Letter from Publisher – April 2014

By April 7, 2014Local

We’re thrilled that you’re a fan of Natural Awakenings! It’s fairly safe to conclude that you’re also a fan of a healthy environment. Welcome to our annual Green Living issue.

Crissy Trask’s feature article, “Live Green, Save Big,” disproves the myth that eco-friendly choices are harder on our wallets than conventional options. The accompanying piece, “By the Numbers,” is another eye-opener.

In our quest to publish Natural Awakenings in an environmentally responsible manner, it’s good to keep in mind that “going green” is a process. Just as with any major shift, progress comes in steps.

If someone wants to lose weight, for example, they have a better chance of succeeding if they pick a future date when they want to reach a specific goal, and then work backward, articulating where they need to be on a weekly or monthly basis. It works the same way when we want to make any shift with lasting and permanent benefits. So it is with greening up our lives; it doesn’t have to be a matter of all or nothing so long as we’re moving in the right direction.

Occasionally, purists ask why we publish print copies if we’re a “green” company. Why not go totally electronic? First, I’ll note that we print on 100 percent recycled non-glossy paper with nontoxic soy ink. Of course, we invite readers to join our email list to receive the digital edition instead, but we also understand that the majority of our readers are overdosed on screen time and prefer the gentle tactile experience of flipping paper pages. Additionally, studies suggest that our brains relate to the physical markers on pages, like left and right and the relation of page corners to the text, which allow us to recall the location of information and call up the memory of reading it. This anchoring sense is lost on a screen. Plus, historically we know that many readers file magazines for months or even years so they can return later to reference advertisers, calendar events and favorite articles.

Not only do we want to help readers remember all of the valuable information they find in these pages, we are also happy to provide fun tips on other ways you can reuse past issues. Practical repurposing ranges from shredding for packing material, tearing into pieces for household compost, lining litter boxes and garbage cans, rolling into paper logs, and cutting out pictures and words for a vision board. Of course you can always resend it to the recycling center.

The crafting link at BuzzFeed.com/chanelparks/awesomemagazine-newspaper-crafts has more ideas and links for everything from making clocks, trashcans, seedling starters, frames, bowls, trivets and vases to shaping a sailor hat and a paper dress. One of our readers recently shared a picture of the gift bags she has made to sell her local crafts; she also sells the bags, made by local volunteers, to raise funds for an African orphanage (AustinAwakenings.com/ kanti-goods-gives-back). We salute you all.

Happy Earth Month,


Shelly Searle, Publisher