Our Commitment to the Environment


Milkweed Editions—an independent, nonprofit press—publishes books for adults and young readers with the intention of making a humane impact on society. We encourage dialogue and awareness about environmental issues through many nonfiction titles as well as select books for young readers.

Literary art transforms the minds of readers over the long term, providing an important narrative for a sustainable future. To that end, our goal is to offer readers books that enlarge their view of the world and to provide a necessary place for independent thinking, reflection, and engagement in an increasingly consolidated culture.
Our books serve as educational resources and inspiration for readers working for positive, sustainable change in their communities and in their own lives.



At Milkweed we choose to promote environmental values through the books we publish and also to live those values by continually adopting higher sustainability standards for all areas of our publishing program.


Nearly 60 percent:

  • Printed at manufacturers using renewable energy sources:

  • Printed with vegetable-based inks

At least 80 percent:

  • Produced by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified printers

At least 85 percent:

  • Printed on post-consumer recycled paper

All 100 percent:

  • Produced in North America

All 100 percent of our excess and damaged inventory:

  • Recycled for use in future publications

Milkweed is committed to minimizing negative social and environmental impacts through these and other sustainable practices.



Many new and reprinted books published by Milkweed Editions carry an environmental benefits statement detailing the trees, water, solid waste, and greenhouse gases we conserved by printing with the environment and future generations in mind. The quantities are often incredible.

An example, from one of our recent novels, is included below:


We are proud of our accomplishments in 2010 and in years past, but we are also committed to finding new ways to decrease our organization’s ecological footprint going forward.



Milkweed Editions is a member of the Green Press Initiative. The Green Press Initiative works with book and newspaper industry stakeholders with the following goals:

  • Conserve natural resources

  • Preserve endangered forests

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions

  • Minimize impacts on indigenous communities 

Today, over 160 book publishers have developed environmental paper policies to meet these goals.

Still, according to the Green Press Initiative, approximately 30 million trees are used each year to make books sold in the United States. Many of these trees are sourced from endangered forests with devastating impacts on the people and wildlife that rely on them.  Despite these consequences, on average, the U.S. book industry uses less than 10 percent recycled fiber for its paper.

Learn more and take action at www.greenpressinitiative.org.


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@LEllsworth Yes! We absolutely do. Let the nominations begin!

"Bookstore employees are saving literature" & "their work is critical for building a more literate America" #JPbonus http://t.co/qmM4M1bK73

.@SplendidTable throws it back to Paul Gruchow's timeless GRASS ROOTS, reading about the sanctity of making bread: http://t.co/74BUuOaPcT

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