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This may be the most important story ever written in this magazine—to us anyway, and hopefully you too. Two years after becoming a paperless magazine, people still ask why we did it. Well, it’s time we break radio silence about the real reason we went 100% digital—truth is, we just couldn’t look ourselves in the mirror any longer. We loved the print 573 Magazine—the feel, the stunning images, the smell...

A stack of 573 Magazines set on a table.  On the top cover a man with beard and mustache uses an old fashioned razor to shave his neck and trim his beard line
We had to be the community leader that 573 Magazine claims to be...

Now, don’t get me wrong, we know trees are a sustainable commodity for the most part, but the byproducts created in making paper, shipping paper, and the printing process are extremely taxing on the environment. There was simply no way we could convince ourselves otherwise. We had to be the community leader that 573 Magazine claims to be—we had to make the hard choice to stop printing the magazine. It was a very difficult choice at the time; we knew people loved the print version of the 573 Magazine—we did, and it hurt, but we knew it was the best thing for our grandkids and the earth in general.

An open 573 Magazine lies on top of a stack of issues.  The page is open to an article about the straight razor shave and shows a man shaving in the forest
People. Places. Passions. That is 573 Magazine.
A magazine page with glossy pictures contains a variety of images.  A white goat, a table of first second and third places ribbons, a jar of pickled veggies, a red barn, a slice of cheesecake, and a serving of cookies and cream mousse
We knew people loved the print version of the 573 Magazine and we loved making it.

The first year was tough, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and in no time at all we had our readership and ad base up to where it was before going paperless. It took long hours and uncomfortable decisions, but here we are with a clear heart.


The toxic chemicals used in printing, like chlorine, to break down the pulp and to bleach the paper never go away. The byproducts are super harmful. Sulfur and nitrogen oxides are also released into the air, which causes respiratory issues in humans and animals. Paper mills require a lot of fresh water. Once the water has been used, the now dirty water is poured back into our rivers and our oceans—this is why most paper mills have been closed down in the U.S.A. and moved to unregulated regions like China and India.

Advertisement for WorkSPACE Co-working Space.  A woman raises her hands in the air and laughs with joy and relief with the text "Get out of the house.  Time to focus on business."

This Story is sponsored in part by WorkSPACE co-working space in Farmington, Missouri.

As bad as the paper-making process is, it is paled in comparison to the actual printing on the paper process. The chemicals and material waste used in maintaining and distributing newspapers and magazines is unfathomable and simply too depressing to discuss here. Yes, paper can be recycled, but the chemicals used in printing and distribution are not.

An open 573 Magazine lying on top of a stack of 573 issues shows a double page vista picture of a barge on the Mississippi River with a bicyclist on the rocky shore with his mountain bike
We love our beautiful 573 trees and water...

We miss the printed magazine but are so glad we stepped up and went paperless. We would be hypocrites claiming we care about the beauty of the 573 and the health and welfare of the people who live here if we did not take the lead, no matter how hard and costly it was to us personally. We love our beautiful trees and crystal clear waters in the 573. We did what was right and turned the page. We never looked back.

A stack of 573 Magazines sets on a table with the top cover displaying a beautiful plating of sushi from Shogun restaurant

A stack of 573 Magazine holds up an open article about spending time in nature with pictures of a beautiful clear river flowing around rough rugged red, pink and brown rocks

An open article about rock climbing and cliff diving sets on top of a stack of 573 Magazines displaying images of young people jumping into water from rocky cliffs and having fun

an open issue of 573 Magazine displays a printed article on swimming holes with images of young people swimming and having fun

We did what was right and turned the page.

Get Out There! Dig in your heels, and do your part. Dig your claws in and pull yourself out of that sunken sofa. Do something. Do anything. Just get out there and start moving; I command you.

Supreme Leader 573 Magazine - t. smugala

Be sure to visit all of our awesome sponsors who make these stories possible!
A logo for 573 Magazine.  573 People, places, passions.

Advertisement for First State Community Bank.  Men from a community are painting over graffiti, and looking happy as they improve their neighborhood

Advertisement for Hoods Discount Home Center.  A beautifully remodeled kitchen with sunlight streaming in displays a mixed style of classic and contemporary

Advertisement for The City of Perryville, Missouri.  Stunning images of The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Perryville, Missouri.  Flowers, beautifully adorned chapel, a shrine with candles, a grotto, trees, and a beautiful park

Advertisement for Fisher Furniture in Ironton, Missouri.  A beautifully decorated very inviting living room is arranged smartly with comfortable furniture.


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