The Mother Earth News Magazine has a tag line: “The Original Guide To Living Wisely”. It is as simple as that.
Started in 1970, when idealism was thick in the air, Mother Earth News is founded on moral principles unlike the myriad of new green magazines that are founded on the realization that green is where the money is.
Mother Earth News is not a green magazine since it has been around before that, even before it was cool to be green. In fact Mother Earth News endured many years when it was actually NOT cool to be green. Picture women with hairy legs, smelly armpits, too much patchouli and a bad habit of chaining themselves to trees to save owls. Wacky was a nice way of describing the image of green.
But they were standing up for what they believed in. With hippie farmer roots, the mag kept at it when the rest of the world was busy chasing the next bubble. And they continue because their readership is a loyal and real one.
Mother Earth articles are about a lifestyle, unlike the many mags that are about a consumer ethic. Mother Earth does not talk about what to buy but rather how to live.
Their pages are full of “how to” topics. How to do this, how to do that. It is an exploration of doing things better. It is action oriented, not product or consumer oriented.
Granted, if you don’t have a 13 acre homestead in the Midwest there are a lot of things in the magazine that you can’t do. Like making your own chicken coop, or the best ways to raise grass fed cattle. A large part of the magazine is focused on small scale farming and DYI projects on a farm.
But don’t let that fool you into thinking the magazine is only for homesteaders. The magazine is for anyone who realizes that green was around long before Dwell Magazine did a market analysis on readership trends.
Mother Earth is founded on not how to make the biggest buck but rather how to make the biggest change, and that is why they are the grandmother of the green movement in many ways. And their principles are correct. If everyone lived the Mother Earth way the world would be revolutionized.
Gone would be the mega farms, gone would be the need for 80% of the worlds products, gone would be mass consumerism. Not that Mother Earth is pushing for that. Change is a personal thing. Their credo is for each person to live the wisest life they can live.
The magazine is about individual people. It doesn’t focus on large groups or companies. It focuses on individuals who might have built a great home for $35K or a professor who has proof how mushrooms can solve our toxic landfill problems.
The message is that the world is not changed overnight (they’ve been at it for 40 years) and it is changed by individuals like you and me. Not sexy ideas, not large crowds and certainly not companies.
The world revolution is about individuals living as wisely as they can and doing simple yet revolutionary things each day for a long time.
It’s not a sexy magazine. You won’t see ultra sleek architecture commissioned by jet setting “trend setters”. In Mother Earth you’re more likely to see an old hippie planting turnips. But the big question is, which one has history and the future in their hands? I have my bets on turnip planting. It might involve high tech aquatics but it’s still history tested and earth friendly.
If you follow the Mother Earth tag line at worse you live a good life. At best you change the world for the better.