In my quest to live a greener life, my Achilles’ heel is my obsession with print media. We subscribe to our city’s daily newspaper, we get the Sunday Times delivered, and I get approximately eight monthly or bimonthly magazines right in my mailbox. There are also three or four magazines I buy off the newsstand on a fairly regular basis. I love the varying lengths of stories, which perfectly cater to my dynamic attention span. I love letters to the editor and dog-earing pages with things I want to explore further. I love finding a new issue in my mailbox after a particularly long day. I even love the ads.
While cleaning my home recently, I realized just how much paper this leads to each month, and my green guilt set in. Unfortunately, I really, really love both magazines and the daily newspaper. It’s something I am reluctant to give up. Fortunately, there may be a solution that seems almost plausible to a printaholic like me. ReadyMade, a design/home solutions magazine for the DIY set with a sustainable sensibility, is now providing readers with a digital version of its print form. You can see every page, just as it appears in print, in its entirety, starting with the current issue #34, their green design issue.
ReadyMade is no stranger to all things green. It’s been part of their focus since its inception in 2001, and although they’ve been doing “green” issues since before it was trendy, almost all of their issues make mention of green practices or sustainable design. Their print issue is done on 50% post-consumer recycled paper that’s FSC certified. It honestly doesn’t surprise me that their the first of the mags I read to go digital; as champions of efficient design with a built-in eco-audience, it’s a pragmatic approach.
The digital edition is fairly user-friendly. Readers can customize how they view the pages, and can easily jump around using the page index or table of contents. Zooming in and out was a breeze, and graphics and photos are high-res. There’s also a handy option to view any links that appear in the text, either by page or throughout the entire issue. I like this because I’m always dog-earing links I want to look at after I read a magazine. I got really excited when I saw a little bookmark icon, hoping it would be a way to digitally tag or annotate things I wanted to revisit. Disappointingly, it was only a way to bookmark a particular page using your browser’s bookmark function. That’s only a minor quibble, though. I can honestly see myself able to make the switch from print to digital if magazines looked and operated like ReadyMade. For me, that’s a very big deal.
Best of all, you can check out the inaugural digital issue, in its entirety, for free. And, the more people that read the digital issue, the more money sustainable clothing company Nau will donate to carbon offset partner Climate Trust. My only complaint is that I’m unsure as to whether or not subscribers will be able to “opt-out” of their print subscription, and if so, can they get a discount on their subscriptions? ReadyMade‘s website lacked details about this, but implied that future digital subscriptions would be subscriber-only. Added reason to check out this issue? Longtime GreenOptions writer Victoria Everman is a contributor this month.
I’ve drastically cut down on my magazine consumption. . . no more subscriptions, no more buying a couple every time I’m at the grocery (that was always my reward for having done the grocery shopping!). . . It was, as you say, green guilt. The few minutes it takes to flip through the pages just wasn’t worth it, especially when so much is available online.
I read a la carte (start here), but print everything I read — I find it better to read on paper, but I read every bit of paper I print (often 2 pages/side and double-sided).
The problem is not reading print media, its NOT reading a lot of that print media. One way to get around this is to pay more for an ad-free version of the magazine/paper but people balk at paying double the price. (OTOH, it would mean a VERY SKINNY Vogue 🙂