October 2011 Letter from the Publisher
It seems like just yesterday I sat listening to my Rutgers geology professor expounding on the importance of preserving the Pinelands, a vital aquifer recharge area unobtrusively collecting and storing a bountiful water supply for thousands of people in our region. We are fortunate to still have such an incredible natural water resource at hand, although we are called to be ever-more vigilant watchdogs to stem harmful fallout from ill-conceived progress.
It is easy to become complacent in the short-term, given our area’s recent record breaking rainfall. But maintaining adequate supplies of clean, fresh water is no easy task. Over the years, I have cheered the reduction of severe factory pollution pouring into our rivers and lakes, but we have a long way to go. Walking the Delaware River shore after this summer’s flooding, I was appalled at the amount of litter washed up. Plastic bottles of every shape and size tangled in twisted masses of driftwood and manmade wrappings. It saddened me to think of all the Northeast waterways that have suffered similar neglect. An uprising of local river activists is urgently needed.
Just watching the documentary Bag It radically changes any viewer’s casual acceptance of the ubiquitous use of plastic in modern life. The existence of the Great Atlantic Garbage Patch discovered so close on the heels of discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch shouts the magnitude of our environmental carelessness. It calls to mind the ironically prophetic scene in the 1967 movie The Graduate where Mr. McGuire, advising Dustin Hoffman’s character, Benjamin Braddock, sums up the future of business in one word: “Plastics.”
Plastics may have been a profitable business decision but not a very wise choice for the environment. We need to find ways to make business practices more ecologically sustainable, prodded by consumer demand as well as conscience. You’ll find a punch list of doable ways to profit by greening any business in this issue. In every case, as with any movement, pioneers are setting the pace for the mainstream to emulate.
Natural Awakenings has embodied green printing and other practices since its founding 17 years ago by CEO Sharon Bruckman. I am glad that she had the courage and commitment to generate a publication that continues to be a touchstone of healthy living on a healthy planet that today has a collective readership exceeding 3.5 million each month. A devoted team of likeminded people makes this community magazine happen in 87 markets around the country. With a family this big, we all get to share ideas and dreams, which we love to pass along to our readers. So please enjoy the fruits of the efforts of our loyal advertisers, distributors and contributors and THINK GREEN!
Paper or plastic?
Don Moore, Publisher