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The Grist of the story

May 17, 2012

One of the great websites I've been reading a lot these last several weeks is Grist. It's based in Seattle and it has been around for more than a decade.

I'll admit that I had a tough time keeping updated on green issues during the recession. Grist is really attractive if you took a green hiatus at any point during the recession and you want to catch up.

What I like about Grist is its attitude. In fact, in the "about" section it says:

At Grist, we take our work seriously, but we don't take ourselves too seriously. Because of the many things this planet is running out of, sanctimonious tree-huggers ain't one of them.

Take for example, the story they've run here with video of the "Paperpedic" bedroom made by the Karton Group.

The bedroom group's cardboard structure - folded together by end consumers - can support up to one ton of weight and one to 10 people comfortably. Karton has a nice green story, but the product is apparently only available in Australia.

Perhaps one of the best recent columns in Grist came from Lisa Curtis and is titled "Don't Call Me an Environmentalist."

Curtis is a self described "child of the environmental movement, the granddaughter of avid hikers who helped protect wild spaces and the daughter of ecologically minded parents who taught me the Clean Air Act along with my ABCs."

She discusses declining support for the green "movement" in recent years. Now that recessionary dust is settling, she adds, so are we as a populace on what green issues we really care about.

She puts clean energy and global warming at the top of the list. I'd add energy independence to that list.

She adds that we're more of an environmentally conscious nation now, but that many green supporters "jumped ship" during the recession and went into survival mode, not chancing anything that might hurt the fragile economy.

In conclusion, Curtis says she's not an environmentalist, but a rational human being. I like that label. "Green nut" just doesn't do the job unless you're a pistachio.

She says: "If we're truly going to create a more sustainable and equitable economic system, we need to look past the divisions and understand that most of us are on the same side, regardless of the labels we place on ourselves, or choose not to."

I can get behind that. Check out Grist.