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What Is Green?
by Linda Pinkham
At one time, I had considered trying to define what is "green" in the very beginnings of this publication to "avoid confusion" amongst the readership.
Upon further rumination, I realized how Herculean a task that might be and how silly it was to contemplate that I could conceivably craft the concise meaning of the term.
I think I could spend the remainder of my life publishing information about what is green and still not be definitive -- and the task becomes more daunting by the day.
The green "playing field" continues to evolve, and more players are entering the field in new and exciting ways as they find roles that fulfill unmet needs. Last month, when I was approached by a newly certified EcoBroker, my cautious journalistic response was "What the heck is that?" Before I had come to grips with this new vocabulary term, there were suddenly five EcoBrokers in the area. They seemed to be spreading faster than my mint patch -- which turns out to be a good thing, as I'll explain in my Out & About article for this issue.
Last issue, I noted the importance of small natural food stores and co-ops in fostering other sustainable businesses. In fact, most people think that the green movement is largely about eating-natural, organic, homemade, healthy, and local foods, whether dining out or in. What we put into our bodies is very important. After all, sustenance is one of the most basic needs within our human existence, at least so we were taught according to '40s psychologist Abraham Maslow and his pyramid model of self-actualization. In brief, that theory states that basic physiological needs for food, warmth, and shelter must be met first. Satisfying safety, love, and self-esteem requirements follows the basics before we can actually move on to exploring spiritual, self-fulfilling, and truly meaningful life activities.
Back at the same basic level of physiological need as our sustainably produced food comes sustainable shelter. Energy efficiency, renewable sources of energy, nontoxic building materials, and care for our planet's resources are essential for keeping our bodies and our planet healthy. By building better homes that are comfortable, elegant, and resourcefully beautiful, we can shortchange Maslow's hierarchy and achieve meaning and fulfillment in our lives at the most basic level of our existence. Spring time is when new housing starts get underway, and several articles in this Spring issue focus on that other very essential and most basic aspect of sustainable living -- green shelter.
Linda Pinkham is the Editor of the Jefferson Edition of Green Living Journal.
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