Issue 20 Editor's Letter



By Mark Spellun




Plenty is now a little more than three years old. In the short time that we have been publishing, the environmental movement and what it means to be green have changed considerably. When we announced our tagline of  “It’s Easy Being Green” in the summer of 2005, we weren’t necessarily convinced that it was all that easy—it was meant to urge others on to make some significant changes to their impact on the planet.

We don’t take sole credit for it, but the idea that “It’s Easy Being Green” sure took off. Mentions of the phrase have appeared throughout the media landscape over the last three years. Al Gore aside, it didn’t hurt that Kermit the Frog, after complaining for years about how difficult it was being green, suddenly changed his mind upon seeing a Ford Escape Hybrid in the company’s famous Super Bowl ad at the start of 2006. There were other changes going on as well. Gas prices were rising, and Hurricane Katrina showed some of the potential impact that global warming might already be having on our planet. People started to look for ways to bring about changes in their lives.

Making the right decision for the planet is not always clear (see our cover story, “Monkeying with the Message,” p. 66), but the idea that there are a multitude of simple solutions we can all implement in our lives has certainly caught on. So we figured now is the time to take the next step.

This issue has gone through a dramatic redesign. To start with, we have reduced the size of the magazine by an inch. This move will lighten our environmental impact considerably by reducing the amount of paper we use (which is still 85–100 percent recycled), and lessening the energy it takes to ship the magazine (for which we still offset the carbon emissions). We also thought we should have a look and feel that reflect a new green sensibility in which a relationship to the Earth’s well-being has become a defining part of modern living. Finally, we have selected a new tag line: “The World in Green.” The green movement is certainly global—in fact, it’s stronger in many parts of Europe than it is here in North America—so while the magazine still aims to offer you easy solutions to implement in your life, moving forward, we’ll also endeavor to describe the incredible changes that are sweeping the planet. And we’ll aim to broaden horizons by examining where environmental concerns meet the worlds of arts, business, travel, and more.

Plenty has always been a celebration of a certain kind of abundance—the renewable kind. And to us it reflects the American Dream. Think: the Land of Plenty. As Americans seek to reinvent what the Land of Plenty means today, just as they have many times before, we want to present these changes and points of view. Whether that involves cleaning up once-unspoiled rivers or taking the first shaky steps toward moving away from an oil-based economy, we’ll offer a vision of what a country or world that is truly plentiful might look like. In this sense, even with a new look and feel, our mission remains the same.

-Mark Spellun 

Issue 25



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