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Origins of the Original Green Idea

Hi, we're Steve and Wanda Mouzon, and we've been working on the Original Green idea since 1980, decades before we even had a name for the sustainability all our ancestors knew by heart. It took us a couple dozen years of exploration to move from the initial mystery to the discovery that opened many doors, then another four years to begin the Original Green initiative and a couple more years to write the Original Green book.
Many people now agree that achieving sustainability is a bigger challenge than just buying more efficient devices. We coined the phrase “Original Green” over a decade ago to describe the sustainability that existed before the Thermostat Age. Gizmo Green, on the other hand, long dominated mondern-day sustainability discussions in most venues, and is the proposition that we can achieve sustainability just by buying better materials and more efficient equipment. Yes, more efficiency is necessary, but the Gizmo Green view is so narrow that it misses most of what true sustainability is all about. The Original Green, on the other hand, is a broad foundation supporting a number of initiatives that go far beyond Gizmo Green.
We have led or contributed to a number of advances in sustainable place-making and building design. I co-founded the Urban Guild, which is a group of architects, designers, and other New Urbanists dedicated to sustainable buildings and places native to and inspired by the regions in which they are built. The Guild was instrumental in the creation of the Katrina Cottages concept. Our Katrina Cottage VIII, which opened the second generation of Katrina Cottages, won a Charter Award by the Congress for the New Urbanism. The Project:SmartDwelling initiative set out to redefine the American home much smaller, smarter, and more sustainable. Our SmartDwelling I was featured in the Wall Street Journal's Green House of the Future story alongside designs by three other notable green architects.
Our award-winning book A Living Tradition [Architecture of The Bahamas] sets the standard for a new type of pattern book that is principle-based instead of taste-based, and therefore contributes to the creation of new living traditions. Check out our press page for a number of publications and articles we've written or to which we've contributed, and also articles about us and our work. I blog on Useful Stuff, and We Do This Because... The Original Green Twitter stream is @stevemouzon.

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