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Green is Out

I’ll have to admit I’m a bit of a pop culture junkie. Each December I like to watch some of the year in retrospective television shows that go through the highs, lows and woes of the previous year. As I watched the 2008 wrap-up of the most over-used words in use in the United States I was surprised to hear that ‘green’ made the top 5. At first I thought; that’s too bad, after 15 minutes of fame green is no longer in. Then I thought maybe the green movement has become so widespread that folks are getting overwhelmed with its new prominent position in our lexicon. I really don’t know why green made the list, but I hope it doesn’t foretell a lack of interest or apathy in the future.

I live in Portland, Oregon USA where green has been a hot topic for decades. Portland is a major hub for the timber industry. The people in this area have experienced the downside of ignoring the environment for economic gains. Throughout much of the 20th century clear cutting was the standard logging technique here. In the 80’s as the environmental impact became obvious, public lands were protected from clear cutting. In the following years the timber industry nearly collapsed as enforced protection of the forests worked its way through the economy. The loss was 2 fold – first the environment, then the local economy.

Things are better in Oregon now, the local economy is much less dependent on the timber industry, logging practices are more environmentally friendly, and green is definitely in. When I tell people about my new job at PaperCut and show them our Environmental Impact Gadget I almost always get a ‘cool’ or ‘wow’.

If you would like to try the gadget and you are running Windows Vista, send me an email and I will send you a link to the download. The gadget is a part of our print management software that is used throughout the world to reduce waste by applying print quotas and providing network managers with information that can be used to track printing resources.


  • James

    Yeah I noticed a lot logging when I was down in Oregon a year and a half ago. It was still a beautiful state though. We have had similar issues up here in BC though I believe the problem has been getting worse even though the forest industry has been having tough times. In the 90s much of the land was protected but over the past couple years the land has been sold off to private owners who are either devloping it or stripping it and selling the logs. From what I understand he government only has power over designated forest lands. Anyway yeah there is nothing wrong with ‘Green’ even if it does get hammered into people a lot. Regardless of the implications of waste/pollution it just makes sense to look after things.

  • Chris

    We have a similar situation down here in Tasmania (the little island at the south end of Australia). It’s a pristine region with lots of native virgin forests. Unfortunately there is a constant battle between “jobs” (a.k.a. the logging industry) and environmental protection. The environmental movement has had some wins over the years as the economy has been good and jobs are strong. I feel however that as the economy drops off, “jobs” will become a hot topic again and the environment will loose out. The economy has cycles every decade or two. The cycle (e.g. recovery) for the environment on the other hand however can be many hundreds or thousands of years. We can’t let short term economic cycles dictate our environmental policies – policies that should be sent much further in advance.