On Friday, we finally caught up with the pre-orders for the reprints of Volume 1 of the True book collection. One recipient complained: “I was bummed that my books came packaged with Styrofoam ‘peanuts’. I can’t believe that any world-conscious business would buy those dang things and pollute our planet! Can’t you use something else? There is a new product out that uses recycled newspapers, for instance.”
Actually, we don’t buy them, and I’m happy to say we never have. Instead, we first buy packaging that reduces our need for packing material by being the “right size” for most orders. Second, rather than buy “peanuts,” we reuse those which come here in other packages, and collect them from friends so they’re not thrown away. (“Reduce” and “Reuse” being, in my opinion, even more important than “Recycle”!)
We have indeed looked at the recycled newspaper pellets, but they are too hard for softcover books (they appear likely to mar the covers), and looked rather “dirty” to me — likely to rub some of their embedded ink onto the white page edges. I figure that when you order new books, they should arrive looking like new books.
As far as being “world-conscious,” starting with the first True volume to go to press in 1995, we’ve required the book printers to use non-petroleum-based inks and print on acid-free paper. It’s a small thing, but small things add up — especially when we tell printers that they didn’t get the job because they couldn’t meet those demands.
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I still have never bought the things. We still try to find appropriately sized boxes, and take in orphan ‘peanuts’ from friends in the area so they don’t have to throw them away.