I promise not to give anything away, just wanted to highlight a few facts about the impending mega-release: its first printing will consume 16,700 tons of paper (which, depending on whose estimates of tree per piece of paper you believe, equals roughly 400,800 trees), according to Scholastic. Ah, but the printers have performed a little wizardry of their own, using wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. 260,520 of those trees were "sustainably harvested," which means the companies that harvested it took into account environmental and social factors (though it doesn't mean they didn't come from a plantation, just that this tree farm set aside some acreage for "natural forest cover." Oh, and the plantation species don't have to be native if "their performance is greater than that of the native species," according to the FSC website.) Because the printing industry in the U.S. alone consumes at least 24 million trees a year, according to the Center for Paper Business and Industry Studies at Georgia Tech, any steps in this direction are to be lauded. After all, preventing the loss of forests could go a long way towards avoiding catastrophic greenhouse gas levels. But any book that has sold millions of copies before it even hits the shelves (and despite leaks) is probably better suited to recycled paper--and a "deluxe" edition printed on recycled paper will be available. But why only 100,000? Granted, China is eating up the supply of waste paper at a galloping pace--preventing 65 million metric tons of the stuff from hitting landfills, according to a recent report--but surely there are a few sheaves left somewhere. And it shouldn't take wizardry to find them, nor cost an arm and a leg (though I hear wizarding might.) Zhang Yin, the "Queen of Trash" seems to be making a good living at it, muggle or not.
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