Natural Life Books
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Sustainability Statement

Our Company Vision

Life Media, the owner of Natural Life Books, has a thirty-six-year-old commitment to promoting the need to sustain our planet and our society into the future. Upon our founding in 1976, we identified a number of interwoven themes that constitute the basis for the sustainability of life on Earth, and decided that they would be the basis of our publishing endeavors, starting first with Natural Life Magazine. Our business activities continue to demonstrate the principles of healthy, simple and sustainable living and respectful choices about resource usage. But we believe that sustainability is not just about the environment; it is an interconnection of practices that includes building strong communities with healthy, locally-owned businesses that sell good products at fair prices.

Print Books

Since a publishing company uses a great deal of paper, we have always made it a priority to use environmentally sound processes and paper, including a mix of paper that is post-consumer recycled, tree-free, non-chlorine bleached, and preserving of old-growth forests. Our books are currently printed by a FSC-certified printer on FSC-certified paper that is made from 100% post-consumer waste. As well as guaranteeing the recycled content, FSC is the highest standard of forest certification, protecting wildlife habitat and endangered species, ensuring clean water by protecting lakes and waterways, and prohibiting the use of genetically modified trees. FSC also requires companies to involve local communities and Aboriginal peoples in the development of forest management plans. Our book paper is also processed chlorine-free, Environmental Choice EcoLogo certified and manufactured using biogas energy created from mill waste.

Electronic Publishing

All of our titles are available as e-books. While there are conflicting studies about the ecological damage of e-books versus those printed on paper, we encourage practices that minimize the environmental impact of e-reading. You can read about that here.

Purchasing our Books

We prefer to sell directly to our customers for a variety of reasons. In the case of print books, it reduces the amount of handling and carbon-creating transportation when you purchase directly from the source. You may buy through your favorite local, independent bookseller, but they might have to special order for you (which can take a month or more). We discourage the normal industry practice of overstocking books because many copies are inevitably damaged and end up recycled, or invoke further greenhouse gas pollution to be returned to us if they don't sell. We do not sell through large, multinational, monopolistic corporate websites that do not support local businesses, and that are contributing to the demise of local booksellers and small, independent publishers like us. You can read more about that here.

Our Office Practices

Minimizing the Life Media environmental footprint involves reducing waste, water consumption, electricity and fuel, as well as recycling and reusing materials. These are all integral parts of our office management practices. For instance, our office stationery has been tree-free since the mid-1990s, containing mostly hemp fiber, although we conduct as much business as possible electronically in order to minimize the use of paper. We avoid plastic packaging and our books are mailed using re-used material or ones with high post-consumer content. Our shipping department even uses a postage scale made from hemp plastic! We give preference to locally-based suppliers in order to minimize the environmental costs of long-distance transportation and to keep money circulating in our local community. Our purchasing policy includes PVC reduction/elimination and use of recycled and salvaged materials. We are a home-based virtual company, communicating digitally, avoiding environmentally damaging commutes and enhancing family life.

Ongoing Commitment

To ensure that Life Media remains focused on these principles, we evaluate this statement periodically and continue to educate ourselves about the leading edge of sustainability best practices.

books to change your world

Natural Life Books specializes in adult non-fiction about ways that families and individuals can live and learn on Planet Earth in a healthy, socially responsible, environmentally sound, self-reliant manner. We are the retail division of The Alternate Press, an imprint of Life Media, an independent, family-owned book and magazine publishing house established in 1976. We are proud to publish books and other information products about homeschooling and life learning (also known as unschooling).

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