Welcome to Green Living

Originally published in the Spring 2008 issue of the Green Living Journal

Welcome to the first issue of the Green Living Journal serving the Portland Vancouver area, which also happens to be our first ever venture into the publishing world. We hope you enjoy its message as much as the folks in Vermont and southern Oregon have enjoyed their editions published by individuals with years of experience.

Beaver

Courtesty flickr user Property#1

So just why would a retired forester fast approaching his 70th year start a new career (we hope we succeed in putting out many more issues) in a whole new field of endeavor? Perhaps a short tale will shed some light on that, so gather ‘round and listen up while we travel to another place and time.

Once upon a time long, long ago a young forestry student from the U of Maine arrived in the Pacific Northwest to work for the summer on a U. S. Forest Service road survey crew. The year was 1957, and it was a time of unbridled optimism before global warming, peak oil, ozone holes, Viet Nam, AIDS and meth. It was also a time without cell phones or even cordless phones, computers, iPods, Toyotas, space shuttles, Ebay, blogs and the internet. Ike was in the White House, Jack Paar was hosting The Tonight Show, Dave Garroway was on Today and Elvis was on his way to being “King”.

The boom was on and science and technology were the answer to all the problems facing the peoples of the world.  Nuclear power offered unlimited energy and emerging sciences were giving us the knowledge to do anything from controlling the weather to traveling to the stars.

Our forester to be was completely awestruck by the pristine beauty of the upper Kalama River, Goat Marsh country of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, but it was the water that made the most powerful and unforgettable impression on him. Cold, clear, pure, water flowed everywhere as it had done for thousands of years, and so even though his crew worked hard throughout the hot summer, the idea of packing a canteen full of water never crossed their minds. To be able to drink water as it flowed naturally through the forest was quite simply a life changing experience for one who had grown up in the suburbs of New York City.

The years went by, change came, and today we pack water or pills or filters whenever we venture into the forest as a precaution against that nasty intestinal parasite giardia that has changed our water forever. When, why and how did this horrible, insidious little spoiler arrive?  Could it have been prevented? Can we ever get rid of it so that some day in the future young people can once again simply bend down, drink the clear cold water of our forests and perhaps change their lives forever?

There is no doubt about it, those optimistic carefree days of the “Fabulous Fifties” were a long, long time ago and the changes that have taken place since then would be the stuff of both fairy tales and horror stories to that budding forester of 51 years ago. As we all know now, change has two faces and can carry a terrible price tag. In this case, in my mind, “We was robbed”.

Yes, we can remove giardia from our municipal drinking water and perhaps its no big deal to pack water or treatment devices while in our forests, but this change will forever haunt me. It is definitely a reminder of larger problems approaching as a result of the multitude of changes we have made over the last 50 years. Our hope is that the publishing of this magazine will provide both useful information and genuine inspiration that our readers can use to make intelligent choices regarding their daily actions and to see the impacts those actions will have on the world around us. ~ GM

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Green Living has been publishing news you can use, mostly related to environmental issues, since 1990. Our regular topics include organic gardening, green building, health, ecocareers and right livelihood, outdoors/sports, socially responsible investing, econotes, questions and answers, book reviews, and features on topical environmental issues.

Stephen Morris is our Editor-In-Chief, lives in Vermont and for more than 30 years, has helped companies and non-profit organizations define their missions and develop effective marketing strategies. His career has spanned a variety of industries ranging from woodstoves (Vermont Castings) to solar panels to books (Chelsea Green in White River Junction). He is co-founder of The Public Press, a book-publishing business that provides options for writers whose works are too specialized for traditional publishers. He is also editor and publisher of the quarterly magazine Green Living and the author of six books, most recently the novel, Stripah LoveHis latest work is The New Village Green (New Society Publishers), which he edited.

At present there are 3 separate local editions being published in Vermont and 1 edition in Oregon. The plan is to have a local edition in every green market across the country.

For information about any of the Green Living Journal editions email [email protected] or call 541-374-5454

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