Costco Articles Concerning Print: Misleading and Flawed

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Looking for advice on how to help save the Earth? Be careful what you read because some articles, such as, “Good for the Earth and Business,” by Carrie Madren in The Costco Connection, lacks many facts. Madren’s advice on “Being Green” is completely misleading and incorrect concerning the effects of print.

Madren quotes Jennifer Kaplan, a Costco member and author of the book “Greening Your Small Business” (Prentice Hall Press, 2009). “’Going paperless, or trying to go paperless, is probably one thing that almost every business could benefit from,’ Kaplan says. Do this through using electronic signatures on contracts, mailing releases and billing online. In addition, there’s little need for a fax machine anymore, Kaplan suggests.’”[1]

Unfortunately for Madren and Kaplan, this is not the most accurate advice. Switching print for electronic and digital use, is not beneficial to the environment. Digital lovers try saying that book manufacturing hurts the environment and people need to move on to more technological devices. However, The New York Times proves “Going Paperless,” does not mean, “Being Green.” A year-long investigation by the New York Times found that in 2010, “data centers used about 76 billion kilowatt-hours in 2010, or roughly 2 percent of all electricity used in the country that year… But the paper industry, which some predicted would be replaced by the computer age, consumed 67 billion kilowatt-hours from the grid in 2010.”[2] Data centers used 9 billion more hours than the paper industry. This article was published on September 23, 2012. Three years after Kaplan published her book. What facts seem more valid and up to date?

Also, did you know, the U.S. has 20% more trees than it did on the first Earth Day in 1970? Private landowners plant about 4 million trees every day, this is 3-4 times more than they harvest. This gives landowners the income they need to maintain, renew, and manage forests. And just 11% of the world’s forests are used for paper (28% for lumber; 53% for fuel). In fact, forests “left to themselves” would perish due to disease, fire, and other natural causes.[3]

In fact, digital users should know “chances are that the electricity flowing through your digital media devices and their servers is linked to mountaintop-removal coal from the Appalachian Mountains. The Southern Appalachian forest region of the U.S. is responsible for 23% of all coal production in the United States and 57% of the electricity generated in the U.S. comes from coal — including the rapidly growing power consumed by many U.S. data centers, networks, and consumer electronic devices.”[4] This is not very green; data centers cause more damage to the environment and degrades forests in an irresponsible, unhealthy manner.

The printing industry will never cease in existence, and with articles showing the truth about how safe and environmentally friendly print is, the printing industry will regain its strength. P.A. Hutchison employees are confident in that.

Michael Makin, MBA President & CEO of Printing Industries of America, wrote an open letter to Craig Jelinek, President and CEO of Costco Wholesale Corp. Read it here and learn more facts about the benefits of print:


5 thoughts on “Costco Articles Concerning Print: Misleading and Flawed

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