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April 1, 2016 Comments (0) All Other Stories, Features

Spring Brings About Big Changes for ION

To Our Readers:

Ice is thawing. Flowers are budding. Baby animals are appearing.

Spring is here, and with it comes a blossoming of new life. Inspired by this vitality, we have decided to create a new life for In Our Nature magazine as well. We are writing this, our final story to be published on this website, to tell you how and why ION will be making some significant changes to truly embrace our deep-seeded love for this planet.

As a first step, we are shutting down our website completely. After considering the vast environmental impacts of generating electricity, manufacturing computers and their related accessories, and running Internet servers, we just don’t think publishing our content online is worth it. Claiming to be an environmental publication while continuing to operate in these ecologically-devastating systems is like saying you love Kanye’s Life of Pablo and then jamming out to T Swift’s “Bad Blood”– totally hypocritical. They just can’t go together.

In order to continue delivering our stories, we have begun stockpiling the dead leaves that remain on the ground throughout Evanston from the fall. We will be asking our writers to handwrite their stories on this raw, repurposed material. These “nature’s pages,” as we like to call them, will then be given to one reader, who can enjoy the story and then pass the leaves on to someone else, a zero-energy distribution network that will greatly reduce our impact.

Of course, we still love sharing Photos of the Week that depict nature’s majesty, and under our new model will continue to do so in an even more powerful way. Instead of wasting resources and energy on cameras and batteries, we are now asking our photographers to express the inspiration they feel at the planet’s glory by drawing the scenes they see on the leaves we provide them. We even plan on using materials in our nature like the roots, clays and berries on Northwestern’s campus to create natural inks and paints, which our “photographers” can use to bring the world to life in a more intimate way than any Nikon or Canon could do.

Our videos will also be taking a turn toward the eco-friendly. In a revolutionary new approach that is completely camera-free, we will be creating “Breathing Broadcasts” all over campus, where our “videos” will be acted out in-person by real people. These will happen multiple times on North, Mid and South campus throughout the day of “publishing”, creating a more vivacious viewer experience without the use of any glowing electric screens. Keep an eye out as we recruit students to join our “Planetary Players” crew and make this a reality.

Another important action in ION’s transformation will be a shift away from the use of social media, which, in addition to requiring the use of planet-sucking laptops, also encourages the use of smartphones that drain the lifeblood of our planet through mineral extraction, electricity usage, and invisible radio waves that we believe could be melting our brains with every call.

Instead, in a close partnership with the animal-brethren that we love so very much, we have hired a team of Northwestern’s finest squirrels to distribute our leaf-stories and photos around campus. Imagine an adorable, El Niño-fattened squirrel scurrying up to you on Sheridan and placing an ION story right in your hands. Now, this can be a reality with a subscription to our “Furbook” delivery service. Suggested tip is 1-2 medium-sized acorns per story. If you prefer Twitter, we have also recruited a team of Evanston’s speediest pigeons to bring you story updates on an hourly basis for the low cost of one cracker or bread crust per “Tweet”.

These may all seem like huge shifts in themselves, but we are going even further. No longer will we stand for other NU publications continuing to ignore the disgusting impacts they have on the planet. As of 1 am today, we have jammed The Daily Northwestern’s printing press with sap from local trees, stopping their publication and bringing vengeance to the families of all of the trees that have been lost to their excessive daily printing. Additionally, we have hacked into North by Northwestern’s electricity-guzzling website and replaced all stories with scientific reports on the climate impacts of burning fossil fuels for electricity. Finally, we have gained access to the social media accounts of Spoon Magazine and have successfully altered all recipes to be completely vegan, organic and GMO-free. While we understand that these actions may upset our fellow publications, we believe it is our responsibility as creatures of this world to take responsibility for our home if others refuse to do so.

If you would like to join us in this liberation, you can find us in the Perkins Woods of Evanston as we set up a camp where we will write and live. Sure, it’s a two-mile walk to class every day, and sure, we may have to bathe in rainwater collected in puddles, but we believe it’s worth it if we’re able to say no to the waste of on-campus living and embrace the most eco-friendly life available: one completely immersed in our nature.

Signing off on this April Fool’s Day,

In Our Nature

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