Who Needs Trees To Make Paper?
Canadian Geographic is making publishing history this week. Its latest issue is hot off the presses, printed entirely on paper made from wheat straw. It’s the first time that such materials have been used to print a North American magazine. Wheat straw is essentially agricultural waste — it’s the junk left behind after wheat grain has been harvested. At this point, it’s pretty much worthless. Traditional paper pulp, on the other hand, relies on a limited supplies of trees, which also are used for a wide variety of other purposes. The idea that, to some extent, agricultural waste could be used to satisfy a portion of the demand for wood pulp is phenomenal. • Publishers could reduce their ever-rising paper costs. • Farmers could make a little money off of something they’ve traditionally treated as trash. • Environmentalists would be able to protect a larger portion of forests. Canadian Geographic has been printed continuously since 1930 and has faced the changing publishing world with a