I thought I'd celebrate Earth Day by providing a little collection of inspiring publications that help keep my spirits up. All are are available digitally through Zinio and other electronic clearinghouses, and none of them are from around here. Most of these center on permaculture, regenerative grazing, sustainability, reducing waste, and other means to accomplishing tikkun olam (the Jewish concept of healing the world).
Still a lover of print, I nevertheless welcome the chance to read well-produced digital versions of magazines I could never afford in print, and would have a really hard time letting go of. The beauty of electronic versions is that I can archive them and they don't stack up in piles on bookshelves--like my favorite house porn journal, Country Living UK (which I now get on Zinio).
The Simple Things is, however, more of an inspirational foray into craft and nature from the UK that urges a simplified life but doesn't necessarily require that one immediately go out to the shops or head for Amazon, although it does frequently feature sustainably crafted goods.
The May issue includes an article on "Almost-wild" camping, which sounds like it could catch on in the US.
A year or so back I discovered a charming--and inspiring--magazine on Zinio called Junkies, which soon after changed its name to a less problematic and more appropriate re:think.
Published in Australia, it focuses on recycling, making, sustainable fashion, and a range of related topics.
Every time I read an issue of this magazine, I imagine new ways to use things that in another life I would have thrown out. That alone is worth the subscription price.
Rather than things, this Australian publication focuses on philosophical and cultural issues, and especially on people "with the drive to make a difference" around the world.
Dumbo Feather's current issue's topic is Truth, and navigating the problematic world of information.
Several conversations are featured each issue, with interesting and inspiring people I might never have heard of if I hadn't happened on this journal.
Australia has been the axis mundi of permaculture practice and development for years. In 2014, Robin Rosenfeldt moved to New South Wales and began a magazine designed to provide "ideas and inspiration for a resilient future."
Pip is a congenial, information-packed quarterly with evocative artwork and articles on sustainability, growing, eating, building, and thriving. The website has some wonderful videos and advice about living lightly on the planet.
Another quarterly Australian publication, Earth Garden might remind some folks of the US's Mother Earth News (to which I also subscribe digitally) but can confuse a whole lot of us in the northern hemisphere because of its seasonal focus.
Sustainable living is once again the driving force, with an emphasis on gardening and dealing with the output.
Terrific gardening and farming ideas, great recipes, solid advice on house-holding techniques (like canning and preserving) are all to be found within its pages.
Their high production values, collective ethical and cultural conscience (the Australian magazines acknowledge their debt to the indigenous peoples on whose land they create and publish), optimism, and practical suggestions for rehabilitating and sustaining the planet, make these all worth taking a look at.
Happy Earth Day, folks. Stay well, get vaccinated, and help to save the planet.