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Monthly Archives: May 2013


I am a magazine-a-holic.

Green livings, interiors, art, gardening – love ’em all. No idea when this affliction began, but as a sustainability professional it’s my Achilles’ heel. Since what I do in working hours can be a bit of a slog – it’s a creative escape, a way to find beauty and sense in a sometimes world of waste, consumption and yick.

The best guilt offsets so far have been the second-hand piles of free mags at my old library in Canada, the newsagents who resell them at one of my local “down-towns” in Goodwood and the thrift shop, the Salvos around the corner.

Yet still I buy.

This time though I grilled the poor retail assistant about the out-of-date ones. This agency claims they “don’t have the space” to keep old magazines for re-sale. Covers come off & get sent back to the publishers, and retailers are paid full price. What becomes of the rest is up the discretion of the individual. No-one measures the impact, and apparently (after speaking to one publisher, the huge Bauer Media) the impact is no-ones real concern. Am following up with Bauer to see how (if) their covers are recycled and the numbers around that activity.

But why oh why can’t a person buy an unwanted couple-of-months old Vogue Living or Dwell for a few bucks less? That’d make a nice little good news social-benefit story for the magazine giants. Then there’d be less toxic landfill (an environmental win – conventional inks are pretty toxic) and a little sweetener for the  sales and profits of publishers including greater profit for the small guy, the agents.

There are other ways to indulge of course – there’s the beautiful semi-collectables (see Frankie, Collect and of course Peppermint) – but they still represent a wee part of a massive market.

Guessing this is one sustainability issue I’ll just have to put back on the shelf and solve for another day.