Ever get seduced by a magazine at the supermarket? It's beautiful, you get sucked in, you pay the price, only to be unfulfilled two hours later. I hope you at least put it in the recycling bin.
If a gorgeous cover catches your eye, don't rush away. It might be the Green Guide.
Launched March 4 by National Geographic, Green Guide is a quarterly publication (thats four time a year for those of you who used to beat up the math team) and is "devoted to helping consumers develop smarter, greener behavior to support a healthier planet."
Don't leave just yet. This magazine is different.
Most of these magazines are either written for idiots who didn't realize there was any problem with out wastefulness or for hardcore environmentalists.
The ones for idiots inevitaby have teasers that say, "Amazing ways to save money and help the planet!" The amazing ways? Turn off the lights when you're not in the room and turn off the water when you brush. Gee, thanks oh so much. I've never heard that before.
The ones for the granola pushers have extreme ideas that aren't that doable. These magazines tell you to get rid of your car altogether and to take public transportation. Let me just hop on that train the runs from my house to The Herald News.
Green Guide is different. This is actual useable information.
In an article about improving your air quality indoors, you don't just get the standard "change your furnace filter." Did you know heat-producing electronics (yes, your DVD player is warm) have a fire-retardant chemical in the dust on them. It's not just the dust that's bothering you; it's also the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. And it's not just scare tactics. Each "indoor air quality" issue includes what you can do to lessen the contaminant -- and no one is telling you to throw out your big screen TV.
My favorite part is the smart shopper's card, a wallet-sized tear out that lists all the types of plastics and whether they are safe for us and can be recycled. (A quick check assured me the new plastic pitchers I bought before Memorial Day are perfectly safe.)
The best summary comes from a press release I requested after being delighted by the magazine I bought at a local grocery store.
"Written for general consumers, not for enviromaniacs, National Geographic Green Guide is chock-full of simple, useful ideas, broken down into achievable steps that make 'going green' a gradual and affordable process rather than an all-or-nothing plunge," said Seth Bauer, editorial director of National Geographic Green Guide.
No enviromaniacs. That could be this blog's subtitle.
If you fit into the enviromaniac group, you're probably thinking, "Well, dead-tree publications aren't green, no matter what their content is."
It's printed on wood from certified, well-managed forests and recycled paper. The printer has a stack of awards for green work.
AND, yes, there's more, Green Guide is even being offered in an electronic format. No paper. No shipping. No problem.
Ready to subscribe? Right now, you can get one year for $15 or get the e-format for $12 a year. Head to www.thegreenguide.com to sign up or get more information that you won't find in the magazine.