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Stephen A. Mouzon’s The Original Green: Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability

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The Original Green, by Stephen A. Mouzon

Longtime New Urbanism advocate and designer Stephen A. Mouzon has released The Original Green: Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability. The book follows from the Original Green website and blog, which among other things discuss designing places in the context of sustainability. It is published by the Guild Foundation Press.

The Original Green is about “the sustainability our ancestors knew by heart. Originally (before the Thermostat Age) they had no choice but to build green, otherwise people would not survive very long. The Original Green aggregates and distributes the wisdom of sustainability through the operating system of living traditions, producing sustainable places in which it is meaningful to build sustainable buildings. Original Green sustainability is common-sense and plain-spoken, meaning ‘keeping things going in a healthy way long into an uncertain future.’ Sustainable places should be nourishable because if you cannot eat there, you cannot live there. They should be accessible because we need many ways to get around, especially walking and biking because those methods do not require fuel. They should be serviceable because we need to be able to get the basic services of life within walking distance. We also should be able to make a living where we are living if we choose to. They should be securable against rough spots in the uncertain future because if there is too much fear, the people will leave. Sustainable buildings should be lovable because if they cannot be loved, they will not last. They should be durable because if they cannot endure, they are not sustainable. The should be flexible because if they endure, they will need to be used for many uses over the centuries. They should be frugal because energy and resource hogs cannot be sustained in a healthy way long into an uncertain future.”

The book is divided into four parts: What’s the Problem? (The Top 10 Problems with Our Current Green Efforts), What Can We Do? (The Top 10 Better Ways of Being Green), What’s the Plan? (The 8 Foundations of Sustainable Places & Buildings), and What Can I Do? (The Top 10 Things You can Do to be Green). It begins with an introduction by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Additionally, the 245 images in the book will be made available  on Mouzon’s Zenfolio site for download and use in presentations and the like.

With so much rhetoric on “green” and “sustainability,” narrow your focus and chances for success by picking up a copy of The Original Green. Learn more at


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