Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Not Really Food or Even Vegan-Related, But YOU WILL READ AND YOU WILL LIKE IT

So granted, the mag I'm about to ramble on about isn't vegan or even vegetarian-related. But I still think some of you may be interested in it, 'cause it's in many ways a magazine about recycling and not being wasteful.

What I'm saying is:

If you've not seen ReadyMade Magazine, check it out.

ReadyMade is "a bimonthly print magazine for people who like to make stuff, who see the flicker of invention in everyday objects—the perfectly round yolk in the mundane egg." Essentially, it's a magazine that shows you how to MacGyver found objects into new and more useful objects. Need a chandelier for your dining room? How bout transforming that old mixing bowl into a hipster lighting fixture? That kind of thing.

A year or two ago, I stumbled across the ReadyMade book at the library: ReadyMade: How to Make [Almost] Everything: A Do-It-Yourself Primer, and it was a fascinating read, organized by type of material (glass, plastic, etc.), with large projects and tiny ones.

Fun fun stuff.

My major criticism was that a lot of it was WAY out of my league (though I STILL am determined to make the decorative shelving unit from garbage-picked dresser drawers), and a lot of it, despite using "recycled" materials, necessitated spending a lot of money on other materials to put that one recycled material to use. Nonetheless: I liked the idea of the book.

So when my friend P's 30th b-day crept up, I decided to get a subscription for both her (since she's a crafty and green-conscious woman) and myself (because I like magazines and garbage-picking).

The first issue showed up in both of our mailboxes on the weekend, and damn if I didn't devour that magazine from cover to cover in one afternoon.

INFINITELY more accessible and interesting than the book. (No offense, book!)

And the magazine is packed full of do-it-yourself projects, from food (again: albeit not pro-vegan, the example in this issue was 4 ways to use an egg), to revamping thrift-store clothing, to household projects (quick bookshelves, key lamps), to random MacGyver-esque tips (one of my favs being: To slow down the wilt and wither of greens and veggies in your fridge, throw a couple sponges in your crisper drawer--they'll absorb excess moisture, keeping it from adhering to your veggies).

OMG! So fascinating.

And this issue in particular was interesting because it was about sustainability, so there was an article about urban gardening and one about pies.

My only annoyance (and this is actually an annoyance I have with VegNews as well, along with plenty of other mags) has to do with assumptions about the class/wealth of their readers and the fact that they, in many ways, perpetuate the misconception that being green (or being vegan) is a choice that is only accessible to folks with money. I mean, really: How am I not supposed to get annoyed reading about some creative plant-focused chick/artist/whatever who can afford to have her own greenhouse, has a boyfriend who surprises her with a vintage motorcycle, and is lusting after a $300 pair of cowboy boots?? I mean: come on. Awesome for you, girl who looks like she's 20 and yet somehow is able to afford all this. But realistically: You just make most readers scoff at the wealth-factor of being green. Talk about alienating your readers. I mean, it's still fascinating to ogle of course, but there's just something grating about it, especially in an issue about sustainability.

Then again, in comparison to the book, there are a LOT more projects that are accessible to folks who don't have a lot of dough. For example: bookshelves made out of corner brackets in this most recent issue. (And most of their projects give you an idea of how much you'll have to spend to make it, which I like as well.) So perhaps there is more of a balance there then I'm giving them credit for.

Nonetheless: for all you do-it-yourselfers out there (and it seems like a lot of veg-heads are, perhaps because they're a little bit more conscious about environmental issues), go check it out.

I promise you: You'll enjoy.

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