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Editorial - Let's focus on the positive, 'green' side of things

All the gloom and doom that darkens the news these days can be downright depressing, leading people to think, "What can go wrong next?" It's time to turn that attitude around and shed more light on the positive things people are doing to make the...

All the gloom and doom that darkens the news these days can be downright depressing, leading people to think, "What can go wrong next?"

It's time to turn that attitude around and shed more light on the positive things people are doing to make their community a better place to live.

That's the goal of the Echo Press "Community Builder" Extra that's part of today's paper, starting on page B1. It's the second in an ongoing series of special news reports focusing on an aspect or subject that defines the word "community" in rural Minnesota.

The project is a collaborative effort among newspapers in Alexandria, Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids, Morris, Wadena, Perham and New York Mills.

Each is publishing a section this week on the same subject. These sections will be unique and local, although some information as it applies regionally will be shared on a limited number of common pages.

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The newest topic is "Going Green." It highlights a few of the things that local people and groups are doing to protect the environment, ensuring that the community's resources can be enjoyed by future generations.

You can read about School District 206's "Green Team" that's focusing on reducing waste and energy needs while increasing awareness of efforts that help the environment.

A story about a local couple highlights the little things they're doing to save on gas through a technique known as hypermiling.

Another story highlights an Alexandria couple who have been making efforts to reduce and recycle for more than 30 years. They use energy efficient appliances and light bulbs and reinsulated their house.

Also, read about a local body shop that's sending fewer chemicals into the air by using environmentally friendly water-borne coatings instead of solvent-based paints.

Find out about a local company that works with businesses and organizations to reduce waste and improve energy efficiency.

The section will also tell you how you can recycle your household items; it's easier than you think. Also, learn 10 simple tips to lead a "greener" life.

Read how more communities are harnessing the power of wind.

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See how a local bookstore owner cut her electricity bill and improved the lighting at her business.

Learn how an Alexandria manufacturer is putting an added emphasis on recycling throughout its entire facility.

These stories and much more are all part of this latest "Community Builder" effort. Future series will focus on "Four Generations of Leadership," and "Health Care." After that we're open to suggestions on topics of interest.

We hope readers respond to the Community Builder series with enthusiasm.

As a community newspaper, the Echo Press has a strong tradition of reporting the news as it is - the good and the bad. Believe it or not, our reporters would much rather enjoy doing a story about a local resident's accomplishments than reporting about a crime, a crash or a heated controversy.

Unfortunately, the accomplishment-type stories aren't reported as often because people don't tell us about it, they don't want to come across as "bragging," or they don't think what they're doing is newsworthy enough.

The Community Builder series is another way to bring those accomplishments to light. It's a way to let readers know that there are ordinary people in their community doing extraordinary things to make the area we all call home a better place to live.

What To Read Next
This week in history in Douglas County.
The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.
This week in history in Douglas County.
This week in history in Douglas County.