Modern Dog: An Earth Day Investigation

Modern Dog: An Earth Day Investigation
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It’s Earth Day, which is pretty exciting for me. I’m a fan of the Earth, especially in spring time. So, as this year’s Earth Day dawns, it occurs to me to wonder if Modern Dog is particularly Earth Friendly. Given that we’re in the magazine publishing business, which is paper-based, it does concern me, so I set about investigating.

First, I wandered about the office intending to randomly quiz co-workers on their Earth-Friendly practices. I hit up the administration/finance department first, where Jonathon informs me that he is very eco-friendly. When pressed for details, he says that not only does he recycle, he also composts, with his own personal fertilizer. “Don’t write that down,” he adds, because it is apparently a lie. He then rushes to back up his eco-friendliness by saying, “I returned all the clothes I didn’t want! I mean, I didn’t return them, I donated them to the Salvation Army. Not returned them there. I didn’t, like, get them there.”

I beat a hasty retreat before he digs himself into a bigger verbal hole, and Lisi’s next, over in ad sales. She’s pretty smug about her own eco-friendliness. “I walk to work with my dog,” she says. “It takes an hour, but I believe that emissions are so bad for Mother Earth. What else do I do? Oh, I don’t use wrapping paper, is that a lame one? I make wrapping paper out of old issues of Modern Dog!”

After I dutifully note that down, Jessica happens to be walking by and pouts that I haven’t posed the question to her, so I do. “I’m paraben free,” she announces, and I don’t want to confess that I’m not all that sure what a paraben is. Then she hesitates and adds a disclaimer about being mostly paraben free, because she does have a few make-up products with slight amounts of paraben free, but asked me not to write that down. I didn’t, but only because it was a lot of words and they came very quickly, and I couldn’t keep up.

Connie was fresh from a meeting and had a moment or two to answer the question. She cycles and walks to work when she can. “I’m an avid recycler,” she says. Not to mention the fact that she’s liberally decorated the Modern Dog offices in plants of all different sorts, and regularly can be heard exclaiming, “My cactus is blooming again, my cactus is blooming!”

Jennifer calls from her office, “Today I installed a low-flow toilet. And by I, I mean Bobby. Thus saving over 7 litres of water a flush. Oh, I also consumed no water today.”

Then Jessica proclaims, “I need a new eco-friendly statement.” She considers for a moment, mumbles about showering once a week, saving water, buying used clothing, and being more interesting. Then she and Lisi get into a debate as to whether or not “buying recycled toilet paper” is too much information or not.

Connie distracts them with cookies, and I can’t help but being grateful.

There are other eco-friendly things that happen in the office, of course. I cannot recall how many times Jennifer has marched around waving an apple juice carton over her head, ranting about how we need another demonstration on the proper recycling procedure for juice boxes (we’ve got to squeeze out the last drop and then flatten it! And take the straw out!). She’s also frequently found rummaging through the recycled paper box, sorting things out and mumbling to herself about adhesives, plastics, and staples.

Maybe the most important part of Modern Dog’s eco-friendly practices can be found in this statement, prepared by Jessica, which has nothing at all to do with parabins and everything to do with Modern Dog’s commitment to lowering our own eco-pawprint:

“In 2007 Modern Dog switched to printing on FSC certified paper-- a practice that very few magazines employ. By being FSC certified, we know that the paper we print on isn’t sourced from old growth forests and that sound logging practices are used. This combined with 30% recycled content and vegetable based dyes could well make Modern Dog magazine the greenest Dog magazine in the world! Support Modern Dog and subscribe today! Help encourage other magazines to make the switch too!”

Also, check out this Recycling Pug!

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Sun, 01/20/2013 - 21:47

Dog of the Week!

Meet: JESSIE