Her role in printing two of her recent books on cutting edge environmental papers deserves equal praise, says Canopy, environmental not-for profit organization.
In 2001, Munro stopped the presses after learning from Canopy that her book at the time, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, was being printed on virgin fibre from ancient and endangered forests.
Munro called her publisher and it became the first major title by a prominent literary figure to be printed on 100 percent recycled paper — a historical moment for North American literature.
That was the start of a long-standing relationship between Munro and Canopy that led to new ground being broken again in 2013 when a signed special edition of Munro’s Dear Life was printed on straw-based paper.
“With this edition of Dear Life, our intention is to demonstrate the potential for straw as an alternative to wood in the making of books and other types of paper products,” said Munro. “Let’s hope that this pioneering effort helps turn the page for our endangered forests and that many more books are printed this way.”
Proving that ancient forests do not need to fall for award-winning books, the Canopy edition of Dear Life was printed on a pioneering paper made from wheat straw, flax straw and post-consumer recycled content. Only 70 copies were printed and signed with all proceeds of the book going to support Canopy’s campaigns to protect the world’s forests and green our economy.
“Alice Munro has been an inspiring champion for our ancient and endangered forests and a great supporter of Canopy’s work for many years,” said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s executive director & founder. “Her actions have consistently helped spearhead seismic sustainability changes within the book industry — we are so excited that she’s been recognized with this very well-deserved honour.”
Alice’s support for the recycled paper back in 2001 led to it becoming part of the norm for book publishing in North America. Similarly, her support of the straw paper brings the commercial scale production of straw papers one step closer.
With enough agricultural residue left after grain harvest to keep 800 million trees standing, it’s no wonder Alice was an early recipient of the Order of the Forest.