Welcome to AT: Green Home!

Welcome to AT: Green Home!

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Maxwell Ryan
Jul 17, 2007
Our Green Home Mission: AT has always had a green component. Since 2004 we've tried to feature "green tips" each week. Over the past three years, however, the resources and news surrounding the subject of green have multiplied and so have the problems associated with trying to figure out how to be environmentally conscious and improve your home at the same time. In addition, I have become convinced that the environmental problems facing us are so grave that the next 50 odd years will dictate the fate of our earth so that OUR generation is really being asked right now to take on the "great work" of figuring out what to do and then doing it, in the same way previous generations had to take on world wars or the Great Depression. This is the challenge and to put it into perspective, here's a conversation I had last year about a new AT Book:...

The Irish Sea off of Glenbeigh, in County Kerry, Ireland last week
(Pic at top: Inishmor, Aran Islands, Ireland - also last week)

"You know, those are all great ideas and I get it, I really do, but I think that you should really think about a Green book. This is the big issue right now and people need help. I need help. I mean, look at the newspaper, for God's sake! All the bad news is environment, environment, environment. We've got to do something. From everyone I've spoken to lately and everything I've seen, we have got to solve our environmental problems, but look at me! Outside of trading in my car for a hybrid and switching to recycled toilet paper, I have no idea where to begin. I am a city person, and I don't know where to start. How do I make a DIFFERENCE? Can you answer this question?" Put very simply, Green Home's mission is to answer this question from all angles over the next few years by covering the intersection of the "green" movement and the "home decor" movement day in and day out (I like to say that our editor's Jonathan and Stephanie's office is right at the intersection of Green and Home). If this is the goal, then the way in which we're attempting to do it is through covering three big bases: News, Reviews and Inspiration. In this way the blog (and all of our blogs) will cover the forefront of all green home related news (products, design, politics, etc), review local and national stores, services and products (which go into our GUIDE archive), and share the editor's and the readers inspiration through answering questions, posting house tours and how to's etc. We're also creative, and hope that new post ideas and concepts emerge to solve, solve, solve the myriad of problems in this growing area. Core to our mission is the communication of a general overarching sense of intelligence and optimism. Green, to us, is an amazing design challenge which we can solve. To draw from the work of Bill McDonough, we want to avoid any sense that GREEN is about SUSTAINABILITY, ECO-EFFICIENCY or being "less bad." How interesting is it as a goal to simply be sustainable anyway? If I asked you what your relationship with your partner was like and you said "sustainable", would that be any good? We don't want to aim for sustainability, we want to be far better than that. The words we want to aim for are ABUNDANCE and FOOD, as in waste = food. We want to create a world where we have moved beyond the extremely limited intelligence of the Industrial Revolution, and arrive at a new concept of our relationship with the earth and our economies, what Paul Hawken called The Next Industrial Revolution (for more on this go to //www.greeneconomics.net/NextIndustrialRevolution.htm). In sum, my hope for Green Home is that it is idealistic, joyful, practical and ultimately extremely helpful. The posts that we all write will be collected in it's archive for years to come and will be hit upon and pulled up every day by thousands of folks who will increasingly be searching the web for answers. And again, it won't be about solar car races in Australia, human powered boating records, or celebrities in South America raising funds for one cause or another. For me, all politics is local, and Apartment Therapy is about our most local space, the home. This is the place where all change begins, and ends. As Thoreau, who laid the foundations for modern environmentalism, said when asked why he had never traveled abroad, "I have traveled widely in Concord." For us, the walls of the home (and perhaps the yard) are our Concord, and the paths that we take to solve our environmental crisis within them will be endless. Best, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan New York July, 2007
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