The Northwest EcoBuilding Guild’s Green Pages is a Directory of Ecologically Sustainable Professional Services. The printed Green Pages directory has been a source of Sustainable Building leaders, a wealth of knowledge and inspiration through feature content, and a comfort and joy for those just beginning the sustainable journey, assuring them that there is hope and a future for their passion. It has been a long journey for the Guild and its hallmark publication from niche periodical to essential resource of the Green Revolution in the Pacific Northwest.
Today it is an online, searchable directory of our Guild members, their businesses, products, and service. The Green Pages began as a printed directory before the internet was popular. Now, a full-color directory with articles and project presentations full of member advertisements and graphic content, the Green Pages started much more simply.
The Early Years
Before the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild began producing the Green Pages, in fact, before there was a Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, there was The Pacific Northwest Eco-Building Network Directory, a private venture publication of Jeffery Learned, Learned Integrated Habitats of Kent, WA. Jeffrey Learned, a building contractor, printed his directory in 1991 and 1992, however his journey began in the late 1980s as he strove to learn as much as he could about environmental illness and its relation to toxic building materials in homes. In his search for answers, “he discovered a large and diverse group of people interested not only in environmental illness, but also the broader topic of ecologically sustainable building practices.” (EcoBuilding Times, p. 3, issue #1, 1993)
From the many local meetings and workshops organized by Jeffrey Learned, a network of peers developed. In 1992, a small group of ecologically minded men, Jon Alexander, Matt Freeman-Gleason, David Reel, Chris Stafford, and others, met with Jeffrey around a table in Seattle to discuss a further collaboration to bring environmentally sound building practices to building trades people. From this association, the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild was formed as a nonprofit, membership organization. The Guild and Jeffrey Learned’s publication, the Learned Times merged to form the initial publication offering of the Guild, the EcoBuilding Times, a quarterly journal for ecologically sustainable building. The first edition of the EcoBuilding Times was published in the Fall of 1993 on newspaper print with a glossy cover. Its member-written articles shared technical information, perspectives, and advice, while member ads promoted the businesses of the Guild’s early members.
The Green Pages cometh
The second issue of the EcoBuilding Times, published in the spring of 1994 brought an evolving publication that featured environmental improvements in paper and ink choices to the journal. The inaugural editors elected to have the inside pages printed with soy ink and chose to pay more for paper that met their high environmental standards for recycled content (50% post-consumer), with no chlorine used in the de-inking process. Moving away from the slick, glossy cover, they chose to use 100% post-consumer recycled content paper.
In addition to exploring new ideas, products, and practices in the second issue of the EcoBuilding Times, the editors, led by Rob Harrison, chose to provide an insert in this edition that started a revolution in the way the ecologically sustainable materials, suppliers, contractors, products, and professional services were found by the growing number of people interested in a sustainably built environment. In the center of the journal, the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Green Pages, a transformation of The Pacific Northwest Eco-Building Network Directory, was set as a twelve page insert to provide exposure to potential clients for the Guild’s professional members (Green Pages Coordinator, B.J. Harris). The intention was to publish the Green Pages as a semi-annual listing within the quarterly EcoBuilding Times journal, however the Green Pages gained a life of its own.
The Green Pages became an annual publication of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild in the Winter of 1995/96. Printed as a half-page sized booklet by Little Nickel Press with soy-based green ink on 25% post-consumer and 25% post-industrial recycled paper, the Green Pages made its initial appearance as a stand-alone directory. The directory, edited by Carol “Cate” O’dahl, featured the Scheulen Home on its cover. The Scheulen Home began the tradition of Guild professionals working together. Architect, Rob Harrison, and contractor, Jon Alexander, combined their forces with several other Guild professionals to construct this lasting tribute to sustainability.
The Lost Years
This writer doesn’t know what happened after Carol O’dahl relinquished the editorial reins of the Green Pagesfollowing 1995/96 publication until 2000.
The publication grew to a full size directory, maintaining its commitment to soy-based ink and recycled newsprint paper for both inside and cover. The green ink used throughout was the trademark of the Green Pages directory. Executive editor in 2000 was Rob Harrison of Seattle, WA, with compilation support by Paula Springer, managing editor, and Rebekah Henderson, database coordinator. The print production was managed in Bend, OR, by Bruce Sullivan of Iris Communications. The layout had become standardized in a format stemming from the original 1994 insert that is still used today with member listings separated by category.
The Return of Carol “Cate” O’dahl as Editor
In 2002, the executive editor, Charlie Stevens, found himself under-staffed with Guild volunteers as the publication timeline loomed near. Learning that Carol “Cate” O’dahl had returned to the Northwest after a three-year absence, Charlie tapped her skills as an organizer and collaborator to bring the 2002 Green Pages issue to press. Working with Bruce Sullivan, Carol strove to prepare and print the directory on time. The directory also included a novel indexing of the members with the Guild at a Glance by Last Name as well as by the traditional Guild at a Glance by Company Name.
In 2003, the Green Pages received another upgrade, moving away from newsprint to a heavier stock of recycled paper. The green soy-based ink read cleanly on the new paper, and most of the advertisements showed clearly as well, however, it was agreed that the cover was not on par with quality that the Guild wanted to project. The smiling faces of Guild members shining up from the green soaked cover was washed out, and the excitement of sustainable building was damped by the one-color print.
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To counteract the poor quality of the earlier cover art, Carol initiated a two-color print for the 2004 edition of the Green Pages. Printing the cover photos in black and background color with a green spot color, the 2004 issue brought new verve to the directory. Also new to the directory with this issue was a third iteration of finding our members, this time by chapter in the Guild at a Glance by Chapter. Filled with listings, advertisements, case studies, and nuggets of information, the Green Pages had grown to be 64 pages long and distributed throughout the entire Pacific Northwest.
Articles were added to the Green Pages features in 2005, along with member profiles and two-color advertisements. The 2005 edition bloomed to 76 pages.
Under the editorial leadership of Carol, now known as Cate, the Green Pages continued to grow in size and content.
2006 issued a new era of color. Only the cover was full-color, but it gave the publication a new look and new life. The Green Pages received eleven sponsors that year.
Since then, each subsequent issue has added more pages and more color.
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In 2009, our best edition yet, the Green Pages was printed on FSC-certified recycled content paper.
In 2010, with the downturn in the economy, and in preparation for the new website, the document was also downsized to fewer pages and the paper was simply recycled content. The Guild’s Regional Board thought it better to target our resources towards a paperless venue.
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The Future of the Green Pages
2010 was the last year the regional Green Pages was published for printing. In 2012 and 2014 the Seattle Chapter collaborated with Natural Awakenings magazine to release a Chapter-specific special edition – see Seattle Chapter Green Pages. For questions or comments about the future of the regional Green Pages, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
— by Sheldon O’dahl, Dirty Dog Productions