Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We’ve always been a fan of the environment. Who isn’t? I mean, come on! Davis, my brother, said it best: “don’t crap where you eat.” Sure, that is not what he said, but Chuck made me change it to “crap!” Its pretty simple and very succinct, and applies in just about every conceivable situation from your yard, to your town, to your county, state, province, country, and planet. Here at TLG we take that mantra seriously and try to apply those three Rs – reduce, reuse, and recycle – as best we can.

So what do we do to reduce the impact TLG has on the good old mother earth? Here it is:

Plastics

We do not use any plastic packing material. Neither bubble wrap, pillows nor styrofoam peanuts. IF you receive plastic packaging in an order we have shipped to you, that is because someone shipped that to us, and we reused it.

Reduce

I am most proud of our packing peanuts. They are made from starch and they are completely biodegradable. Water destroys them. Though this costs TLG a smidge more, they will not leave a mark anywhere. If they blow out your window and into your yard, they will vanish in the first rain, or even with the morning dew. If you don’t want to fill your trash can with them, take them outside and hose them down.

The paper we order for our print ship is order to such a size that when we trim it for printing a strip less than a quarter inch wide remains. This reduces our paper waster immensely.

We purchase boxes and packing material locally. We own our own print shop and manufacture a great deal there. We do not outsource any of our printing to overseas. All of this cuts down on fuel consumption and packaging. I remember in the early days when we ordered shipping boxes and they came in giant boxes. We had to order constantly in smaller bundles. We quit doing that. We purchase our boxes locally and drive over and pick them up. This saves us money, time, and the planet a great deal of fuel.

To further iterate a point, our paper for our shop and the paper that goes in our hardcovers comes from sources inside the United States, it does not have to come from overseas, cutting down again on the trans-oceanic traffic.

(Side note, I am still a bit scarred from reading that all the noise caused by the mountains of trans-oceanic traffic messes up a whale’s ability to communicate with its pod, or worse its mother, so that these baby whales get lost in the deeps. That is just not cool. So, we will stick to making stuff here.)

Reuse

We use cardboard packing strips in most of our boxes. We do not order these packing strips, rather, we take the larger shipping boxes that our hardcover printer ships books to us in, and cut them up into strips. We cut these into 2-, 3- and 4-inch wide strips, each 9 inches long, and we use them as padding between your book and the box we ship it in. This reduces the amount of packing material we have to order.

In the print shop, when we trim books, we use an old 1954 challenger cutter. The weight block, that descends on a stack of books we are trimming will score the top book if it touches it. The blade occasionally shreds the bottom book. To mitigate the damage of both these things, we take damaged books and use them as, what Mark calls, “sacrifice books”. We place one on the top and another on the bottom of the stack of books to be trimmed, so no damages occur to the books headed to your game table. The process slowly shreds the sacrifice books, the shreds we scoop into the recycle bin.

The aforementioned peanuts come in a large plastic bag. This bag, once emptied of peanuts, we use as a garbage bag. I cannot remember the last time we bought a garbage bag for either the print shop or the mail room.

Recycle

We recycle all cardboard boxes. Those that we do not cut up for packing strips we cut up and put in the recycling.

We recycle all paper scraps.

Those books that we cannot use as sacrifice, we recycle.