MOTHER EARTH NEWS: Three Decades of Eco-Friendly Ideas

This MOTHER EARTH NEWS article covers eco-friendly ideas shared in the magazine over three decades of publication.

| October/November 2003

Enjoy commentary on the early issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS and the eco-friendly ideas shared by the magazine.

Ever considered cooking trout in a dishwasher (MOTHER EARTH NEWS Issue No. 154)? Or a roast beef in a compost pile (No. 61)? What about stuffing a winter parka with milkweed or cattail fluff (No. (64) or constructing a garden greenhouse to the exact proportions of the Great Pyramid of Giza (No. 47)?

Where in the world could you find plans for a wood-burning refrigerator (No. 35), a jigsaw made from a treadle-powered sewing machine (No. 38), and a wind-powered battery charger that grade-school children can build (No. 138, 139); or learn how to build your own "hamdolin" — a mandolin made from a tin ham can — for a knee-slappin', homespun hootenanny (No. 91)?

Where else but in the pages of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine!

Eco-Friendly Ideas

Like an impassioned combination of Thoreau's Walden with Popular Mechanics, The Boy Scout Handbook and The Anarchist's Cookbook, for an amazingly long time MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been one of America's folksiest, funkiest, most thought-provoking and useful publications.

As part of a research project last year, I had the unique experience of reading my way through three decades of back issues, beginning with the inaugural 1970 edition. I was astonished, entertained and frequently moved by the audacious ingenuity of MOTHER's legion of builders and inventors, gardeners and farmers, visionaries and rabble-rousers, with page after page of their eloquent testimonials to the challenges and pleasures of independent living, or as founders John and Jane Shuttleworth would say, "Making more and living better with less."

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