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‘Green-Issue’ Magazines: Which Publications Walk the Environmentally-Responsible Walk?

In keeping with what seems to be a personal theme this week about paper recycling, I was motivated by a recent commenter to learn more about magazines and their recyclability.

Nils Davis, said motivating commenter and blogger at Keeping the Lights On, posed this great question:

Can magazines be turned into magazines again, or do they always require β€˜virgin’ paper?

Well, I don’t yet have the specifics to answer the first part of that question. But it seems the answer to the second part is a resounding “No.”

While notable names in the glossy, high-fashion end of periodical publishing – think Vanity Fair and Elle – have embraced the annual green issue hype, promoting greeness via their un-green publications, there are some magazine publishers who make eco-publishing their daily M.O.

And not just a few of them. There is a lengthy list of magazines that make the effort to print on environmentally-correct papers.

That can mean using post-consumer recycled content, or it can mean using certified paper, which is promised to come from responsibly-managed forests or to be chlorine-free.

Behold, The List – some of it, anyway, thanks to Co-op America’s Magazine Paper Project:

β€’ Alpinist
β€’ Audubon
β€’ Backyard Living
β€’ Body + Soul
β€’ Climbing Magazine
β€’ Cooking for Two
β€’ Country Woman
β€’ Craft
β€’ E Magazine
β€’ The Ecologist
β€’ Every Day with Rachael Ray
β€’ Farm and Ranch Living
β€’ Fast Company
β€’ Good Magazine
β€’ The Green Guide
β€’ Heeb
β€’ Inc. Magazine
β€’ Mother Jones
β€’ Ms. Magazine
β€’ Natural Home and Garden
β€’ The Nature Conservancy
β€’ Nick (Nickelodeon) Magazine
β€’ Ode
β€’ Organic Life
β€’ Outside
β€’ The Progressive
β€’ Ranger Rick
β€’ ReadyMade
β€’ Russian Life
β€’ Shape
β€’ Surfer Magazine
β€’ Taste of Home
β€’ Trout Unlimited
β€’ Utne
β€’ Yoga Journal

Co-op America lists more than 125 magazines that walk the green walk – so far.

Many of the magazines named clearly lean toward enlightened, environmentally-based lives with active outdoor interests. So they are not surprises, though they still are praise-worthy and much appreciated. At least a few of them — Ode, ReadyMade, Body + Soul — showupΒ at my house regularly.

But there are several major names that should shine some hope for other big brands – Mother Jones, Ms. Magazine, Outside, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Inc. – to one day make their so-called ‘green issues’ actually green, something more than just annual, hey-look-at-us gimmicks.

Related posts:

A By-the-Numbers Look at Paper Recycling: Does One Person’s Effort Do Any Good?
Individual Recycling Efforts Do Have Impact; Magazines Are the Difference-Makers

Recycled Paper at Starbucks, Citigroup and UPS — Where Is It Now?

S.O.S. (Save Our Shredders): The Junk Mail Deluge

Photo: Adam Williams

6 comments
  1. y

    This is absolutely fascinating. I never really thought about “magazine greenness” before and this has really prompted me to think about it.

  2. Nils Davis

    Adam – thanks for following up on my comment! I hope a lot more magazines get on the bandwagon of using recycled paper. (We just got a 700 page Vogue at home this month – pretty much too heavy to read!)

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