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Follow-Up To My Magazine Rant

So, the bur is still under my blanket. In fact, I may be just a tad bit obsessed now.

By their own claims, People Magazine has a weekly circulation of 3,750,000. Just for their main magazine. Not including their speciality issues.

The average number of loose subscription cards in an issue of People Magazine is 3.

So let's crunch some numbers. Not scientific. Only estimates. But, what the heck - a million one way or the other ---

3,750,000 x 3 x 52 = 585,000,000 THAT's more than half a BILLION.

And, granted they are one of the largest volume magazines in the country, they are still only one. The trade organization for magazine publishers claims that there are 10,000 publications. And that 2,000 of those are considered 'significant' in size.

Just for the sake of being ultra-conservative in our estimations, let's assume that only 1,000 of the 2,000 have those blasted subscription cards in them. Then, let's assume that all 1,000 of those magazines are monthly rather than weekly. Then, let's assume that their circulations average only 1/4 that of People Magazine.

1,000 x 3 x 12 x 937,500 = 3,375,000,000 more cards for a grand total of THREE BILLION, NINE HUNDRED & SIXTY MILLION cards.

How much do you suppose those combined 3,960,000,000 little cards weigh? Well, I weighed some. It took about 250 of them to make a pound. That's 8 TONS of cards a year.

How much space do you suppose they take up in landfills? How many trees do you suppose have given their lives for them? What about the ground water pollution from the printing process? What do you suppose it costs to print those cards and insert them in the magazines? Maybe 3 cents each? That's $101,250,000.

And don't forget, these numbers are only for one year.

My next post on this subject is going to be a random list of magazine titles that do, and one of titles that don't insert cards. Kind of a "hall of shame" and hall of fame". It's not going to be pretty. Here's and example. Guess what magazine this month had FIVE cards fall out when I shook it? I know, you're going to say Glamour, or Cosmo, or Better Homes and Gardens, right?

Wrong...Mother Earth News! Doesn't that just make you want to cry?

Comments (6)

Barb Cabot:

Very thoughtful post. Ironic isn't it, Mother Earth needs to rethink things.

Shame on Mother Earth News! Maybe we should start an email write-in campaign to their website http://www.motherearthnews.com

Deborah responds: Great idea, Maria. In fact, I just went to their site and did that. Thanks!


Deb, you are so on target with this. We have decreased our magazine subscriptions substantially but still take some. One is good old Reader's Digest (great bathroom reading.) The first thing I do is go through and tear out all the stiff add papers in it. There are many of them.


I share in your ranting about loose cards in Magazines. I hate to see wasted paper. Makes me almost as crazy as junk mail!

Mother Earth News? Pitiful.

There needs to be some kind of place to protest or opt out, like the "No Call" zone that the feds set up years ago where you could sign up to stop tele marketers from calling. It's really the same.

You can add Your Big Backyard and Wild Animal Baby to the list - both from the company of National Wildlife Magazine! Both magazine websites even have a bunch of links on Global Warming.

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