National Geographic Launches 'The Green Guide,' Magazine

As the nation’s green wave shifts from environmental advocacy to responsible consumerism, National Geographic on March 4 will launch National Geographic Green Guide, a quarterly publication devoted to helping consumers develop smarter, greener behavior to support a healthier planet.

Following National Geographic’s century-long mission to inspire people to care about the planet, National Geographic Green Guide offers practical, in-depth information on products, companies and trends that will help consumers of all stripes make better product and lifestyle decisions for the health of their families and the environment.

“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.

National Geographic Green Guide lives up to its name in every way. The first and only magazine devoted 100 percent to green consumer information, Green Guide is a “keeper,” something you hold on to, read not just once but return to again and again for the useful service information and product advice that are its trademark. That sense of stewardship and responsibility is shared by the paper company (Verso Paper) and the printer (Quad/Graphics) chosen for the print edition of the magazine as well as the digital publishing company, Texterity, which is making the entire publication available in a paper-free “published Web format.”

The Verso paper for National Geographic Green Guide carries the FSC Mixed Source Label, meaning the wood comes from Forest Stewardship Council-certified, well-managed forests, sources controlled in accordance with FSC standards, and/or recycled material. And the printer, Quad/Graphics, based in Sussex, Wisc., has long been known for its environmental stewardship and social responsibility, garnering a long list of local, state and national honors, including the 2007 Wisconsin Going Green Award, the Rainforest Alliance’s Sustainability Award and, most recently, the Environmental Excellence Award from the U.S. EPA’s Smartway Transportation Partnership for having prevented the emissions of 11,878 tons of CO2 — the equivalent of taking 2,332 passenger cars off the road for a year.

The publication will be available for a $15 annual sub scri ption or a $4.95 newsstand price at locations including Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods Markets and Hudson News. The digital sub scri ption will be delivered via email for $12 annually and will include all the content from the print issue, including stories, design elements, charts, photographs and advertising, in an easy-to-navigate file using Texterity’s Web publishing format.

National Geographic Green Guide features compellingly packaged eco-friendly lifestyle tips, home improvement advice, product coverage and informational reporting on green issues. Some regular departments include:

Best Buy: This section calls out a specific single consumer good and dissects the buying options around it. The inaugural issue — spring 2008 — looks at orange juice. It comes in cardboard, plastic, glass containers or concentrate. It can have vitamins or calcium added. It can be remade from concentrate or not. What’s the healthiest, greenest choice?

What Happens To…: This regular feature, accompanied by photos, follows a recyclable item through the disposal chain. The first issue looks at what happens to the hundreds of thousands of used plastic bags Wal-Mart gathers in its stores for recycling.

The premiere issue of National Geographic Green Guide also takes a hard look at carbon dioxide levels in the American home, with a gripping photo essay and insightful coverage that includes tips that will help every family embark on a “carbon diet” in 2008, offering simple, realistic guidelines, advice and tools to reduce their carbon footprint.

“National Geographic has always delivered powerful visuals and relevant stories about the world to our readers,” said John Q. Griffin, president, National Geographic Magazine Group. “We strongly believe the Green Guide’s practical service information will resonate with consumers.”

National Geographic Green Guide magazine is an evolution of the pre-existing Green Guide Web site and newsletter, founded in 1994 by former Natural Resources Defense Council staff scientist Wendy Gordon. National Geographic acquired the original Green Guide in March 2007.

“We took great care to ensure that not only our message is universally green but also that our execution of it is as green as possible,” Gordon said. “We also understand that people absorb information differently, and we want to provide every avenue possible for eco-aware consumers to interact with and learn from Green Guide. We expect our readers to build libraries out of National Geographic Green Guide issues, saving them as reference materials, much like readers do with other National Geographic products.”

The publication’s expert editorial staff has spent years sifting through the latest in environmental news, scientific research and green consumer products — food, household, personal care and more. The wealth of existing Green Guide content will reside on the Web as a comprehensive database of information. The site also will be home to a slate of interactive features, including blogs and a series of how-to videos.

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