Issue 22 - Letter from the Editor

By Mark Spellun

Would On the Road be less interesting if Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty had bought carbon offsets for their whole journey? It would still be a novel about discovering yourself and America, and it still could have inspired a generation. But different choices might have meant a different road trip altogether.
Which makes us wonder: What if you could pull off the road today to get some food at the local greasy spoon and not only fill up your car with biodiesel but also get some local, organic goods, allowing you to support regional economies with ease as you travel across the country? With this summer travel issue, we kick off Plenty’s eco road trip (see “On the Road,” page 82). From coast to coast, LEED-certified hotels, specialty fair trade shops, and sustainable restaurants are opening up seemingly every day. We could hardly do justice to all the places that inspire the average greenie to pull over and take in the sights. So we hope this article turns into a living document and that you send us your ideas. E-mail your favorite eco stops to and we will keep updating our listings of green America online.

Intrepid souls have been traveling the globe for generations to see the Seven Wonders of the World. The original seven, such as Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, were monumental feats of human ingenuity. More recent lists of Wonders have included engineering marvels that exemplify our mastery over the world. With the emergence of the eco era, we felt it was time to present a Wonders list that celebrated a different kind of human brilliance. “The Seven Eco Wonders of the World” (page 68) reveals landmarks that are spectacular triumphs of engineering and design while also reflecting a new set of values for the 21st century.

From outings close to home to adventures in far-flung lands, overall we hope that our travel issue inspires, challenges, and prompts you into action. With this issue we also launch a new section of the magazine: “Land of Plenty” (page 14). In this section we want to tell the stories of how you—our readers nationwide—are going green and making our world a little more sustainable. It’s our celebration of people acting on behalf of the planet and its well-being. Check out this first group of
greenies—I think they are all pretty inspiring. Have an action of your own to share? Send your story to In the meantime, happy eco travels.

Issue 25

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