the Original Green


We’re continuing to add dates to the Original Green Book Tour. Check back soon for more presentations.

June 4, 11:15 AM


Congress for the New Urbanism 19

Madison, Wisconsin

June 4, 3:45 PM

Urban Agriculture Design Elements

Congress for the New Urbanism 19

Madison, Wisconsin

June 12, 10:00 AM

Palladio: Classical to Vernacular Symposium

University of Notre Dame

South Bend

June 15, noon

Greening Historic Communities Symposium

Environmental Protection Agency

Wilmington, Delaware

July 28-29

Harvard University


August 18-19

Center for Planning Excellence

Baton Rouge


Steve Mouzon speaks on the Original Green across the US and abroad. Would you like for him to come and speak at your next event?

Make a Request

Got an Idea?

If you have an idea for a story, or know about work we need to feature...

Please Let Us Know!

Cause & Timeline:


Steve’s Useful Stuff & News:


NU Guild & Mouzon Design:



Original Green Book on Amazon:

If you’d like to financially support the Original Green cause, you can donate here:

Your donation goes to the Guild Foundation, which hosts the Original Green, and which is a Florida 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


   Originally, before the Thermostat Age, the places we built and buildings we built had no choice but to be green, otherwise people would freeze to death in the winter, die of heat strokes by summer, starve to death, or other really bad things would happen to them. Today, as we are working to re-learn how to live sustainably, much of the focus is on the gadgetry of green: Gizmo Green. This notion that we can simply invent more efficient mechanisms, and throw in some bamboo to boot, is only a small part of real sustainability.

   Here’s how the Original Green works: First, we must build sustainable places, because it does not matter what the carbon footprint of a building is if you have to drive everywhere in order to live there. The four foundations of sustainable places are Nourishability, Accessibility, Serviceability, and Securability.

   Only after the place has been made sustainable does it make sense to discuss sustainable buildings. The first of the four foundations of sustainable buildings is Lovability, because it does not matter how efficiently the building performs if it is demolished and carted off to the landfill in a generation or two because it cannot be loved. Even a landmark so revered by the architectural profession as the Boston City Hall is now in danger of just such a fate because it is famously unlovable. Only after the building is lovable can it go on to be sustainable by being Durable, Flexible, and Frugal.

   So this is what the Original Green makes... sustainable buildings in sustainable places... but what is it, really? The Original Green is the collective intelligence behind those places. In common terms, it’s the sustainability all our great-grandparents knew by heart.

   The operating system of the Original Green is something called a Living Tradition; it spreads the wisdom of sustainability in ways vaguely similar to how nature spreads genetic material. Living Traditions bear about as much resemblance to an historical tradition as a living creature does to a fossil. One is alive, while the other is not. With that having been said, preservation is the act of ongoing sustainability, because how can we live sustainably if we keep throwing places and buildings away?

   The best living traditions are held by the public at large, rather than just a few people. And if a living tradition is to produce sustainability, it must involve everyone. Our behavior must improve, or our machines can’t save us. In short, there’s something for everyone to do. And while Gizmo Green solutions are hurt by economic downturns, Original Green measures fare much better, because most of them operate naturally.

   Make sure you check out the Original Green Blog, which regularly discusses all of these things and their implications in detail. And please make sure to leave your comments... let’s have a discussion!

Sustainability is More Than Gizmo Green

Sustainable places are...

Sustainable buildings are...









Please Sign the Original Green Guestbook!

Steve’s Twitter Timeline Often Deals with Sustainability