More than 11,000 people have signed a petition asking Smithsonian to start printing its magazine on recycled paper.

Organized by Green America, the petition was delivered to Smithsonian in the shape of a Christmas tree (a recycled one, of course).

“Smithsonian Institution has made symbolic commitments to sustainability, but when it comes to producing its publication, Smithsonian Magazine, it’s falling short,” said Beth Porter, director of Green America’s Better Paper Project, in an interview with Ladyfreethinker.

“Smithsonian Magazine is printed on 100% virgin fiber paper,” explained Porter. “The publication regularly has articles discussing the impacts of climate change on the environment, people, and of course, our forests. Green America is asking Smithsonian, “Practice What You Print!” by using a minimum of 30% recycled content paper for its magazines. Additionally, we are asking Smithsonian to use fiber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for the remaining virgin fiber used.”

Based on the current estimates, by switching their magazine to just 30% recycled paper, Smithsonian could save 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year, reduce landfill waste by 354 tons and save 19,000 trees. Other publications have already started incorporating recycled paper, and the trend is expected to grow.

“More and more Americans are demanding the companies they patronize to be greener,” said Porter, “and we will only see that increase in the coming years as people recognize that their purchasing power can bolster an environmentally and socially responsible economy.”

Indeed, Smithsonian’s own supporters appear eager to see the magazine turn over a new, greener, leaf.

“Much of the feedback we’ve received on our efforts to move Smithsonian Magazine onto recycled paper have come directly from its readers,” said Porter. “These subscribers express their love for the magazine alongside their disappointment that the magazine is not printed on recycled paper. Many have pledged to not renew their subscriptions until the magazine is a more sustainable product.”

Given the Smithsonian’s prestige, they could emerge as a leader in sustainable printing.

Notes Porter: “By getting Smithsonian to go green with its magazine, it sends a message to the entire publishing sector that consumers expect recycled paper to be part of a publisher’s commitment to being green.”