04/07/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Can A Paper Magazine Ever Truly Be Green?

NEW YORK ( -- The run-up to Earth Day got a big kickoff last week when scientists revealed that 160 square miles of Antarctic ice shelf had unexpectedly disintegrated. Green concerns are sure to stay top of mind as April 22 approaches, and we can look forward to many events, ad campaigns, TV specials and, of course, "green" magazine issues.

But many of those green glossies seem determined to test their readers' capacity for cognitive dissonance by editorializing for eco-friendly action on virgin paper that lugs big carbon emissions behind.

Some magazines admit tensions exist. "Let's be honest," reads one editor's letter in a green issue of Complex, which goes on to say that not only is Complex a print magazine, it's dedicated to the great American pastime of buying things. "As businesses go, we're rocking a size-14 carbon footprint."

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