There’s nothing new about being green.
Two millennia ago, Chinese Minister for Agriculture Tsai Lun in the first-century Han dynasty called for subjects of the emperor to boil old linen rags for papermaking. Professional recyclers in medieval England collected dust and ash left from fireplaces, then sold it to brick manufacturers as an inexpensive base material. More recently, World War II saw an uptick in recycling, with many common household items like clothes, scrap metal, and tires turned into new products for the war effort.
In 1974, a group of Washington farmers, gardeners, and concerned citizens formed one of the nation’s first organized efforts for sustainable agriculture.
It was in the midst of a burgeoning back-to-the-land movement, and not long after the founding of Earth Day. The time was ripe for Washington, its farmers, consumers, and researchers to change agriculture.
On his way home from a Spokane conference on “Agriculture for a Small Planet,” author and activist Wendell Berry started a letter that would catalyze the movement. He praised the thoughtful and knowledgeable group who had organized the event, and wondered if they might work together to shape “a coherent … » More …
As seniors at Lewis and Clark High School, Eric Brandon ’12 and Nick Linton ’13 often skipped lunch to create plans for a zero carbon emission housing development.
“Our friends would come and ask if we were ready to go to lunch, and we’d say just 10 more minutes, or 15 more minutes” Brandon says, replaying the conversations. Linton interjects with his own reenactment, “We have to finish this last little façade.”
In 2008 Brandon and Linton entered their proposed sustainable housing development, called Green Ridge, in Washington State University’s inaugural Imagine Tomorrow competition. The competition brings students together in interdisciplinary teams to address energy … » More …
Somewhere along the Norwegian-Swedish border in the 1920s, Eric Zakarison’s grandfather and his family decided it was time to leave.
“They literally put on their packs, with everything they owned on their backs, skied down to the fjord, got on a boat, and came to Minnesota,” says Zakarison. After farming there for three or four years, they picked up and moved again, to the Havre/Chinook Hi-Line area of Montana.
Tired of northern Montana, Eric’s aunt ran away. She married a wealthy railroad man and they bought land north of Pullman. She invited the rest of the family to come further west, which they did, settling … » More …
One fuzzy old photograph of construction in downtown Pullman shows images of early days in the city: men laying a foundation by hand, a horse-drawn carriage on the street, a bicycle leaning on a post in the foreground. The photo has no date, but that bike, like a relic dropped by a time traveler, looks remarkably modern.
You won’t see a horse-drawn anything on Pullman’s streets now, except in parades, but you still see bikes among the buses, pedestrians, and a lot of cars.
Bridgette Brady, director of Washington State University’s Transportation and Parking Services, envisions bike use on campus increasing over the next … » More …