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Littering environment and brains
by Thanos Kalamidas
2006-09-17 09:11:52
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Six months ago we had the conversation for a printed Ovi magazine. We actually went so far to create a test layout and collect prices that we found surprising low, despite all the negative advice we heard from former employers and cooperators.

I emphasize the cost because it was natural for us and our opinions to go for good recycling paper and, of course, we thought that people are aware of the environmental problems, so it would be easy for them to pay for a paper that is concerned for the environment, not only in theory as many others do to a degree.

At that point we had a series of meetings and mails with friends and people we know in various professional places and we started talking about our idea and asking their opinion. After only a few of them, we found out that most thoughts were very skeptical. The first reaction was, another one, why? A very good friend from Spain described the situation in his city - not Madrid - where nine free magazines, three of them daily newspapers are printed. Are they worth reading? No! Most of them just copy news from the internet and were filled with adverts to survive.

But Ovi magazine is anything else other than that, we explained. We are not going to reproduce the news and we are going to say our opinion about the news, like we have done for the last two and a half years. So the next question came: how many free magazines are in Helsinki?

We got confused if there are nine or eleven or maybe thirteen, with some new ones coming out and two of them are daily. This conversation was often repeated and there was always only one final conclusion: all these magazines and newspapers end up in the trash and being blown across the pavement by the wind. Conclusion, more litter!!!

Then more questions were raised, such as why recycling paper, since it is more expensive. Actually, there are very few free magazines that are printed on recycling paper. The answers were…fascinating, that’s the only way I can put it.

Firstly, you would expect people who promote, at every given chance, their environmental worries and often funding others to be the first to lead by example. No way! Environmental issues make good marketing for magazine editors and sometimes they even give you or your wife a parliamentary seat, although, more often or not, they just give you money.

Secondly, we discovered that when these magazines are collected from the trash they are going for recycling, but not exactly. When you recycle the paper they use the pulp that comes out is not good to become paper again. Actually, it is useless for paper, so they use it for burning material and even that is not so often because of the toxic smell they produce.

The only paper that can really be recycled is the one that is more expensive, so they don’t use it! Therefore, all the magazines that claim you can recycle them are not necessarily telling the truth. After all, in theory you can even recycle nuclear waste, but who wants to do it?

Finally, we all agreed that most of these magazines and newspapers litter our brains, although some of them take the farcical ego of their owners, their ambitions and their greed to take that idea to the next level. Here we were facing everything we are against; people who litter the environment, people littering our brains and too many of them already doing it from their newspaper stands around the city.

The environment, to the Ovi team, is not just a theory but a way of life. We have chosen to publish Ovi magazine only online even though we know how difficult it will be reaching everybody. We are working on that and we hope to come up with a solution that is as friendly to the environment as Ovi magazine has proved to be friendly to our brains.

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Rinso2006-09-17 19:41:17
A wise decision. Recycling is often not the best enviromental policy. But it sounds good. In my job in the waste industry I have seen many ridiculous "solutions" to waste problems, just because they were political correct.

Thanos2006-09-17 21:35:58
will you please tell us some of these 'solution'? Even better why don't you write an article and send it?

Rinso2006-09-18 11:31:58
Well if I do that, nobody will recycle anything anymore. And that is not good either. But I'll see how I can make it somehow positive.

Thanos2006-09-18 12:38:16
I feel i can understand that! A smal research on recycling paper led me to some things i was not expecting at all!!!

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