Nature’s Voice wrapping.

There’s not much doubt that the RSPB’s magazine comes wrapped in a compostable wrapper.

Apart from the ghastly name there are quite a lot of odd things about the magazine – how many can you spot?

I’ve seen complaints on Twitter about the amount of advertising of overseas holidays in the magazine. That is a bit odd but adverts help pay for the magazine (they used to pay for its costs completely – although I never saw the sums that back that up). Well, that’s just money you might say, what are the RSPB’s principles? Fair point – what would be your solution? And should the RSPB only accept membership subscriptions from individuals who never fly? That’ll be a quick way to reduce the membership.

I did notice that the Comment piece by the new CEO, Beccy Speight, was much better written and a lot more interesting than they have been recently. But the odd thing about that is that it is to be found on page 7 and yet the piece by the Editor-in-Chief (that’s a pretty odd title too), the wonderful Mark Ward, remains on page 3 (as if it’s really very important, which, to be honest, it isn’t).

I’m hoping that the CEO Comment piece might eventually turn back into its former guise – an authoritative statement of view from a nature conservation organisation with over a million members. Politicians, including Cabinet members, used to read the Comment piece but I doubt that many do now. We know they used to read it because they quite often used to complain about it (which, of course, was very gratifying).

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6 Replies to “Nature’s Voice wrapping.”

  1. The holidays advertised tend to be expensive trips that promote wildlife tourism and support conservation abroad. If it were ads for cheap package holidays to sit on a beach getting drunk and being an embarassment to your country then I might have more of a problem with it. Great article on the Gough Island project too.

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    1. So if I'm rich enough to go on an expensive luxury package to see wildlife in some exotic place then my flying is justified. But if I'm on an average income and just need a break in the sun it's not?

      I want to fly to see cultural treasures, helping to maintain the museums and historic sites in [insert distant destination here] so my flying is OK too?

      I want to explore exotic foreign cultures and cuisines, raising awareness of the global south by my social media posts, so my flying is Ok too?

      I have retired to Turkey because my pension will go further there and I can save energy from my heating bills. Obviously I want to still see family and friends and they want to visit me so our flying is different, right?

      You want to support local wildlife; what about local communities? The economy in [eg Bali] is entirely dependent on tourists, aren't the local people as worth flying for as local animals?

      I fly for business, and obviously I fly first class because even though it has 8x the carbon footprint of economy I need to arrive fresh and ready to make money. All those people here and in [insert distant country here] need the jobs my business can provide. Isn't that more important than seeing some animals you can see on the telly? You can always stay at home and donate money to protect them, but only if I generate the wealth you need to do so. My flying is important too.

      I'm flying to Australia, after all if the Great Barrier Reef isn't worth any tourist $ the Australian government won't feel any pressure to protect it. My flying is important too.

      It seems everyone can justify their flying except the oiks on lower incomes who just want a holiday. How working class of them, how ignorant and selfish. We must tell them again why they mustn't fly.

      Is there some part of "Climate Emergency" RSPB doesn't understand?

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  2. I wish they would stop wrapping their bird food in single use plastic. I bought box of 20 coconut halves and discovered every single one was individually shrink wrapped.

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  3. The best of the RSPB's contribution to journalism appears in the Jan 2020 edition of British Birds. We need more of this level of reporting in Nature's Home. I was lucky enough to be in the audience to hear Richard Gregory's Bernard Tucker Memorial Lecture.

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    1. Richard, I tend to agree. Life Fellow's News has more in-depth articles but there is good content in Nature's Home - it's the very busy jumbled layouts I object to and too many bite-sized bits. However, I assume it's all carefully researched and focus-grouped; if that's what it takes to keep and grow a 1m plus membership then I'm happy to accept it's not aimed primarily at 70+ me.

      Nature conservation used to be quite elitist - remember how some county trusts kept many of their reserves secret. Nature's Home (not as bad a title as Mark suggests) is clearly aimed at the popular market but I don't think including some more in-depth articles would detract from that and I'm guessing they might appeal to the older legacy-leavers among the membership.

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  4. Mark

    You are obviously very well tuned in to what environmental journalists are writing about as a very thought provoking article was written by Roger Harrabin on the BBC website on this very topic this morning (9th January):

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51040155

    A number of publications I receive, including the RSPB's now come in compostable wrapping, which I naturally assumed meant it could be put on my compost heap. But apparently, not all compostable wrapping is...well...compostable! At least in the sense of a 'domestic' compost heap. There are industrial compost heaps (bigger? better?) it would seem. I guess material technology is not running parallel with consumer understanding, perhaps deliberately?

    What Roger's article underlines is there is not a simple solution, and if you read in to the commentary about paper bags and carbon footprints, perhaps the most damaging content that is pushed through the letterbox is not the wrapping, but the magazine itself.

    Best wishes and happy new year

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