UMBC: Green Magazine

The first green issue of UMBC Magazine

The first green issue of UMBC Magazine

Editor in chief of UMBC Magazine, Richard Byrne.

Editor-in-chief of UMBC Magazine, Richard Byrne.

Print journalism is outdated, or is it? University of Maryland Baltimore County has decided to print their magazine instead of using a web based magazine. After taking surveys online and having survey groups, it was apparent that people desired to receive a print magazine. Considering it is the 21st century and the environment has been deteriorating, UMBC’s attempts to strive for a green outlook gave print journalism a second chance.

UMBC’s magazine had decided to print on recycled paper. The University sustainability efforts had affected UMBC’s choice on what kind of paper they would use in their magazine. Since the first issue of UMBC Magazine the staff decided to publish on partially-recycled paper (30%). They decided on Rolland Opaque30 paper which ultimately saves five trees, reduces 324 pounds of solid wastes, 904 pounds of air emissions, and 2,472 cubic feet of natural gas. UMBC’s efforts in their magazine shows that in the long run, they really are saving the environment.

How many trees are cut down a year for paper? According to Ecology Global Network about four billion trees are cut down a year to produce paper. So all in all, one school’s effort to go green is saving 5 trees per issue. How much paper is produced if you cut down one tree? Depending on the tree you can get up to 90,000 sheets of paper or 2,700 copies of a 35-page newspaper. It is incredible how much new paper is wasted throughout the year for magazines and newspapers. If more universities take this fact into mind, maybe more will decide to use recycled paper in their newspapers and or magazines.

Jim Lord, the design editor of the magazine talked about how it was important to take a stance on going green. He said that it would help distinguish UMBC compared to other local universities.

“Choosing a recycled sheet was very important and it was also important that the sheet we chose would set us apart from other local institutions which is why we chose uncoated vs. gloss paper,” Lord said.

In the design aspect of the magazine, Lord said that the design hasn’t really changed much and that it has been a great sheet to work with. Altogether with cost, production, and the sustainability perspective, they believe that this paper was the best choice for UMBC.

Richard Byrne, the editor in chief of the magazine had a lot of points of consideration before re-starting the magazine. As a journalist, he realized that the greener way of jump-starting his magazine project would initially start out in the web. However, Byrne’s readership would mostly be around the UMBC campus and within the community and he believed that the easiest way to maintain a steady audience was to have print in their hands.

“Yes, it seems as though we are not weighing out our possibilities to the furthest extent, however in journalism to maintain readership, we need to keep in mind of they would want. After all the surveying, it’s clear that still in the 21st century people prefer to read solid things in their hands instead of skimming through the internet. So we deliver to our audience and we incorporate the university’s goal of staying green,” Byrne said.

Both Byrne and Lord talked about how important it is to make an effort. If each university took a stance on going green and trying to reduce wasting paper, it would make a huge impact on the environment. The trees that are being cut down are merely being used for brand new paper. Instead of cutting down more trees to print magazines, it is smarter and much more eco-friendly to reuse the paper that has been wasted. Using recycled paper makes a difference.

“UMBC Magazine going green is a part of the university’s larger efforts at sustainability, led by our President Freeman A. Hrabowski III. We’re happy that we’re giving readers something good to read, and something that’s better for the environment than a magazine printed on virgin paper,” Byrne said.

Recycling has become a trend in many colleges but how many colleges are willing to change the look of their newspapers and magazines to go green? UMBC has become a college to look up to and will have hopefully started a trend to go green in print journalism around the country.

Related Articles:
UMBC Magazine
Richard Byrne’s blog
UMBC sustainability efforts


Word Count: 740


One response to this post.

  1. Cheers, that´s a great news.
    But unfortunate that not too many universities are doing such a great job.
    It´s strange, by the way, that those very institutions that should show the path, aren´t doing much more towards ” Greenery”.
    Anyways, congratulations and keep the good work.

    Home Energy For Free


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