It’s de rigeur for Mother Earth News and Plenty to feature sustainable living on their covers, but the past few months have seen major glossies such as Vanity Fair, Newsweek, and Forbes doing the green thing.

Now in a September issue devoted to low impact living, Dwell (for those of you unfamiliar, it’s a popular home & design magazine) is joining in. And they’ve done VF one better, actually printing the issue on post-consumer content recycled (PCR) paper — a practice they pledge to continue in the future. Very few magazines have yet adopted PCR, even though — as the Dwell issue demonstrates — the result is stylish and indistinguishable from a virgin pulp product.

Writing in Plenty (Aug/Sep), a catalogue manufacturer says that paper with a minimum of 10% PCR is available in the coated grades consumers prefer, is competitively priced, and prints just as well as virgin paper.

Moreover, Environmental Defense estimates that if all catalogue companies switched to 10% PCR paper, some 501,100 tons of CO2 (or the emissions of 87,600 cars) would be diverted from the atmosphere. This is in addition to huge savings in trees, water, and energy.

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Short of going paperless altogether a la Grist, switching to PCR is the logical step for magazines hoping to project a more eco-aware image.

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