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Plenty -- A Bright Green Wired?
Alex Steffen, 15 Nov 04

Longtime readers will know that we're passionately committed to the idea that the future can be both more prosperous and more sustainable -- brighter and greener.

That concept -- while still far from mainstream even within the environmental movement -- has been gaining in acceptance in the last year. It appears to have hit critical mass. If so, Plenty may be seen as one of the first key reactions.

Plenty is aiming, plainly speaking, to be a bright green Wired. As their marketing materials put it:

PLENTYis a magazine for savvy, environmentally conscious consumers who are aware that we live in a world of finite resources, that the planet is a fragile system in delicate balance between the natural and the manmade, and that there are limits to how much we can extract from our surroundings without doing irreparable harm. We believe that the technologies are in place to make a transition from a world of potential scarcity to a world of plenty. Our editorial focus lies at the intersection of concern for the environment with quality of life: food, home, design, architecture, cars, clothing, travel, outdoor recreation, leisure, accentuating the transition to and practice of a more organic, eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle.

Or as the Times puts it:

"The idea is that you don't have to be stodgy and self-flagellating to be green. You can buy cool hybrid cars, eat organic food and wear sexy designer clothes. ...a new approach to saving the planet - an approach that is more latex, less flannel."

Of course, this isn't a charity project. The publishers hope to draw big name advertisers competing for highly-educated affluent ecogeeks. More power to them. We want green design and sustainable technologies to be mass-marketed. We should help Plenty find those readers and pitch to them. This could, after all, end up being the publication that takes a whole mess of important ideas mainstream.

But here's the challenge we should lay down in return: we're watching you, Plenty, and we have expectations. Bright green != greenwashed consumerism. Sell us, don't sell us out.

(thanks, Garry!)

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At first glance, looks like Plenty is aiming to get in on the action created (in the mainstream) by Rodale's Organic Style--but hipper, gender-neutral, less LOHAS-y.

Posted by: Emily Gertz on 16 Nov 04

Trying to find the magazine is Arizona is proving futile but my curiosity will carry me forward until I find my first copy of this magazine.

By the way, this being my first posting here, I love this website.

Posted by: John Wise on 17 Nov 04

This is all fine but it doesn't really begin to deal with the class issues of the environmental movement. Until these products are made affordable for working-class people environmentalism will still seem an elitist movement.

Posted by: Erik Loomis on 18 Nov 04



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