The movement to reduce the carbon footprint of printed products got a blessing recently when Zondervan announced a line of carbon-neutral Bibles.
The Essential Bible Series will be available only in Walmart, "aligning with Walmart's environmental stewardship efforts," the announcement said.
"To achieve CarbonNeutral® publication status, the emissions produced by the printing, production, storage and distribution of the Bibles to Walmart were independently measured by a third party assessor, and reduced to net zero through carbon offsetting," it added.
Walmart, once the scourge of the green movement, has embarked on aggressive climate-change efforts that have made it something of a darling among environmentalists -- assuming the Birkenstock crowd can ever bring itself to trust anything from Arkansas not named Clinton.
The Zondervan announcement leaves a bit to be desired -- not clarifying, for example, whether the offsets cover emissions related to manufacturing the paper or specifying how the offsets will be used
But it is a step in the right direction if it helps move the discussion about "green" printing beyond just using paper with recycled content. In fact, recycled fiber is not well suited to making bible paper, which needs stronger fibers because it is so thin.
The new line of Bibles should do well with the "What would Jesus drive?" movement, which has tried to present climate change as a moral and spiritual issue. (The answer to the movement's question, by the way, is a fuel-efficient Japanese-brand car made in the U.S., as evidenced by Jesus' statement in John 12:49 -- "I do not speak of my own Accord.")