Monday, 25 June 2018

No more magazines through my front door

Ha. Another stage completed in going paperless!

This morning I received another Boundless magazine. At one time this was the CSMA Magazine - the CSMA being the Civil Service Motoring Association, to which any civil servant could belong, working or retired - but a while back they decided that the rising generation of younger members wanted to read something less focused on cars and 'club' activities, and more on holiday and leisure pursuits in general. So the magazine, which got posted to members monthly, became full of stuff to entice you off to exotic locations for a weekend break or something longer. There was an awful lot of advertising in between the articles. And items on motoring as a hobby - on four wheels or two - got a bit crowded out.

There was the occasional interesting article, but for a long time I've hardly glanced at Boundless, and more than once have thought of asking the publishers to stop sending it. Presumably it was possible to read the thing online? If so, I'd be content with that. But I couldn't see any way of altering my contact preferences to stop the paper version being sent. It seemed too much trouble to phone them up and make enquiries about how to do it. I suspected, anyway, that as the magazine had become such an advertising vehicle, they didn't want to make it easy for Boundless members to opt out of being sent a regular copy.

But my personal drive to go 'paperless' has been gathering momentum in 2018. I decided to send them an email about stopping the paper magazine. So earlier this afternoon I bunged off this:

Dear Boundless

I am keen to go paperless as far as possible. I've tried looking for it, but I can't see how I can ask for the Boundless Magazine to be delivered to me online-only, dispensing with the paper version through the post. How is this done, please?

Lucy Melford

I wasn't expecting a same-afternoon reply, but I got one.

Good afternoon,

Thank you for your email.

I can confirm that I have suppressed the magazine from us and you will be able to locate the new magazine every two months on our home page .

Kind regards,


Well, thank you Josh! One more item of unwanted mail eliminated. A little less for my local postie to deliver. And no doubt a little less revenue for the Royal Mail too, but I can't feel too bad about reducing their income-stream. I'm much more concerned with the unnecessary use of paper and printing chemicals. And the whole idea of being sent something I don't want, even if it goes in the recycling bin.

The monthly magazine sent out by the Caravan and Motorhome Club is very similar, and although not exactly 'unwanted' - it has more articles in it that I want to read - I would be perfectly happy to read it online. So I immediately logged onto their website and altered my preferences.

Not content with this, there was yet a third magazine that thumps quarterly onto the Melford doormat, the one sent by Volvo. They seem to think that I have eagerly bought into a high-spending, stylish, outdoorsy Scandinavian lifestyle, and want to devour articles that expound the kind of aspirational thinking that in Volvo's dreams goes with owning one of their cars. Funny how living such a lifestyle requires so much in the way of leisure accessories made especially for the latest model range. They won't fit my eight year old car. So the magazine has limited interest, except as an insight into the direction Volvo is taking its products - ever upmarket, it seems! My own dreams are grounded in practicalities and how much I can afford. It was time I stopped this paper magazine coming.

It was as simple as amending my preferences - or seemed to be.

And that means a bit less wood-pulp needed. And, since the paper version of all these magazines has to be encapsulated in plastic, a bit less oil consumed. I'm not fanatical about this, but it does feel that I'm doing the right thing to Save The Planet.

At the same time, I have to confess that I don't read e-books, and like to buy a proper paperback book that I can read in the traditional fashion, and afterwards put on the bookshelves in my study until I fancy reading it again. It's in my world as a distinct tangible object, something to pick up and grasp. And I like to turn real pages when following a story. I'm sure I'm being illogical here, in preferring a paper book. But I dare say I'm not alone.

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Lucy Melford