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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

Letter from Publisher

Oct 01, 2014 01:00PM ● By Reid Boyer

Traveling on Route 33 between the Lehigh Valley and Pocono Mountains is a pleasure compared with the arduous drives my family made in the 1980s to visit my college-age brother in Troy, New York.

Because my parents liked to travel and our extended family lived all over Pennsylvania, my four siblings and I toured the area crammed into some ungodly machines, including an all-metal International Scout, 1962 Pontiac Bonneville and bright orange Mercury. The endless sights and surprises influenced us all in different ways. It instilled an early wanderlust in me to see America and the world and I still love traveling.

My current vehicles for work and play feature a reliable modern internal combustion engine and far superior ride to 1960s vintages. They are my home away from home and take me to places near and far in a hurry. Driving them feels safe even with thousands of magazines loaded in the back. They serve me well and I maintain them well to ensure the horsepower is raring to go when I need it.

It’s tough to part from the traditional sense of freedom and independence that automobiles promise even while it chains us to oil company agendas and requires unnatural landscapes of impervious concrete and asphalt that desecrate former farmland. A humongous “payment coming due” subsidizes our joy rides. With crumbling infrastructure and roads desperately in need of replacing, we urgently query: Is the way we are doing things now sustainable?

Planners, architects, engineers and citizens are beginning to find creative, practical ways to make our existing cities and suburbs more eco-friendly and healthful. The good news is that more Americans aware of the issues are working to actively reverse their contribution to the problems, as demonstrated in the growth of ‘green neighborhoods’ throughout our region and beyond. Christine MacDonald’s October feature article, “Sustainable Cityscapes,” celebrates how urban areas are becoming eco-smart and happier places to live (page 32).

Taking such steps now to heal our planet and provide a healthier and happier world for our children will ultimately give them the independence and freedom we all relish.

Keep it green,

Reid Boyer, Publisher

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