Kiwi publishing company Healthy Life Media (HLM) is aiming to tap into the increasing concern it says Kiwis have for the environment—and give them practical ideas for easy ways to live more sustainably and save money—by launching a new monthly magazine called Green Ideas.
The publishers of award-winning Healthy Food Guide, which was launched in January 2005, is one of the country's most successful magazines and is also published in Australia, UK and Ireland, have identified that many New Zealanders love the notion of caring about the environment and living more sustainably, but struggle to get tips on how they can do these easily and without costing them a lot more.
"Often it’s a matter of simply changing habits rather than making drastic changes to lifestyle," says publisher Pip Mehrtens. "We are hoping that in time Kiwis will lead the world in terms of living sustainably as a nation."
Like its food-related big brother, it's cheap ($3.90) and its emphasis is more on delivering practical information than on pretty pictures. From a media point of view, it's a pretty tough market, with a fair bit of competition in print and online and typically small budgets—and a big focus on PR—amongst potential advertisers, but HLM's Phil Ryan has a knack of finding gaps and picking winners (he also started and sold NetGuide).
Content wise, there doesn't seem to be much that avowed eco-warriors wouldn't have seen before. But that doesn't seem to be the market it's aimed at. Edited by Greg Roughan, the first issue includes ideas on how to save up to $1000 a year on your power bill, whether reading a magazine or using an iPad is 'greener' and what are the best household detergents to use (mainstream options Surf and Persil are included in the section about phosphates in washing powders and, as one cad said "saying you don't have phosphates in your washing powder is like saying you don't have arsenic in your scones").
The magazine will also highlight New Zealanders leading the way, such as wine maker Peter Yealands and Sustainable Coastlines' Sam Judd, along with communities taking the lead, like the initiatives being taken in Raglan to turn their zero waste goal into jobs.
Green Ideas went on sale nationwide this week (it can also be downloaded on Zinio), and, in keeping with its sustainable subject matter, it uses paper from sustainable sources (FSC Certified) and vegetable based inks.
Along with the Healthy Food family, which also includes a TV masthead and a website, Healthy Life Media also owns and operates the Gluten Free Food & Allergy Show and publishes Allergy Today magazine, the official magazine of Allergy New Zealand.