Green Initiatives

As the leading publisher of information on sustainable living, Ogden takes its commitment to the environment seriously. Everyone in the company has the opportunity to suggest green projects and improvements. In addition, the company’s “Green Team” makes recommendations to management for energy-efficient equipment and supplies, office-wide recycling projects, and larger-scale initiatives such as energy audits and alternative energy usage.

What We’ve Done to Reduce Our Footprint:

Paper and Production

  • Mother Earth Living, Mother Earth News, Grit, Farm Collector, Gas Engine Magazine, Motorcycle Classics and Capper’s Farmer use at least 80 percent post-consumer recycled paper. The covers are printed on paper that is at least 10 percent post-consumer recycled. We constantly look for ways to improve the percentage of recycled stock while maintaining high production quality. All titles are printed using 28.7 percent soy-based inks and we use computer-to-plate technology to eliminate film.
  • All titles use a “soft-proofing” process online versus traditional hard-copy proofs.
  • Instead of mailing CDs or DVDs to printers, we upload files and mailing labels.
  • We predominately use digital photos versus film and slides.


  • We have streamlined the number of copies printed for each issue so we waste less.
  • If we have leftover copies of old issues, we recycle them and/or shred them to use as packing material for product orders.
  • We participate in Barnes & Noble’s green promotion sponsored by Green America.


  • Our office continues to work on a professional energy audit to see what other steps we can take to conserve energy.
  • We upgraded lighting ballasts and lights to save energy, and we utilize solar tubes to supplement the lighting with natural light.
  • We added insulation to the roof and painted it white to reflect heat.
  • We encourage carpooling by designating privileged carpool parking spaces.


  • We have reduced our direct mail efforts, instead using electronic methods to promote subscriptions and merchandise.
  • Our auto-renewal subscriptions allow readers to reduce paper waste and save even more on their annual subscriptions. Instead of receiving renewal notices via mail, customers receive an e-mail reminding them of the pending charge, then another one two weeks later when the card is charged.
  • We have consciously moved away from introducing as much printed merchandise as possible.
  • For any printed promotional materials, we send the artwork electronically instead of mailing CDs or DVDs.
  • When feasible and available, we use recycled paper for printed pieces.

Around the Office

  • Ogden employees began a community garden in front of the Topeka office. We continue to learn how to organically plant, manage and harvest a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.
  • Our IT department has changed the power settings on our computers and office equipment to further reduce energy usage.
  • We attempt to re-use scrap paper in printing for most departmental projects.
  • Each person has their own recycling bin at his or her desk.
  • We recycle aluminum, cardboard, chipboard, paper, plastic, steel and glass throughout the building.
  • We compost coffee grounds and food waste in our break room. Gardeners are encouraged to take home the compost for their personal gardens.


  • The office uses post-consumer recycled copy paper, Post-its, note pads and more.
  • We reuse packing material and cardboard for shipping purposes.
  • We replaced all Styrofoam cups with durable mugs.
  • Employees are encouraged to use “real” dishes and silverware instead of disposable products for their lunches and snacks.
  • When new equipment is needed, our IT department and facilities departments work to choose more energy-efficient models.


  • Our editors use a laptop and projector to display layouts for staff consultation and commenting during the production process, significantly reducing paper waste.
  • We use Adobe Acrobat’s PDF features where possible — the commenting feature saves paper and allows for more accuracy and less confusion during proofing stages.
  • For titles with off-site editors, we choose teleconferences instead of in-person meetings, reducing emissions associated with travel by air or car.
  • When researching and fact-checking, we store the information with direct links in databases instead of keeping paper files.


  • We partner with “green” events, including speaking on sustainability issues. We also promote these events to our communities.
  • We organize the Mother Earth News Fair’s, an event featuring a wide array of information on sustainability, self-sufficiency, green energy and DIY projects.
  • We work to accurately forecast what merchandise and supplies are needed at each show so we do not ship more than is needed, saving greenhouse gases released in transit.
  • When we travel to shows, we make group arrangements to save on emissions caused by transportation. We often drive to closer shows, but for events that require flying, we book rooms as close to the event as possible so attendees can walk or take public transportation.

Recognition for Environmental Practices

  • 2009 Aveda Environmental Award given by Aveda and the Better Paper Project, a Green America initiative (Mother Earth News)
  • 2009 SustainPrint Longtime Leader award from Publishing Executive magazine (Mother Earth News)
  • 2009 nominee for Green Dot Awards / Green Magazine category (Mother Earth News)
  • 2008 Environmental Leader award from the inaugural Go Green Expo event