As Plastic Free July comes to a close, my goal has moved beyond plastic to now be as close to waste free as possible. One big change I have made to achieve this came after some close inspection of where I was spending money.
It turns out I spend a lot of money on magazines. Not trashy weeklies, more design or food mags that I hold onto for a while, refer to now and then, and then pass on or donate (via Freecycle or Givenow). Ultimately, they are destined to be ditched. Now, it is true that glossy mags can be recycled in your yellow bin (or blue bin if you have one) but surely it would be better for the environment - and my wallet – if I found an alternative to buying physical magazines to satisfy my addiction.
My first stop was my library. There I was able to borrow older editions of the titles I read, but this was hit and miss as many of the titles were already out on loan or not stocked by the library. Still, it was a good place to start.
My second stop was still in my library but involved downloading an app on my tablet for a digital newsstand that my library membership gave me access to. This was good – very good in fact as, being digital, issues are never out on loan – but not quite perfect as only some of my titles were offered.
My third stop was to explore my own subscription to a different digital newsstand. This was very promising – a reasonable yearly fee gave me access to hundreds of titles, including many of the titles I would regularly buy. It also allowed family access, so everyone could download the app and read their own magazines. Also, the parental controls meant that I could feel safe that my kids weren’t reading anything too ‘grown up’. I could read to my heart’s content without guilt as parent or a consumer!
For magazines not covered by these three alternatives, there is also the option to directly subscribe to the electronic version of that individual titles at a far lower price than a subscription to the physical magazine. For me, my itch was well and truly scratched by the first three options, so I didn’t feel the need to go down that path.
There is definitely something wonderful (to me) in the experience of settling down with a cup of tea and a crisp new magazine for a few hours of escape and I can’t say I will never indulge in that again, but for the most part, I have found my fix and my wallet is much happier for it.
If you are keen to follow suit, check out your library to see if they offer access to a digital newsstand (e.g. RB Digital) or consider subscribing to Magzter for a range of titles, or individual titles via isubscribe.
See you next week! - Elise
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.