Being green is finally paying off in a way publishers can understand.
A pair of major book retailers-Barnes and Noble and Hastings Books and Music-will give premium space in nearly 400 of their bookstores to magazines that use recycled paper.
The promotion, dubbed "Green Paper for People and Planet," will include prominent fixtures and special signage within each store to highlight publications using recycled paper with at least 30 percent post-consumer content.
Shape, Fast Company, Mother Jones, ReadyMade, Nickelodeon, and Body + Soul will be prominently featured during November in 153 Hastings Books and Music stores, at no charge to publishers. Barnes and Noble has committed 10 slots for magazines-Shape, Inc., Mother Jones, Mothering, Natural Home, Body + Soul, VegNews, Nickelodeon, Dwell and Yoga Journal-that use recycled paper at a heavily discounted rate-$1,200-in their top 240 stores beginning in January. Discussions are underway to add more retailers in 2008, according to Next Steps Marketing and Co-op America, the companies behind the initiative.
Máire Walsh, director of client services at Next Steps Marketing, says the benefit for participating magazines is not only a discount on premium rack-space, but an added eco-awareness for their titles. "Consumers really want to know what magazines are using recycled paper," says Walsh. "It shows that there are magazines in our industry that are embracing recycled paper."
The embracing is taking time, though. According to Walsh, less than five percent of all magazine paper contains any recycled content.
"You often hear about recycled paper being poor quality, or that it costs too much and won’t work financially for a publishing company," adds Shape editor-in-chief Valerie Latona. "If Shape can do it with a 1.7 million circulation size and still be successful and profitable, I’d have to say those excuses are not valid. There can be no more excuses."