Harry Potter: Guardian of the Wild

The wizard works a little magic in the real world to save ancient and threatened forests

10-01-2003 // Heidi Ridgley

HARRY POTTER is back--and now he's doing more than saving Muggles and Hogwarts from the evil powers of Voldemort. This time creater J.J. Rowling is having him work a little magic in the real world for ancient and threatened forests.

Raincoast Books, publisher of the Canadian edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, printed the children's novel using 100 percent post-consumer recycled, chlorine-free paper.

The Canadian edition is the only version of the Harry Potter book printed with this paper, even though the book is distributed in more than 200 countries around the world. Still, that means that the 1,235 tons of forest-friendly paper used to print the Canadian edition:

  • Saved a forested area equivalent to 95 times the size of a football stadium;

  • Saved enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 42 times;

  • Saved enough electricity to power the average North American home for 262 years;

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to traveling 5.3 million miles by car.

Much of the credit goes to Markets Initiative, a Canadian environmental organization working with Canadian publishers to switch from virgin paper to recycled paper. Millions of ancient forest-friendly books have been printed in Canada during the past two years, according to Nicole Rycroft, Markets Initiative campaigns director. Similar work is taking place with U.S. and European book publishers. In fact, 65 North American publishers already have formal commitments to phase out papers originating from ancient forest.

That's good news for Canada's ancient rain forests as well as for forests around the world and the species that depend on them for their survival. Rycroft says that in printing Harry Potter on forest-friendly paper, the publisher is working a little magic for the world's ancient and endangered forests because other publishers might just follow Raincoast's lead.

So, if you're are planning to buy a copy of the latest Harry Potter, consider getting one that's good for the forests by ordering from Web sites that sell the Canadian edition, such as www.amazon.ca or www.indigo.ca.

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