The History of Earth Care Paper
Earth Care Paper was founded in 1983 by John Aebi-Magee in an effort to change the American waste ethic. Starting in his garage, the company doubled or tripled every year for 8 years in a row. By 1991, with over 150 employees, the company was the 39th fastest growing private company in America -- and America started recycling!
Earth Care helped create a market for recycled paper. Without a market, waste paper goes straight to the landfill. While the paper industry floundered in the 1980s, the folks at Earth Care stuck to their beliefs and produced hundreds of products from 100% recycled paper. Hundreds of thousands of customers responded by switching to recycled.
Some Earth Care Staffers who worked on the Ice Age Trail restoration in Lodi Marsh
Why was Earth Care Paper such a success? Because the company remained true to its mission: to improve the world by making recycled paper readily available. We never compromised on the environmental mission and we insisted on doing business in a way that we could feel good about every single aspect of our products and operations – a path that few companies have ever had the courage to take.
Over the years, companies like Earth Care Paper and Conservatree demonstrated that consumer demand was strong for recycled paper. The traditional paper industry and supply channels responded. Now, recycled paper and environmentally responsible alternatives are available at most printers and stationery stores. We feel we accomplished a lot toward our mission of improving the world by making recycled paper readily available.
Of course, the most important force was people like you who have gone out of your way to demand buying recycled. Your efforts created a market for waste paper and forced recycling rates to dramatically increase.
In 1993, Real Goods Trading Company acquired Earth Care Paper. Several years later, Giam, Inc. acquired Real Goods. Gradually, the Earth Care line of products faded away.
As founder John Aebi-Magee predicted in 1983:
"My goal is to put myself out of business. By creating a market for recycled paper, eventually there will be no need for our pioneering efforts.That will be my measure of success."
Read more about our accomplishments. Or Read interesting comments from customers & staff.
Earth Care Paper Today
Today, Earth Care Paper doesn't produce products. Now, John Aebi-Magee, Earth Care’s founder, produces this site as a public service to help promote and support other fine businesses that are retailing environmentally responsible alternatives to paper. We provide a directory and resource center linking you to responsible suppliers of everything from recycled paper to alternative fiber paper to paperless office systems.
Please support these efforts!
Headlines from the Past:
- Participatory Management: An Effective Example in Action: Earth Care Paper, HR Issues, Norell Services, October 1992
- Earth Care Paper: The De-Layered Organization, Wisconsin Small Business Counselor, March 1992
- Marketers Develop a New Climate: Earth Care Paper, Direct Marketing, February 1992
- Profile: Earth Care Paper, Co-op America Connections, September 1991
- Earth Care Paper Practices as it Teaches, Winslow Environmental News, July 1991
- On Saving the Forest and Paper: Earth Care Paper, the New York Times, February 21, 1991
- Earth Care Moves to Soy-based Inks, Catalog Age, January 1991
- Earth Care Paper Takes Its Mission to School, Winslow Environmental News,
- Local Firm Joins Others Against War, Madison Capital Times, December 26, 1990
- Earth Care Paper Wants to Help You Help the Planet, Madison Business, November 1990
- Madison Firm a Recycling Hit, Wisconsin State Journal, September 2, 1990
- Friends of the Earth: Earth Care Paper, Family Business Magazine, May 1990
- Paper Firm Green About Environment, the Janesville Gazette, February 25, 1990
- Care of Our Earth is at Central Core of Firm, Madison Capital Times, March 1, 1989
- Company Profits from Environmental Concept, San Francisco Chronicle, Wisconsin State Journal, April 1988
- Earth Care – Providing a Range of Recycled Paper, Building Economic Alternatives, December 1987