Below is a letter I sent after I received a copy of the NZ Herald‘s “Elements” magazine. A magazine dedicated to health and sustainability.
The magazine came wrapped in plastic – as they usually all do. But why? What for? And why even through the Green Building Council?


Below is an email I sent to the NZGBC.





I just got a copy of your Elements magazine yesterday.
However, I am inclined to send it back. Probably won’t do it though since that would cause more waste and pollution…

I was really surprised that the Green Building Council is putting little thought about susutainability into their actions.

The magazine came wrapped in plastic. Why is that?

When I was a child, magazines came in the mail just with a sticker on the back or in a paper envelope. and they arrived well and safe – without mayor damage.

Why is it, that this appears not to be working anymore nowadays, despite all of us trying to be so green and sustainable.

Some magazines come at least in a “degradable plastic” wrapper. Well, everything degrades – it’s just a matter of time. I recall having read about the differences on “bio-degradable” and “degradable”. ( – Just an example)


Can I seriously ask why magazines have to be wrapped nowadays and can not be sent with a sticker? Have we really moved away from real needs and requirements that much that people expect it to be that way?
Do people really mind when a paper corner has been folded back in mail transport?
Why does a magazine has to be immaculate for reading and then tossed away – sorry: being recycled?

Kind regards,
Ingo Ratsdorf



Reply from NZGBC:

Hello Ingo
Thanks for your comments.  I completely understand your concerns.  As this was a Herald publication we had assumed the mail-out would be similar to Herald distribution – i.e. as is, no wrap…
I have relayed your comments to Element magazine and challenged them to consider a more sustainable approach.
We do hope you enjoyed the complimentary copy of the supplement; we are always on the lookout to provide additional benefits to our members, and thought member delegates would be able to also share with colleagues.
Please advise if you would rather be taken off our distribution list for Element.
Kind regards



My reply:

Hi Nicki,

thank you very much for passing on my comments.
I cannot tell whether the content is good or not because I have not opened it yet.

I would love to read it, however not wrapped in plastic.

If you cannot influence the way they send it out to clients, then I would indeed prefer to be taken off the distribution list.

Kind regards,
Ingo Ratsdorf



Reply from NZGBC:

Hello Ingo
I heard back from Element: ‘We did request bio degradable starch wrap but I will confirm with the distributor that this is what they used.’
Hopefully next time this will be the case.



Update 12/10/2011:

I got another copy of the element magazine today, again wrapped in normal plastic. But this time apparently not from NZGBC but from Mercury Solutions. Wondering for whom they are operating…

Update 10/05/2012

I since did receive two or three more magazines. All were wrapped in plastic. I tried to return them manually to Mrcury Solutions but had to find out that they had moved but failed to update their new address anywhere on the web. Great!

In addition, I had a read through it and regretted to invest the time to do so.  Mainstream content, silly, nonsense. Not based on sience. No references. Just some other people dumbing magazine.

I just wish they would stop sending me this superfluous stuff.

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