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Recycling becoming way of life for some

BY Lexy Zunich-Andersen, student writer

Going green.

It may be just a saying to you, but for many it's becoming a way of life. It's a choice people are frequently being urged to make, but hearing about it so often is nearly turning it into a cliché.

The commitment is becoming pretty simple, with many small steps to take, that by themselves may seem insignificant, but together make a big impact.

"The whole idea with living green doesn't mean being unhappy, it means being satisfied with what you have," said Florence Hedeen, a Park Rapids resident who has been green for her "entire adulthood."

She works with the Home Again Furniture Warehouse, which provides furnishings to people without the resources needed to get them. It's re-using in its simplest form and people can donate by calling the Headwaters Intervention Center.

Justin Peterson, a senior at Park Rapids Area High School, says, "Ever since I can remember, we've recycled. I think it's important, because you're not wasting a product that can be used again."

The idea seems to be spreading.

Wayne Isaacson, store manager at J&B Foods said the store has been carrying certain green products such as Seventh Generation for almost four years.

"Prices have been coming down and as they become closer to brand name products, I see the sales increasing," he said.

Isaacson goes on to say, "We probably don't run the ads on them as much as we should, but we're trying."

With the new J&B in the works, Isaacson foresees an expanded natural and health aisle, complimenting the already growing natural and organic food items.

There's more variety in the stores now, thanks to Park Rapids area consumers making a more conscious effort when shopping.

Like the Golden Rule, the three Rs are something that people are accustomed to hearing often: reduce, reuse, recycle.

They may seem basic, but when put to action, it's those three things that all the tips and steps to take stem from.

Hedeen says, "Look at yourself. What do you have that you simply throw away after the first use? Those are the things that you want to take the steps needed to break as habits. People need to remember that it didn't just appear on the shelf; it came from somewhere. Someone had a hand in making it what it is today."

"It doesn't take a lot of effort either. I really don't see why more people don't do it," Peterson said.

There are many ways to go green that people wouldn't automatically think of but with a little spare time and ingenuity the possibilities are endless.