March 2009 Issue
Remember when Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the White House roof? It was, incredibly, 30 years ago. Carter wanted to make both a practical and symbolic gesture of environmental responsibility. Back in 1979, the environmental movement in America was, in a word, “hot.”
And, happily, it is again.
Given what seems to be an ever-increasing polarization of Americans on social issues, the widespread acceptance of the so-called “green movement” is as heartening as it is amazing. We all seem to agree that stewardship of the environment is a moral as well as sensible imperative.
Reports and polls show that Americans of every age and political persuasion have embraced the idea of “living green” — from buying earth-friendly products to conserving energy in their homes, and from recycling to reducing wasteful use of gasoline.
Ohioans who love Ohio — and what Ohioan doesn’t? — are enthusiastic participants in this movement. They know that much of “the beauty, the adventure and the fun” of life in Ohio exists in its magnificent natural attributes.
This month, we make our own special contribution to the green movement in Ohio with our “Living Green” package of cover stories in three sections of the magazine:
Arts & Entertainment:
,” by Jennifer Rogers, discusses how the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus spotlights artists who draw their inspiration from the great outdoors.
“Hope for the Hills
,” written by Jenny Pavlasek and photographed by Randall Schieber, describes how the new Hocking Hills Green Certified program helps keep the Hocking Hills, well, green. The story also includes tips for the green traveler from lifelong environmentalist Gwen Corbett, owner of Bear’s Den Cottages in the Hocking Hills.
,” written by Lori Murray and photographed by Jodi Miller, takes you inside the environmentally friendly home of the John and Kathy Scott family in Powell. Learn how their “smart” house is its own combination of beauty, adventure and fun.
Want to learn more about Ohio’s green energy movement? Be sure to consult Green Energy Ohio (GEO), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting environmentally and economically sustainable energy policies and practices in Ohio. The organization acts as a clearinghouse to inform Ohioans on sustainability matters. Visit GEO’s excellent Web site at www.greenenergyohio.org
And by the way, do you wonder whatever happened to those solar panels President Carter had installed at the White House? The original 32 panels were removed as part of roof repair work performed during the Reagan presidency in 1986. They were acquired five years later by Unity College in Maine.
The college, which focuses on environmental matters, has used half of the panels for research and historical displays. The other half were installed in the college cafeteria where, we choose to believe, the eggs are always prepared sunnyside up.