January 01, 1990

Publishing Green


Publishing Green

Where We Are Coming From

RIS Publications, the publisher of Russian Life magazine, was founded in 1990 on the principle that paying attention to international issues matters. While U.S.-Russian relations and the history and society of the world’s largest country are important, there is no larger international issue than the health of this planet. We believe that all magazines - not just those focused on environmental issues - should be published with as small an environmental impact ("footprint") as possible.

The 1% Difference
Of the 18,000 magazines published in the United States, just under 1% are like Russian Life and publish on post-consumer recycled paper. Get the facts on the environmental costs of magazine publishing as practiced by the other 99%.

RIS has had Russian Life printed on paper with Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) content since 2006, while keeping an eye on our high standards for quality. Since late 2009, our paper has also been FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified, meaning the pulp is harvested from sustainably managed forests.

Our magazine printer (Ovid Bell Press, in Fulton, MO — founded 1924) has a broad commitment to green publishing. OBP uses agricultural-based inks and recycles ink waste for use as fuel in cement kilns. OBP also recycles used printing plates for the aluminum and recycles its paper waste. Our magazine is printed direct to plate, which means no use of film to create plates; we also use digital photography almost exclusively.

Beyond the Magazine

We are a small company, but one sincerely concerned about our impact on the environment. Therefore:

  • All of our operational material (letterheads, marketing material, renewal notices, envelopes, etc.) are printed on paper with the highest recycled and PCR content possible,* with agricultural-based inks, and preferably FSC-certified;
  • We purchase only 100% recycled paper for our office paper (laser-printing and copying needs);
  • All our books, maps or publications are published on paper with the highest recycled and PCR content possible,* with agricultural-based inks; a possible exception to this will be short-run digital publications, which are environmentally-advantageous by virtue of the fact that product is printed only to demand;
  • We practice waste-reduction and smart recycling practices with regard to all office waste.

We welcome feedback from readers, clients, and persons and companies which have assistance and advice to offer us in this transition. While we realize that our small company’s changes will not reverse global warming or staunch the relentless depletion of natural resources, our example does show that even a small company with limited resources can, through research and commitment, make the changes necessary to operate in an environmentally responsible manner.


* We word this carefully ("the highest recycled and PCR content possible") for the time being. Research into potential paper stocks is ongoing. To date, we have found that PCR stock is hard to come by and not perfectly verifiable. Our immediate goal is a minimum 30% PCR stock on all the above items, if we can find printers close enough to us geographically that stock this. Our long-term goal is 100% PCR content stock on all items we produce. Currently our letterhead, renewal notices and envelopes can be printed on 30% PCR.

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Some of Our Books

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
At the Circus (bilingual)

At the Circus (bilingual)

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Dostoyevsky Bilingual

Bilingual series of short, lesser known, but highly significant works that show the traditional view of Dostoyevsky as a dour, intense, philosophical writer to be unnecessarily one-sided. 
Okudzhava Bilingual

Okudzhava Bilingual

Poems, songs and autobiographical sketches by Bulat Okudzhava, the king of the Russian bards. 
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955