Vanity Fair Drops Plan to Use Recycled Content

We were disappointed recently to find out through the o2 Network that the ‘Green Issue’ of Vanity Fair due out on the newsstands in just a few days, and featuring TreeHugger's very own pin-up Graham Hill, will not contain any recycled paper. People were already sceptical of Elle magazine’s attempt at going green by using 10% recycled content in their up coming green issue, many of us were hoping Vanity Fair would improve on this percentage. Unfortunately not, according to Remy Chevalier of Cocktail Organico who picked up this news on Muckraked. ‘Vanity Fair has dropped the idea of using recycled paper in the issue. "They were scrambling to do it but it was too short a time frame and they couldn't make it happen," says one insider. A spokeswoman for Vanity Fair did not return calls for comment.’ While this is bad news we are impressed by one intrepid member of the o2 group who didn’t let it get her down and has taken direct positive action. In response to Remy’s post Jen Pierce immediately emailed Vanity Fair with a letter entitled ‘The Real Problem Is When Setbacks Destroy Good Initiatives.’We were particularly struck by the tone Jen took in her letter to Vanity Fair. She did not go off the deep end, railing as some people might about failing to go the distance with their ‘green issue’. Instead she makes practical suggestions about how they can turn this set back around by confronting it and writing an article in the ‘green issue’ about the difficulties of switching to recycled paper. You can read her intelligent letter below.

The Real Problem Is When Setbacks Destroy Good Initiatives
I received an article from an emailing list about Vanity Fair's mid-April green issue, and I was thrilled that this could be an opportunity to inform people who aren't in the traditional green circles about environmental issues. Not too long afterwards, however, I was informed that the magazine had been unable to pull together switching to recycled paper on this issue as originally intended. I can understand how this could happen, it's not easy being green, finding alternative sources and changing priorities. However, there is still an opportunity for Vanity Fair to take advantage of this difficulty. I encourage you to write an article in your green issue about the impact of magazine manufacturing on the environment. Tell people how difficult it is for magazines to switch to recycled or other more environmentally firendly paper. Include statistics such as these, derived from the email attached below:

That single issue [the green issue of Vanity Fair] involved the destruction of thousands of trees and it was printed using chlorine and other chemicals. Specifically, that issue probably used up to 2,247 tons of pulp, and produced up to 4,331,757 pounds of greenhouse gases,13,413,922 gallons of wastewater, and 1,744,060 pounds of solid waste throughout the printing process.

By educating readers about the effects of traditional paper sources, the pollutants they cause and the water they use, you could encourage them to change the paper they use. You can include ways to buy smarter, how to reduce the amount of spam mail they receive, and other ways to reduce paper consumption. And you can promise to do the same, continuing to look into greening not only your magazine, but in-house paper and other items. Don't fall back because it is hard to make change. Tak advantage of your opportunities and continue the battle to make businesses and individuals more aware and more responsible for their purchases.

Jennifer Pierce
Chicago, IL

Jen Pierce encourages others who feel strongly about this topic to send Vanity Fair an email with their thoughts: letters@vf.com via: o2 Group