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Our annual Green publication, which is included in today’s edition, highlights ways residents of Sedona and the Verde Valley can lessen our impact on the Earth through the efforts of local businesses and nonprofits.Christopher Fox Graham

Recycling is pervasive at all levels in our country, but that has only been the case for several decades.

The first major effort at recycling came during World War II, when Americans were urged to recycle everything from nylons to tin cans for the war effort, maintain small gardens in their backyards for vegetables and conserve resources like cooking oil and gasoline. The effort largely faded away after the war ended as consumer culture reveled in the bounty of the post-war years of the 1950s and 1960s.

As the environmental movement began in earnest in the 1970s, Americans turned back to recycling. Now more than 40 years after the first Earth Day, recycling bins can be found in nearly every office and public building in the country.

Solar panels became almost the standard on new homes in the sunny Southwest and the Sun Belt. They are making their way to northern states as the long-term benefits of clean power, lower electric bills and improving technology mean the panels pay for themselves in a short amount of time. Geothermal technology uses simple physics and the Earth itself to heat and cool homes. Homeowners are installing these alternative energy sources in their existing homes to reduce power costs and increase equity.

Thrift store shopping moved from being a financial necessity to hip to commonplace as thousands of nonprofits nationwide now run thrift stores whose sales benefit their charity efforts.

Clean food free from pesticides, exercise, yoga and meditation help promote clean, healthy living in tune with a healthy Earth.

Small vegetable gardens can be found in suburban backyards, the roofs of big city skyscrapers as well as rural areas like Sedona and the Verde Valley.

Drivers now include high miles per gallon in the list of assets they look for when buying a new car. Electric and hybrid cars, the stuff of science fiction 20 years ago, compete on par in the market with gas-powered vehicles.

We encourage you to spend some time looking through our Green publication and see what local businesses and nonprofits are doing to help save our planet. Patronizing these groups rewards them for their efforts and helps promote a cleaner, healthier planet for all of us.


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