We are the only independent publisher who makes 100% of their books in the US with eco-friendly materials and practices.
One of our founding missions has been to make everything as eco-friendly and as locally as possible. This is challenging when producing books in the Unites States, both logistically and financially. After many years of searching, we have been incredibly fortunate to find two New York manufacturers who are equally as devoted to being environmentally conscious as we are. Earth Day is the perfect excuse to brag about them a little, and give some details around where and how we print.
The Toddler Series and upcoming Mini Museum Series are both printed on thick paperboard, known as board books. Our board books are printed with Pint Size Productions, located in Sanborn, New York. Pint Size is the ONLY board book producer in the United States. Yes, really, the only one. Once we started developing our board books, we too were amazed that nearly every single board book on the market is manufactured overseas.
In addition to making board books in the US, they also have eco-friendly printing options, which is incredibly hard to find within the board book market. We've found that a lot of board books are labeled "green" because they are about nature, or recycling, or the seasons, but not because they are actually printed with eco-friendly materials or practices.
Our board books are printed with 100% recycled (min 35% post consumer) CCNB paperboard with an aqueous coating. CCNB is Clay Coated Newsback, which is recycled paperboard produced from containers, newspapers, and the like, and coated with a thin layer of kaolin clay to create a smooth printing surface. You'll notice that the edges of our books aren't bleached bright white, but are a natural grey because of the recycled content from the CCNB. The aqueous coating on our books is a water based coating that is resistant to fingerprints or stray crayon marks.
The Little Reader Series has a couple of printing components to it: the packaging, and the group of books included inside each pack. Both the packaging and the books are printed in Commack, New York with Rolling Press (whose office is located nearby in Brooklyn). This small but mighty company was founded by a father and son team who were committed to offering sustainable options in the printing world—and honestly, it would be hard to find a printer whose mission more perfectly aligns with ours.
The packaging for The Little Reader Series is printed on elemental chlorine-free (ECF) paper from forests managed by The Forest Stewardship Council, an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world's forests. The paperback books included in The Little Reader Series are printed on processed chlorine-free (PCF) recycled paper (50% post consumer).
Both the packaging and the books are printed with low-VOC vegetable inks. VOCs are chemical vapors that evaporate during the drying process which becomes greenhouse gases, contributing to air pollution and global warming. Most inks contain around 30% VOCs, while the vegetable inks we use average between 0 and 2%. These inks are made primarily from linseed or flaxseed oil.
Rolling Press also uses renewable wind-powered electricity for their manufacturing, including the printing of our books and our packaging. Rolling Press receives power from the Fenner Wind Farm in Madison County, New York, where 20 wind turbines create 30 megawatts of energy for use within the state of New York.
Rolling Press uses a phrase to describe their work that I love: "transparently green" -- meaning a product that is beautiful, durable, and also happens to be environmentally friendly. We believe in sustainably creating books without sacrificing quality, and are super lucky to have found two manufacturers that share this belief. And, of course, we are infinitely thankful for the support of our customers who believe in buying thoughtfully made items -- you're the reason we can do the work we do!