Responsible and Green Magazine Reading Habits

There are some benefits to real, hold-in-your-hand paper magazines such as they’re awesome for recycled material art projects, are better than your laptop in the bathtub and magazines may encourage kids to read – often kids who don’t love reading books do find that they like reading magazines. That said, no matter how cool a magazine is, it still takes energy and trees to make said magazine and it also uses energy to recycle magazines which means the benefits of paper magazines only outweigh the cons if people are very responsible about their magazine habits.

Step 1: If you want to get away from paper made magazines try the following…

Subscribe digitally – if you’re ok with a non-paper subscription try subscribing and reading online. Many magazines now offer online subscriptions and in most cases offer offline reading options. Now, you can even subscribe to magazines on Kindle and have a digital, not paper magazine experience. Popular magazine titles like Time, Reader’s Digest, The New Yorker and more can all be found on Kindle.

Step 2: If you love old school paper magazines make sure you keep your reading green…

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Subscribe to fewer magazines
– you don’t need to subscribe to every magazine on the planet. Choose magazines you LOVE and magazines that you actually read cover to cover. If you find yourself not reading a subscription, cancel it. It’s not worth the energy and paper used.

Share or borrow – if you and your pal both like to read a specific magazine why not save money and paper and split one subscription? You can also check out almost any magazine title at your local library.

Buy eco-friendly magazines – many magazines now print on recycled paper, use eco-friendly inks and have earth friendly company policies. These are the companies you should be buying magazines from. You can browse an entire list of magazines committed to postconsumer recycled content and/or responsibly sourced virgin fiber at Green America.

Encourage eco-friendly magazines – write your favorite magazine companies and let them know that you want magazines printed on recycled content. Tell them to dump obnoxious ads and subscription cards.

Step 3: Recycle your magazines…

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YES you can recycle according the Earth 911, only about 20% of home magazines are recycled. I’m guessing it’s because people don’t know that they can recycle magazines. In the past, most recycling plants could not accept glossy magazines for recycling, but that’s the old way. Nowadays you can recycle magazines, even those slick glossy magazines by simply placing them in your recycled paper bin. Or locate a magazine recycling center at Earth 911.

Step 4: Magazine recycling ideas beyond the bin…

  • Donate – many schools, community centers, homeless shelters and other organizations would be happy to take your magazines. Don’t forget about your pals and family members too.
  • Save your favorite recipes from magazines and organize them in a folder for a nice full color cookbook on the cheap.
  • Help your little one make a super cool DIY recycled dollhouse.
  • Make some amazing recycled magazine bowls for your own home or to give as holiday gifts.
  • Make a homemade recycled magazine table – awesome.
  • Save magazine pages and use fun or festive pages to wrap holidays gifts with.
  • Make the coolest garbage can you’ve ever seen – ironic and fun because you’re keeping mags out of the trash by making it!
  • Save magazines, shred them and use as packing material for a move or holiday gift sending – the benefit over newspaper is no stains on items. You can also simply crumple the pages for packing material.
  • Make beautiful homemade magazine jewelry.

Do you subscribe to paper magazines or is this a habit you’re done with?

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  1. says

    Love this post! Thank you. I don’t subscribe to many magazines anymore, but those I do, I ask periodically for them to consider printing on 100% PCW paper. I also did this for the alumni bulletin I receive from the college I attended, to my doctor’s office which sends out a newsletter, to a bookselling association I belong to. The more people hear from us that it’s important, the more likely they are to consider doing it!

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