Sunday, April 3, 2011

Alex Postman, Eco-Editor and Heroine

She walks her green talk, even on her rooftop!Alex Postman of Whole Living is the first editor-in-chief I've known who has climbed up on her roof and painted it white. Why? "The top floor, where our bedrooms are, is like a Turkish bath in summer," Alex says of her four-story Brooklyn brownstone, "and I hate sleeping in an air-conditioned room." A white roof can reduce your energy use--and your electric bills-- by 20% during hot, sunny weather.

And, for the editor of a publication that nurtures a feeling of community among readers, contributors and staff, how cool is it that Alex is not only cooling her house, but benefitting her neighbors, as well! "A white roof reduces the urban heat island effect for the entire neighborhood, says Alex Wilson, founding editor of Building Green magazine.

You can see Alex wielding the roller atop her four-story Brooklyn brownstone in the April Whole Living's Earth Day feature, "This is the Year I'll..." Full disclosure: I was the writer for the piece. But I have yet to paint my own asphalt roof white, which is one reason Alex is my eco-heroine: her hands-on example is a real inspiration!

For this issue, Alex had the idea to honor 10 eco-heroines with the magazine's first Whole Living Awards. Read about these wonderful women in the article "Planet Keepers." But what about the woman behind the scenes? Not only has Alex painted her roof white, but she, her family and neighbors cleaned trash from sidewalk dirt strips and planted new trees and other plants to beautify the block and provide more cooling shade.

Alex's concern for community also led her to coauthor, with her husband Andy Postman and Healthy Child, Healthy World's Christopher Gavigan,a book for parents on how to protect their children's environmental health. Plus, she challenges herself to go greener in her daily life, for example, giving up paper towels a year ago--no easy prospect for a mom of three young children. Alex shrugs these achievements off. Instead, she calls herself an Eco-crastinator in her editor's note this month.

I'm an eco-crastinator, myself, in so many ways, and this--the human, fallible, humorous side of going green--is yet another reason that Alex is one of my eco-heroines.

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