Publishing requires a lot of paper

Roland Denzel April 19, 2021 No Comments

But not everyone sees the amount of cardboard (or worse, plastic) that can be involved in getting a printed book into the hands of a reader.

There is no way to “offset” the waste we create.

We want to own that fact. However, we publish books anyways because we hope that the ideas contained within them can change the trajectory of waste overall—and we also take additional steps to reduce the impact our book work has on the world.

cardboard boxes full of books
Boxes of books in the Propriometrics Press offices

Here at Propriometrics Press we 

  • print our books on recycled paper
  • choose cardboard over plastic
  • break down our cardboard boxes and get them to where their material breakdown has direct, local benefits

Many companies recycle (hurray!) but we go a step further to put our waste to better use

Even as a small publisher, we still have a lot of cardboard, but we arrange for our employees to take it from the office to their various growning spaces so it can smother weeds naturally, as we work to grow a little of our own food or encourage the many flowers that go on to feed the pollinators, which help out local farms that feed so many people.

#PracticeWhatYouPublish is our company motto, and the way we handle our waste comes directly from the books we publish. Dawn Again author Doniga Markegard, is how important it is to feed the soil (have you seen her in the new documentary Kiss The Ground yet?).

Movement Matters author Katy Bowman inspires us not only to #stackourlife and add purposeful movement – but to reframe the idea that the labor of breaking down boxes and moving more for what we need is “for other people to do for us.”

Finally, Week 52 in Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well reminds us all that getting dirty in a growing space is good for our mind and soul.

using cardboard to smother weeds
photo courtesy of author Katy Bowman

Fans of Move Your DNA and Nutritious Movement understand the personal benefits that come from getting outside, gardening and growing your own food, and even from breaking down a few boxes by hand.

No plastic required

“I use boxes in my garden, but I wind up pulling a lot of packing tape out of the soil.”

– Katy Bowman, author of Grow Wild

Her shipping solution? To use a special packing tape from StickerMule that’s a gummed paper tape, water-activated, and as they say, “biodegradable and repulpable.”

compostable packing tape for books
Photo courtesy of

Propriometrics Press also passes on the plastic when we ship to our readers, and definitely skip those mixed paper and bubble wrap envelopes that can neither be recycled nor composted.

We use rigid cardboard mailers. No bubbles required.


At Propriometrics Press we try to live the messages we write about, and that goes far beyond moving more, wearing cool shoes, and sitting on the floor.

When it comes to our books, we want to honor and protect the earth that we love.

We want it will be clean and healthy for generations to come, which means taking steps to print on more environmentally friendly materials, ship as efficiently and sustainably as possible, and put any byproducts and waste to good use!

perennial vegetables by eric toensmeier

Interested in reading more about sustainability in your own garden while also helping it thrive?

Check out this excerpt from Eric Toensmeier’s book Perennial VegetablesTurn Barren Soil into Black Gold: 9 Simple Steps to Sheet Mulching


Stack nature and physical literacy with reading time.

As a publisher we want to connect libraries and their patrons to our books, but we’re striving for a great impact: we’d like to help connect libraries and their patrons to the idea that humans benefit immensely not only from literacy in words and ideas, but also literacy in nature and movement.

Our catalog works together as a system, offering connection to nature and movement in the form of memoirs, Big Idea books on movement science, essays on sedentary culture, parenting books and many how-tos that break down getting more movement and more nature (and getting more movement in nature) into bite-size steps—no matter your patron’s age or stage. 

Below we’ve not only given a brief overview of how our titles can be tools in this way; we’ve also assembled broader materials that can help libraries foster not only physical activity, but an environment that simultaneously restores natural human movement as reading literacy is being promoted. Libraries are welcome to share the links, graphics, and text we’ve provided below.


Create a StoryWalk!

Start following Let’s Move In Libraries and create a StoryWalk!

Create a flexible seating area

One that allows or even encourages reading in a variety of postures on the floor. These work great in a kid’s reading area.

Make simple signs or check out this “Think Outside The Chair” Poster (available here)!


We know librarians love displays! Here are some display title ideas for setting up displays that get folks moving and thinking about movement.

SPRING into Walking Books!

Books to Inspire a Long Walk

Family Nature Adventures

Active at EVERY AGE (layer baby/kid movement books with senior movement books)

Whole-Body Tool Kit (books on fixing body parts)

Stay Active in the Garden (garden displays are common, but in this case it’s the messaging that gardening is a form of exercise!)

NATURE SCHOOL: How to Move, Play, and DIY Outdoors


Looking for content to share with your patrons that promote reading and moving at the same time? Check out these articles below.

How to Hold a Dynamic Book Club

You Can Read And Move At The Same Time

21 Books To Get You Moving and Thinking About Movement

30 Books to Connect Kids (Toddlers to Teens) To Nature

20 Book to Inspire a Long Walk


Propriometrics Press author Katy Bowman talks Dynamic Aging and the importance of body part mobility at the North Olympic Library System, Washington.

Watch Katy’s presentation here!

Serious Library News Podcast

Katy joins Heather Cully to talk about how Nutritious Movement can help library patrons and librarians alike!

Listen Here Now! Serious Library News Magazine


There are many exercise titles but almost no books discussing the importance of movement and moving outside. We currently recommend a trio of books that help get folks moving more outside at every age and stage: Grow Wild, Move Your DNA, and Dynamic Aging.

Our flagship book, Move Your DNA was crucial to beginning this “exercise is movement but movement is not exercise” discussion and was a 2017 Foreword Indie Award Honorable Mention for Health and Finalist for Science. 

Bowman covers some complicated topics, including physics, biology, kinesiology, and mathematics, but her tone is light, conversational, and often humorous, making learning from her effortless. Skillful use of analogy and metaphor makes complex topics accessible. ..Enjoyable, convincing, and sure to change the way fitness buffs (and couch potatoes) move. Foreword Reviews 

Grow Wild not only breaks down the ‘big ideas’ behind movement as a nutrient, it serves as a field guide―how to spot all the movement opportunities we’re currently missing.

Logical, persuasive, and compassionate arguments make this a timely resource: we’re all culpable of sitting around too much, but we’re all capable of redefining our modern mold, too.― Foreword Reviews

Dynamic Aging, as featured on the Today Show with Maria Shriver, is not an exercise guide as much as it is a guide to developing or maintaining the ability to take part in the physicality of life!


You can find our ebooks and audiobooks at these library vendors: OverDrive, Baker & Taylor (AXIS 360), EBSCO, Hoopla, Mackin, Perlego, ProQuest, Academic.


Books inconveniently placed move patrons more!

But really, we’re just kidding. I mean, you can do that (we spotted Dynamic Aging on the bottom shelf here) but it’s not necessary. These books will get folks moving in their own time!

We hope you find this resource useful and if you have any suggestions, requests, or ways we can get library users moving more, please reach out to us at at