Monday, August 11, 2008

Green Maps & Prison

While flipping through Re-Nest the other day I came across a post about The Green Maps System. At first I thought, "I hope this has my town on it, because I have the need for green." Then I read this,

These maps highlight a community or city’s sustainable resource such as farmer’s markets, gardens and wildlife, bike paths, healthy dining, recycling centers and green businesses. The maps even identify places to avoid such as toxic wastes sites, nuclear facilities, poor labor practices, and prisons!
Prisons?!? OK, I understand not everyone appreciates a good prison like I do, but do prisons really warrant being on this map?
The implication is that prisons aren't green. In fact, the Federal Bureau of Prisons and its employees have received numerous awards for building state of the art environmentally friendly facilities. Compared to the suburban sprawl of McMansions most freeworlders live in, prisons use space more efficiently than pretty much anywhere on earth. Collective locally sourced food production is again more environmentally friendly than most public institutions.
So I sent the following email to Green Maps.
Good morning,
I was wondering why Green Map includes prisons as places to avoid? Obviously none of us would like to be imprisoned. I'm just wondering what led you to add prisons and not, say, bankruptcy courts.
Thank you,
And they replied.
hi - the prison/detention center is in the Landmarks section, which means they can be indicated to help people navigate maps that don't have many streets labled, rather than really saying they are places to avoid. I guess a courhouse would be indicated with Governmental Office,,,,many thanks Wendy
Wendy E. Brawer
Founding Director
Green Map System
So the misconception of prisons as not environmentally friendly lies with the poster at Re-Nest, not the folks at Green Map. Though the lack of sense of humor - you know, we'd all like to avoid being inmates or bankrupt, you got my humorous parallel, right - is clearly located at Green Maps.

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Terri said...

Well I laughed.

Sarah said...

At me or with me?