planted more than we’ve cut over the years. We may not be there yet, but knowing we’re actively contributing to the life and vitality of the local environment gives the whole crew a renewed sense of why we do what we do.

Stay tuned for the story about our Coast Mountains edition team replanting a burnt area near the Meager slide.