Patti Adcroft, editorial director of Discover magazine, might wear a size-9½ shoe, but she has the smallest CO2 footprint in her office. As part of their "Better Planet Solutions" special issue this month, the editors looked at their mag's impact on climate change and their own personal emissions. Internally, 20 staffers went head-to-head to find out who was master of their domain. Adcroft says the inter-office competition got much more heated than she'd expected.
Staffers came to the challenge with all sorts of preconceived assumptions, chief among them was that Adcroft's well-documented fashion-rag past could only inspire endless wardrobe purchases, resulting in higher emissions. However, what everyone didn't know was that Adcroft is hardly a rabid shopper, and, in fact, many of her chic outfits date back a number of years.
Adcroft believes her brief commute put her over the top, though. Michael Di Ioia, another participant, attributed his own downfall to the 164-mile trek he makes each day, which placed him in dead last. Before the contest started, he was under the impression that his emissions were under control.
Besides each others' footprints, the editors also evaluated the publication's. "As a magazine with its eye fixed on the state of the planet, Discover decided that it was time to look in the mirror and take stock of our own contribution to the greenhouse gas problem," says Discover CEO Henry Donahue. "What we found was surprising and not a little disturbing." Printing of the special issue emitted the equivalent of 170 tons of CO2, though the company purchased offsets this one time.