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With Earth Day falling on April 22, we've focused much of our coverage in this week's paper on eco concerns. (Just tryin' to do our part.) Here, you'll find stories featuring everything from energy savings and the green lobby to info on Earth Day events, a chat with a television eco-celeb, and a film review of the latest Disney Earth-porn flick.

Admittedly, it's something of a grab bag. But rather than bludgeon you with another feature on easy household improvements (twirly bulbs, weather stripping ... yawn) or depress you with a cynical look at some seemingly insurmountable environmental obstacle, we've opted to take a more casual approach. The cover package in particular (here and here) simply profiles a handful of interesting people and ideas that do stand to make a difference, some way, somehow.

We feel that generally the best way to combat green fatigue, apathy and desensitization is to avoid a preachy, stern and apocalyptic tone (or a naïvely idealistic, hopeful and cheery tone, for that matter) in favor of cautious optimism and awareness.

Everyone knows we've got urgent problems, and many miles to go before we sleep. But, if only for this moment, let's pause and appreciate the nature around us and some of our own baby steps toward a better future.

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