Though I get a lot of pleasure from my big time reading habit, I seriously object to the large amount of waste the publishing industry and their advertisers create. Imagine if every periodical carried the following footer: “Please share and recycle!” and utilized recycled content paper and low impact inks.

In particular, the magazine industry really gets my ire up. My 88-year old mom’s ever growing subscription list currently includes more than15 glossies – ladies magazines, health guides and cooking journals plus catalogs and occasional others purchased on the fly. This adds up to more than 200 magazines a year coming in the door. Surprisingly, this transfer of goods doesn’t cost much in dollars – averaging about $18 per month. But the other costs are what are really irritating – especially the time I spend tracking and paying renewals.

Each month I sort the pile of bills and then try to figure out which company is invoicing and when the subscription actually expires. My on-line payments records proved to be insufficient; recently I started tracking subscriptions on a spreadsheet. To my dismay, bills and offers from the same magazine don’t always look alike or offer the same deal. Most companies send invoices months early and keep on sending. And some send payment requests even if the subscription has been paid 2 years in advance! On top of all of this chaos, there are gift-to-others offers plus new offers that look like renewals, and then there are those insidious little subscription inserts that rain out when you read. Growllllll!!!

These seemingly small but regular irritations were the genesis of this article. Every month I mumble that this deluge of misleading documents is a form of fraud and something should be done! When multiplied by millions of readers and thousands of periodicals it adds up to a very large amount of waste and money. These practices are deceptive and you and I don’t pay attention we will have even more magazines – and more bills!

Your comments are welcome!