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Life Media, the publisher of Natural Life Magazine, Life Learning Magazine, Natural Child Magazine, and books under The Alternate Press imprint, has a longstanding commitment to promoting the need to sustain our planet and our society into the future.
Upon our founding in 1976, we identified a number of interwoven themes that constitute the basis for the sustainability of life on Earth. These include: appreciation and protection of resources (both natural and human-made), promotion of physical and emotional health, and working toward peaceful interactions in our communities and beyond.
Our books, magazines, and websites promote the most authentic version of conservation-based living, avoiding "greenwash" at all costs. Our ethics policy ensures that our editorial is based on solid information that is not influenced in any way by encouragements to purchase unneeded products. Our stringent advertising guidelines prohibit the inclusion of ads for products or services that are harmful to humans or the environment.
While readers gain information and inspiration about how to lessen their ecological footprint, our business activities also demonstrate the principles of healthy, simple, and sustainable living, as well as respectful choices about resource usage.
Since a publishing company uses a great deal of paper, we have always made it a priority to use environmentally sound processes and paper, including a mix of paper that is post-consumer recycled, tree-free, non-chlorine bleached and preserving of old-growth forests. Currently, that means printing our books on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper by a printer that is also FSC-certified, using soy-based inks.
We use very little office paper because we conduct most of our business electronically in order to minimize the use of paper. In the mid 1990s, we began using paper that is tree-free, containing mostly hemp fiber.
We avoid plastic packaging, and favor recycled or re-used packaging for shipping our books. Our shipping department even uses a postage scale made from hemp plastic! We are committed to producing e-books and digital magazines, as a way of further reducing the use of paper.
Minimizing our environmental footprint involves reducing waste, recycling, minimizing our consumption of water, electricity and fuel, which are also integral parts of our office management practices. Our office uses energy-efficient and natural lighting and our equipment is turned off when not being used. Our purchasing policy includes PVC reduction/elimination and use of recycled, salvaged and locally-produced materials. We are a home-based virtual company, communicating digitally, avoiding environmentally damaging commutes and enhancing family life.
In the 1990s, we pioneered the idea of waste-free events. Environmentally-friendly aspects of the first Natural Life Festival in 1997 included worm composting of all food waste, food vendors serving food with reusable or compostable plates/utensils (including, in one case, on banana leaves), a prohibition on vendor paper brochures and plastic bags, extensive recycling and a variety of other initiatives such as a car pooling service for visitors coming from outside the community. Subsequent events included free shuttles from public transit to the site.
We believe that sustainability is not just about the environment. It is an interconnection of cultural, social, economic, and environmental practices. It means taking care of where we live…and part of that involves building strong communities, with healthy, independent, locally-owned businesses that sell good products at fair prices, and avoiding corporate bullies such as Amazon.com. To that end, we prefer to sell our books directly to purchasers through our own websites, to libraries, and to local, independent booksellers. We also give preference to locally-based suppliers in order to minimize the environmental costs of long-distance transportation and to keep money circulating in our own community.
The integrity of the information we publish and the ethics of how we run our business are important aspects of our definition of sustainability. We were pioneers in what has since become known as social entrepreneurship or green business: using a business structure to solve social and environmental problems. In addition, our ethics policy ensures we are offering our readers information that is as unbiased as possible, with the result that we forfeit certain kinds of advertising revenue. At the same time, we value cooperation with other information providers. As far back as the early 1980s, we organized joint promotions with other alternative publishers, believing that by working together we can demonstrate and create a market for new ways of doing business.
To ensure that Life Media remains focused on these practices and aware of better ones, we evaluate our practices periodically and continue to educate ourselves about the leading edge of sustainability best practices.
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