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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Letter from the Publisher

Not everything is better just because it is shiny and bright. This is why Natural Awakenings and many other cutting-edge publishers are busting the myth that a high-quality magazine must go glossy.

As we engulfed ourselves in this month’s theme of Green Living and celebrating Earth Day, we reflected on our local vision, which aligns with that of our parent publisher – to become a role model in the industry, to support healthy living both through our content and the way we do business; healthy and green from the inside-out.

World forests are disappearing at the rate of 20 football fields per second because of pulp and paper productions and more than two-thirds of our escalating paper supply still comes from forest-harvested timber. Thus, today’s leadingedge publishers such as Shape, Discover and Mother Jones magazine have switched to sustainable methods of paper manufacturing. Natural Awakenings of Tucson uses only 100 percent post-consumer (recycled) paper.

Seventeen years ago, the national publishers of our magazine franchise made the decision to never go glossy. Glossy paper is made by adding a coating of clay to the surface (that’s why glossy magazines are heavy) and the UV treatment required as a sealer uses tremendous amounts of electricity. The paper is also harder to recycle, because it gums up the works and contaminates other, non-coated paper. Even noncoated “brighter” paper is dosed with toxin chemicals to achieve that whiteness.

We choose soy-based inks, used since 1960s, verses petroleum-based printing inks that not only release toxins into the atmosphere, but often use poisonous heavy metals that contaminate our soil and groundwater.

Finally, as an eco-friendly publisher, we have a policy of printing only the number of copies equal to the demand. Co-op America reports that three billion copies of unsold magazines are delivered to newsstands each year by unenlightened publishers to boost circulation numbers reported to advertisers. Ensuring that all of our free publications are picked up by readers is a fine balancing act, shared with our advertisers, suppliers and readers, in which all have made a conscious decision to make a difference in our world’s natural forest and our environment.

Here’s to No Glossies!

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