Hello, Umbra,

I have been a firefighter for 23 years in Florida and have been reading Grist for the last couple of years. I am very environmentally conscious (probably why my nickname at the fire station is Captain Planet) and am starting to look for a place to move with mountains, small and friendly (preferably environmentally conscious) communities that still have reasonably clean air and water and a lack of huge malls, power plants, and environmentally damaging companies or toxic waste dump sites. Good schools for children would be a plus. I’ve been trying to find ways to research but haven’t had much luck. Could you please help me out?


Dearest James,

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You asked so nicely, how could I refuse? But I am stuck in these basement research stacks, and my request for a travel budget didn’t go over well upstairs. So to answer your question, we must turn to the proud, the many, the environmentally avid.

Readers of Grist! Does anyone have a suggestion for this hard-working firefighter? Surely some of you out there must love where you live — and want James to be your neighbor. If you know of a place he could live, somewhere truly fit to be nominated for Captain Planet’s Hall of Environmental Justice, and are willing to disclose the whereabouts of this environmental paradise, please send me (brief) word. (Please put “Even better than Portland, Ore.,” in the subject heading.) I’ll compile a list of Grist readers’ favorite places to live and set them forth in late September. James, I hope that will be soon enough. Hang tight.

Yours truly,

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