Everybody is writing about green building and casinos these days.

I always like it when an issue we've covered in Snips shows up on TV or in a mainstream newspaper or magazine, especially if it appears after we've written about it. Blame it on my years as a newspaper reporter. The paper I worked at only came out twice a week back then, but we still tried our best to "scoop" the bigger daily papers in the region.

Our cover story on casinos and green building certainly is an issue that's gotten lots of attention in recent weeks. In an earlier blog, I linked to an Associated Press article on a Native American casino in western Michigan that was going so far as to serve drinks only in reusable containers -- no plastic water bottles or Styrofoam coffee cups there.

And this morning I found a USA Today story about the seemingly recent trend to make the desert gambling oasis show more "green." Like my July Snips story, it includes comments from U.S. Green Building Council officials about the controversy of certifying a structure that doesn't ban smoking as its guidelines require.

One comment in USA Today's story bugged me, though. A British tourist said the city's "very existence is almost a crime against nature."

Well, OK, but the same argument could be made for Phoenix, Los Angeles or the many sprawling cities that stretch into the Southern California desert and use water from the dammed and rerouted Colorado River. And unlike some of those cities, Las Vegas and the surrounding Clark County have worked very hard in recent years to conserve water and energy -- as the story in Snips noted.

The water used in those pulsating fountains at the Bellagio? All recycled. The same goes for the pirate battle every night in front of Treasure Island. I hope somebody points it out to him.

All right. I feel better.