LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: Why you should read our sustainability section

Saturday, April 24, 2010 | 8:31 p.m. CDT; updated 3:05 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dear Reader,

Columbia has a growing love affair with sustainability.

Just look at the city's recent decision to hire a sustainability director or the creation of a Sustainability Office at MU.

Or take a look at's top referrers. Search terms such as "sustainability Columbia MO" are often popular.

So, Columbia, we're listening. You're interested in sustainability? Here's your guide, just in time for Earth Day.

If you're just getting into the issue, learn the basics of gardening in a pot or what strategies there are for conserving energy, ranked in order of cost. If you're looking to step it up, see if a hen or two might be right for you, or learn how to build your own rain barrel.

And for those who aren't quite ready to start making changes, you're in luck. We chose to stay away from the day-to-day news.  This section was created to be, well, sustainable — timeless. You can cut out anything that's interesting to you, save it and return in a few days or a few years. You can also bookmark, where you'll find an electronic copy of all these stories and information graphics.

That will free you to reuse the paper in this section. We know the 200 pounds of newsprint used for this section is a lot — though we use partially recycled paper and soy ink. So on the next page, we've given you a few suggestions to reuse the newsprint.

For a more well-rounded perspective, you can also see how one Columbia family, the Sparkses, made their life more sustainable on pages 16 and 17.

And finally, we round out the section with a look at the big picture: sustainability's political and social implications.

Do you have other tips you want to share about sustainability? Let us know at Because this section is all about you, and we've just scratched the surface of sustainability.



Moring is a senior journalism student and an assistant city editor at the Missourian.

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