Green Living – Signing Off (from the RJ)

Green Living - Signing OffAs George Harrison sang in 1970, “All things must pass…” and so it is with my involvement as the originator and author of the Green Living column in the Las Vegas Review Journal (though this site will remain active). After nine years and 234 consecutively-published RJ columns I am hanging up my Green Living keyboard (for the newspaper anyway). The reason? I wore the letters off the keys and can’t type on them anymore!

GreenDreamWeb is a Priority

Actually, it’s really about priorities. Change is the one thing that’s guaranteed in life and this one feels right. In my other, non-writer life, I have a small business that is also green. In fact, it is called GreenDreamWeb. It makes a difference in its own way and right now things are going well. I want to focus on it, so the time is right to move on.

Over the years, Green Living has covered a lot of topics, from the smallest details to the biggest issues. I did my best to plant seeds of awareness, providing useful information along with food for thought. I’ve helped promote green events and education as well.

I am grateful for the opportunity to share my dream with so many. For that, I thank the paper and the wonderful editors I’ve had the pleasure to work with. My wife Marsala gets full credit (or blame, depending on your point of view) for the original idea to get this admitted non-writer to start producing a regular column. She has always believed in me.

Writing can be a lonely experience sometimes. Fortunately, I’ve heard from many readers over the years. I answered questions as often as possible, either directly or in my columns. Some readers visited our home during several solar home tours. Some attended a lecture or my classes on solar energy or green homes, and it was always a pleasure to meet them. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement.

Reading is a huge part of the writing process for me. I devour information about green building, simple living, scientific reports on the environment, and other topics on an ongoing basis. Distilling a complex topic into 600 words or so every other week was not easy, but the intent was always clear: Help as many people as possible by sharing the benefits of living lighter on the planet. Even though Marsala and I decided not to have children, our sense of responsibility runs deep and well into the future. We believe that what each of us does every day will impact people we’ll never know.

I think writing about our personal experiences was the best part for me. Nothing is more authentic and genuine. Marsala and I know that green living works and it was fun to share what we learned. Much of what we’ve accomplished is the result of hard work, delayed gratification and informed purchasing decisions. I hope those points resonated with readers. Anyone with the desire can do the same and reap the environmental, health and financial benefits of living a simple, greener lifestyle.

Big Picture Topics

An early Green Living column.The big picture topics that I often wrote about have become more acute in the last nine years. Many committed people in our community continue to make a huge difference with renewable energy, green building, school gardens, vegan food, land stewardship, species protection, and overall awareness. Southern Nevada has come a long way. Your involvement to create positive change can build on that. There is much to do.

For those who’ve read my columns for a while, thank you. I expect your homes are now well-insulated and using energy made on your roof! You’ve said goodbye to huge electric bills and maybe you even drive a vehicle powered with nothing but fresh sunshine. If that’s not yet the case, there are ample, easy-to-search archives on where most of my columns are posted and will continue to reside. I may also add new posts occasionally and of course, your comments are always welcome.

Going back again to 1970, U.N. Secretary-General U Thant said, “As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across the poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us: ‘With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas,’ or, ‘They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them.’”

Get It Done

We have known we have a big job to do for quite some time. This game may not allow overtime. If I had to describe a common thread running through all my columns, it’s that it is time to get it done. I wish you all the best!

The Real Bottom Line


  1. Steven, you have put your heart, soul, and consciousness into these columns for the last nine years in the effort to awaken people to the problems that are threatening our very existence.

    You have been the intelligent voice in the midst of so much mindlessness. It is not easy being the bearer of news that most people don’t want to, but need to hear, yet you have steadfastly delivered the message without worrying about winning a popularity contest.

    You are a man who walks his talk, who cares deeply about future generations and the future of this planet. I have the greatest respect and admiration for you. You are a Green Giant in the Las Vegas community.

    Over the years, television stations have interviewed you when they needed an expert on climate change, sustainability and green building. You have made a difference in peoples’ lives. Many people have put solar on their roofs, bought electric cars, improved the efficiency of their homes, started organic vegetable gardens, and so many other things because of you.

    You live your life with such gratitude and appreciation. You take nothing for granted. You revel in the simplest pleasures such as having hot water come out of the faucet when you take a shower. i am glad that you love designing and hosting Green websites for people. Whatever you do, you do with the the utmost integrity. You have always been someone who gives 100% and I know you will continue to touch others’ lives.

  2. Joanne Leovy says

    Steve, many thanks for the inspiration, food for thought and practical help and advice as we walk a journey toward sustainable living. You have personally saved us money on utility bills!

  3. nine years has gone by in what seems to me to be but a blink. thank YOU, professor rypka aka mr. green jeans! you have made an immense difference in my life and how i choose to interact with the planet.

    marsala, as is her wont, nailed it, meaning YOU!

    with immense gratitude,

    PS — when will the book of your columns be published, hmmm?

  4. Gene Bayersdorfer says

    Hey Steve,
    Best of luck in your continued passion to educate! I’ve seen your passion at work up close and it is to be admired! Ditto Joanne’s comment…..and like Cherie’s idea. Thanks for keeping the “Sacred Trust” alive!
    Grace to you,

  5. Thank you for all the work you do on behalf of us and the planet! I know you’ll continue to do great things.

    • Ditto Kim! We all do our best given the information and resources we have at the moment, right? You know, it has been almost eleven years since I first wrote to you. It was your piece in Alternet about being the beauty mark on the face of the Peace Goddess. Thank you for being brave, writing from the heart and for taking a stand for environmental sanity. You and Marsala have much in common!

      I found the article: The Beauty Mark