If you love to read a good story about real people that encompasses sustainability, inclusivity and equity across all platforms plus a bit of crafty DIY activity and you haven't come across Peppermint Magazine then you are missing out on a real treat. Doggy Eco discovered Peppermint Magazine along our sustainability journey a few years ago and recently had the opportunity to catch up with it's Editor, Lauren Baxter and her charming dog Winston. Through our conversation we get to go behind the scenes of this incredible lifestyle magazine to give you some insight into the broader scope of sustainability.
Describe an average day in the life of an editor at one of Australia’s top sustainability magazines
Well, I’m pleased to say there’s no holier-than-thou morning routine. It’s a sluggish slap of the phone to turn off several alarms, a big snuggle with my beloved pooch Winston (shoutout to Little Legs Dog & Cat Rescue Qld) who’s scooched up into a prime posi after my partner Ben’s left for work, black coffee and a scroll through socials and the morning’s headlines.
Then, it’s probably a bit of a cop-out to say, but no work day is the same for me! I oversee all of Peppermint’s print and digital output so I could be working with a contributor to edit an article, writing something myself, building a newsletter, working with our advertising manager to create a brief for a client, interviewing someone cool – you name it! We’re a quarterly magazine so it also depends on what stage of the print cycle we are in – it could be a manic, must-get-files-to-print rush of adrenaline or a day of ideating and strategising. Mainly, a lot of emails.
The day always ends with a walk through the park near our house with Winston – to debrief and reset.
Where does your inspiration for stories come from?
We’re never short of inspiration. When you look around – past the doom and gloom, past the bin fires and climate deniers – there’s a beautiful bevy of good humans working tirelessly to make this world a more ethical, inclusive and sustainable place. The fact that it’s my job to fan girl over them, lift them high in the sky and shout their names from the rooftops is the biggest privilege of my life.
What is the “superpower” that sets Peppermint apart from other lifestyle magazines?
Ignoring the fact that we were all actually bitten by radioactive spiders, I believe the answer here is two-fold. Firstly, our editorial integrity. We write with authenticity and passion and uphold high journalistic standards across all our editorial. We’re not afraid to sit in the grey area, asking more questions sometimes than we give answers. We also prioritise slow and considered reads – whether you pick up Issue 1 or 56 (out now – subtle plug), there will be something to connect with. I like to think of Peppermint as a trusted friend – the pal you go to for advice about the things that matter, for hot tips about the coolest new sustainable threads, for a big belly laugh or for a shoulder to cry on. One who educates and empowers and never talks down.
Of course, that’s not an exact science. And we won’t always get it right – we are but human – but we think it is so important to keep telling good stories about good people doing good things.
And secondly, I may be a tad biased, but our beautiful community. We wouldn’t be who we are or where we are without them buying our magazines, reading our content, making our patterns and holding us to account. It’s a joy to be part of.
What challenges do you face as a sustainable magazine in Australia?
Ah, all the glamorous challenges of independently publishing a print magazine in 2023! We’re a small team, with limited resources, facing all the challenges of running a small business and operating in a world now dictated by clicks and tech giants. But you’ve never met a team with more love in its collective heart and passion for making a difference so there ain’t no mountain high enough!
If you could encourage people to adopt one sustainable practice in their life, what would it be?
“Sustainability” isn’t a miraculous end goal – a box to tick and be done with. Beyond environmentalism, it’s about economic and social equity. It’s about circularity. It’s about intersectionality and inclusivity. It’s about creating ripples for waves you might never surf. About questioning how we could all be doing better.
But that’s huge, right? And carrying your KeepCup and metal straw – while admirable and important – isn’t going to change the fact that the behemoths of the mining world didn’t pay any tax in Australia in the 2021-22 financial year.
Not the neat answer you were looking for but, if I was going to get up on a soapbox, I’d encourage everyone to speak up about the things they’re passionate about, to vote for those who share their values, to have the tough conversations with their circles when needed, to be conscious about everyday consumption, and to acknowledge that “sustainability” is imperfect and going to look different to everyone (check your privilege) – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying your darnedest. I also enjoy plogging.