The Mother Jones Press Room

Mother Jones Earns Title of Nation's Greenest Magazine

Dek: 
The fearless investigative outlet wins two Aveda Environmental Awards for its production practices, including Best Overall Environmental Commitment.
Date: 
Mon Apr. 4, 2011
Contact: 
Anna Pulley
Phone Number: 
(415) 321-1708

Green America announced today that Mother Jones has won top honors in the 2011 Aveda Environmental Awards for Magazines. This award, established in 2005 by Aveda and Green America, recognizes magazines with exemplary achievement in printing practices, distribution, and overall commitment.

Mother Jones won in the Best Paper/Printing and Best Overall Environmental Commitment categories—designations that resonate in an industry often indifferent to environmental impact. With fewer than 2 percent of North American magazines using any recycled paper content, the Aveda Awards are the benchmarks of green responsibility and innovation.

"Mother Jones is honored to be recognized by the Aveda Awards," President and CEO Madeleine Buckingham said. "Ecologically smart decisions that benefit the planet have been an integral part of our organizational strategy since we published our first issue in 1976. The publication papers we buy and the printers and distribution partners we work with help Mother Jones achieve our goals of high performance and environmental sustainability."

Mother Jones has been at the vanguard of green printing and business practices for more than 30 years. Since 1990, the magazine has printed on a number of brands endorsed by the Better Paper Project, always mindful of recycled content, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and renewable energy sources. Mother Jones' printer, Quad/Graphics of Hartford, Wisconsin, uses EnviroTech, offset ink comprised of 27.3 percent renewable oils such as soy, linseed, and corn. In addition, Quad recovers 100 percent of its waste-ink and maintains a 99.3 percent recycling rate of paper, wood, plastic, metals, electronics, batteries and other production materials.

"The environmental questions that publishers face are not properly framed by a print-versus-digital question. Nor is it simply a recycled-versus-nonrecycled approach to environmentally sustainable choices," said Claudia Smukler, production director for Mother Jones. "We decrease the impact of our environmental footprint when we work directly with responsible vendors and suppliers who are leaders in changing the industry practices and share a commitment to continuously improve."

These rigorous standards translate into reduced environmental damage and optimized conservation. According to the Environmental Defense Fund's paper calculator, Mother Jones' green methods translate to:

  • 576 tons less wood
  • 1961 million BTUs less net energy
  • 67,546 pounds CO2 equivalent less GHG
  • 1,589,272 gallons less wastewater
  • 176,757 pounds less solid waste

In addition to ecofriendly printing processes, Mother Jones was also honored for its overall commitment to environmental sustainability.

As one of the few major news organizations with original environmental coverage, Mother Jones' brand is strongly associated with green journalism. The Blue Marble, the environmental and health blog of MotherJones.com, and Econundrums, reporter Kiera Butler's advice column for green consumers, are popular features that encourage a more ecofriendly lifestyle. Mother Jones' co-editors, Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, also spearheaded The Climate Desk, a unique collaboration with other major journalism organizations including The Atlantic, Wired, the Center for Investigative Reporting, PBS's Need to Know, Grist, and Slate.

Beyond the page, Mother Jones is an active cornerstone of the green community through sponsorship of sustainability conferences like LOHAS, Bioneers, and the Green Festival. The magazine participates in Green America's Better Paper Project, an initiative that promotes using recycled paper throughout the publishing industry.  

Co-edited by Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery since 2006, Mother Jones continued its winning streak in 2010 with more than 26 awards for investigative reporting, photojournalism, and illustration. These included the 2010 National Magazine Award for General Excellence (the "Oscars" of the magazine trade) and the Online News Association's (ONA) 2010 Online Topical Reporting award for team coverage of the BP oil spill. Mother Jones was the only magazine with a print edition to take home an ONA award. Mother Jones is published by the nonprofit Foundation for National Progress.