Friday, March 21, 2008
National Geographic has just released the first print issue of The Green Guide. Now, there are plenty of publications out there on how to "live green", so I was rather skeptical when I picked this one up. However, this magazine was fantastic. There are great, practical everyday tips such as how to choose better household cleansers - or better yet, how to make your own! The article on "Lose 142 pounds (of carbon) a week" is brilliant - it's an excellent visual cue as to what these vaporous "carbon emissions" really represent. There is a great video here showing how they did the photoshoot for this session - each big black balloon represents one pound of CO2, and the average person has 47 of these black balloons following them around every single day. Great tips follow on how to eliminate some of these balloons, and it's really easy - washing clothes in cold water instead of hot, or better insulating your house, can reduce your balloons dramatically.
Only downside of the issue? It says that they "offer an electronic version of the complete magazine, true to every page." If this is true, I can't seem to find it. I have subscribed as the magazine suggested, so I will wait to see if it shows up in my inbox anytime soon. In the meantime, the magazine is printed on a combination of post-consumer recycled paper and pulp from wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, so it's better than many magazines out there if you want to pick up a copy of your own.
Updated to add: In order to get the electronic version, you need to subscribe to the magazine. This is not subscribe like "RSS" or "Email newletter", but rather take out a paid subscription to the magazine where you will get the option to receive the paper version or the electronic version. The paper version is $15 US per year, the electronic version $12. You can take out that subscription here.
I'm a little surprised that the e-version is only $0.75 cheaper per issue. I would assume that the saved costs of printing, raw materials and postage would more than make up that difference. But more than that, encouraging people to subscribe to the electronic version is far more environmentally friendly, which is really the whole point. I think this should be incentivized a bit more, to encourage people to take the earth-friendly option - for example, if the price is to remain the same, then why not make a donation to an environmental charity for each e-version purchased? You listening, Green Guide?
Having said that, this is in the US... the Canadian and International versions are far less expensive, which is great - it really encourages readers to subscribe electronically, thus keeping heavy printed materials out of carbon-emitting transport. Yay!