Dede Cummings shows off two books she has published since starting her own company, Green Writers Press, last April. "There are always people who say, 'Terrible time to start a publishing company,' but I didn't feel that way at all," she said.
The Middlebury College graduate has been connected to the world of publishing for 30 years -- and she noticed a flaw. "The majority of children's books with color images are printed in China, and I remember thinking that is very strange to me," Cummings said.
She says Green Writers Press is changing the game, while combating climate change at the same time. "Everything is recycled and it may not be 100 percent recycled, but it is 60 to 100 percent recycled," she said. It does end up costing the consumer a little bit more, but she wants her publishing business -- which she runs out of her home in Brattleboro -- to mirror the locavore movement in food. The printer is in Springfield. Books are not mass-produced, but rather on demand, and the talent is sourced locally -- like artist Brian Cohen.
"I showed some of the prints from the Bird Book there and Dede liked them and wants to get into publishing," Cohen said. It was Green Writers Press's inaugural book, completed with an FSC stamp. The Forest Stewardship Council certifies that supplies and printers are doing what they can to protect trees. A cause Cohen supports, along with other like-minded people in the same field. "By a strange coincidence, I was out to dinner the other night and the waitress who was filling in, we got to talking about what she did for her day job and she was actually the lead printer up in Springfield and she loved the book and we just made that connection," Cohen said.
"For me personally, it is to raise awareness," Cummings said. She has plans to spread her vision globally. After all, she says, the environment is an issue everyone has stake in. "I wanted to take action and do something important, so the mission behind Green Writers Press is a very personal one, but it is shared by so many people."
And this publisher is doing one book at a time.
A percentage book sales go toward the group 350.org -- a grass roots organization raising awareness about carbon emissions.