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Friday, October 31, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 33.0° F  Partly Cloudy and Breezy
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The green thing

We're entering the green season, and I'm not talking about all those little shoots bravely sticking their heads out of the winter detritus and seeking the sun. I'm talking about the advent of Earth Day (April 22) and the environmental awareness that annually accompanies it. These days the effect is heightened. With the shifting weather patterns to the more immediate stimulus of skyrocketing fuel prices, folks have more incentive than ever to get serious about "going green."

But before I get all verdant on your psyches, allow me to conduct a little administrative business. On pages 23 and 24 of this issue you'll find an Isthmus Readers Survey, conducted by Chamberlain Research. If you fill it out and send it to the address provided, you will aid us greatly in understanding our audience and, among other things, describing it to advertising clients. And if you fill out the info box, you may win a Door County get-away. Should you prefer to save paper and postage, you can fill out the survey online. The web address is provided at the beginning of the poll.

Returning to our scheduled programming, I commend our "Bright Green" package to you. In anticipation of Earth Day, we've put together a quartet of articles intended to enlighten and encourage those who want to expand their eco-consciousness and reduce their carbon footprint.

In "26 Things You Can Do Without Changing a Light Bulb," Linda Falkenstein presents a collection of energy- and resource-saving tips that, taken together, can have a significant effect on your personal environmental impact. "Do the Green Thing," by Ben Hancock, profiles five organizations that you can join to be a more active participant in changing the consumption culture. Vikki Kratz, our regular government reporter, answers the question "How Green Is My Government?" She cites some of the things that Dane County and the city of Madison are doing, from capturing landfill gas to digesting manure, that foster responsible practices in the name of the people. Brian McCombie reports on the growing involvement of outdoor sports enthusiasts - hunters and fishers and the rest - in the efforts to preserve their beloved natural spaces.

I'll take this opportunity to again remind you of Isthmus Green Day, on April 26 in the Monona Terrace Exhibition Hall (see the ad on the back page). This eco-celebration will feature more than 115 exhibitors and a full schedule of speakers and presentations. Featured speakers are interior designer Kenneth Brown of HGTV fame and Nora Pouillon, proprietor of the Washington, D.C., restaurants Asia Nora and Restaurant Nora and an early proponent of the sustainable food movement. Hope to see you there.

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