Editorial: Trash and grab
We had a lot of debate about this issue's main cover line. "This magazine is rubbish" was one idea quickly ruled out.
"Another issue in the bag" we weren't sure everyone would get but "The Green Issue" was straightforward, true in some ways and controversial as environmental references always are - especially to highly critical engineers.
Like the pencils at the IET's venues that declare "This pencil is made from recycled CD cases", I would have liked to have declared on the front cover: "I used to be a book" or even "I used to be another magazine". But, unfortunately, it wouldn't have been true. Recycled paper used to be brown, grainy thick stuff - a sort of wholemeal look. The quality is no longer a problem but we won't be printing on recycled stock until we can find a reliable paper source in sufficient quantities at a reasonable price. It's a question we are - quite rightly - often asked and my production manager assures me she's always on the lookout for a recycled supply. But the paper you're holding is of course from sustainable sources (in other words, it's farmed) and it is recyclable. The refuse collectors will have to mill off the spine as it's glued (too big to staple) but it can and should be recycled.
The logistics of recycling - sorting, collection and so on - are complex but it seems local government authorities will try just about anything to meet their targets for recycling. My borough in east London is lagging behind and taking some quite desperate measures. It took them four wasted trips to finally deliver our bargain wormery; it does work but that's a lot of wasted petrol for the sake of a text message to check we were in. And one day our lovingly tended green recycling bin went missing. Its whereabouts remain a mystery to this day. I don't wish to be presumptuous, but I wonder if it had something to do with that week's neighbourhood prize competition, rewarding the household with the 'best organised bin'...
To find out how well recycling can be run, the Swiss seem to have got it right. That's just one of the many green issues in our green issue. Jeremy Rifkin, an economist who advises the EU and various national governments on global warming, argues that climate change could in fact spur the next great industrial revolution. Luke Collins explains how Silicon Valley is going green: solar panels on your HQ are all very well, but tiny improvements to your products can make a much bigger difference. Laurie Wiegler checks out a new eco hotel in New York, James Hayes considers green IT policies and we take in-depth looks at the UK's nuclear white paper and India's renewables in our power section.
In the meantime, if anyone sees my recycling bin please let me know. It's very neat and tidy. A nice sort of green colour.