Thank you for attending the 11th Annual Green Gifts Fair! We look forward to seeing you next year!

Air Pollution and Our Health

Mark Sulzbach Minnesota Pollution Control Agency When most people think of unhealthy air, they think of a stifling, summer day, plagued by high ozone levels and a thick layer of smog over the Twin Cities. However, Minnesota’s worst recorded air alert occurred during the winter of 2005, and ozone was … Read more

Confronting Electric Racism

Lea Foushee Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota (EJAM) Hazardous waste, garbage incinerators and dumps have routinely been located on reservations and in communities of Color. Indigenous Peoples have experienced environmental racism for more than 500 years. Today, nuclear racism has become a most pernicious form of environmental racism. The nuclear … Read more

Energy Saving 101

Do It Green! Minnesota Fluorescent Light Bulbs To light up a dark room, replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lights not only improve the quality of light, but also burn cooler and provide more light per watt of energy than incandescent bulbs. Instead of comparing the … Read more

Energy Transition

Philipp Muessig Twin Cities Energy Transition Working Group Huge energy price increases. Tight oil supplies. Climate change. Energy conservation. Major investments in renewable energy. To many people, it looks like the world is in the midst of an energy transition. What is driving this transition, where are we going, and … Read more

Fossil Fuels: What Everyone Should Know

Mark Snyder Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance I attended a presentation recently titled, “The Love of Fossil Fuels: The Root of All Evil?” While the title was partly a clever play on the age-old phrase, “Money is the root of all evil,” it also had some element of truth on … Read more

Getting Started with Green Building and Remodeling

Michael Anschel Otogawa-Anschel Design + Build The key to successful green building lies in two things: planning and communication. One of the big challenges in green construction and design is sorting through the vast ocean of information including all of the facts, fictions, and applications. Location, climate and building type … Read more

Greener Design and Remodeling

Michael Anschel Otogawa-Anschel Design + Build If you are reading this article, you may already know the importance of considering our planet’s resources when designing our homes. Determining the most sustainable solutions is a real challenge. Should you invest in solar panels? Should you buy the carpet with the Green … Read more

Healthy Schools Projects

Linda Countryman Minnesota Pollution Control Agency – Prevention & Assistance Division Three Minnesota schools reduce pollution and save energy and money. Houston Public Schools in southeastern Minnesota, Pine Point Elementary on the White Earth Reservation, and Hutchinson High School took part in a recently finished pilot project to develop a … Read more

Hydrogen Economy: Visualizing the Future

Corey Brinkema e4 Partners, Inc. What if hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, could power everything from automobiles and trucks to homes and office buildings with little or no toxic or greenhouse gas emissions? Welcome to the dream of the “hydrogen economy.” Does it seem like fantasy? For … Read more

Invest in a Cleaner, Healthier Future: Upgrading Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

John F. Neville The SEA Group If you have the resources and are going to stay in your home for a while, you may want to invest some time and money in upgrading your home to improve its energy efficiency. Over time, investments in energy conservation return big dividends in … Read more

Making Your Dishwasher an Earth-Friendly Tool

Jeannie Piekos Bag-E-Wash You do not have to feel guilty about using a dishwasher. Many studies have proven that dishwashers are much more cost-effective and energy-efficient than washing dishes by hand.* Maximize your dishwasher’s environmental effectiveness with these helpful tips: Run your dishwasher when it is completely full. Do not … Read more

Minneapolis Residents Tackle Climate Change

Beth Bennett Center for Energy and Environment In 2007, the city of Minneapolis became the first city in the country to fund small grants for its residents to prevent climate change. The grants garnered tremendous success; Minneapolis residents pledged to prevent over 8.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually … Read more

Minnesota GreenStar to Take Center Stage

Michael Anschel & Corey Brinkema Green Remodeling Group & Green Institute This has been a great year of progress in Minnesota’s efforts to become a national leader in preserving and restoring our environment. From the landmark legislation in addressing climate change and developing sustainable energy resources to the growth of … Read more

Opting for Wind Power

Don Vasatka, The School of Environmental Studies Wind power has always been present in the background of alternative energy resources – an available source of energy but one which is not used to its fullest potential because of its high costs. With increasing fuel prices and more efficient technology, the … Read more

Park Rapids Wind Energy Project Provides Clean Energy and Education

Mao Lee and Kathleen McCarthy Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) The Park Rapids Area Century School in Minnesota knows the importance of saving energy, producing clean, renewable energy, educating the community and raising the next generation of young leaders — grades K–8, specifically. In 2007, the school received funding from CERTs and … Read more

Phantom Load

Neely Crane-Smith Center for Energy and Environment Would you fix a leaky faucet? Did you know that you have electronics in your home leaking electricity—electricity that you pay for—24 hours a day, 7 days a week? The power drain is called “phantom load,” and it is a big problem with … Read more

Pollution-free Heating and Cooling: Geothermal Heat Pumps

Mark Snyder Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance What is Geothermal? Many people, when they hear the word “geothermal”, think of those old plants that were built out in Western states to generate electricity using underground reservoirs of hot water or steam. Known as “direct-use” systems, they trade off dependence on … Read more

Shades of Green: Healthy Basement Renovations

Erin Barnes-Driscoll Green Buildings Team—Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Basements are notorious for being damp, dark, inhospitable places—the antithesis of what we like to associate with green and healthy living. As a rule, the basements in older homes were not designed to be functional living spaces. Yet for many of us, … Read more

Solar Works for Minnesota

Dawn Erlandson Communications Consultant, Solar America Cities — Minneapolis and St. Paul Solar energy can provide electricity, hot water or space heating depending upon the technology used. According to the Minnesota Office of Energy Security, Minnesota is home to approximately 400 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems as of July 2010. It is estimated … Read more

Spiritual Progress: Congregations Going Green

By Sean Gosiewski & Wanda Copeland Congregations Caring for Creation (C3) Congregations Caring for Creation (C3) is an interfaith network of more than 80 congregations that are making the active care of Creation integral to spiritual life and social justice in their congregation. C3/MNIPL is the Minnesota chapter of a … Read more

The Future of Energy is Conservation

Mary Morse Neighborhood Energy Connection Americans have been on a century-long energy spending spree. From automobiles to architecture, as long as energy costs have stayed affordable relative to our incomes, neither wastefulness nor environmental implications figured into our buying and building decisions. But with skyrocketing energy costs, people are beginning … Read more

The Reality of Carbon Offsets

Eli Effinger-Weintraub Do It Green! Carbon offsetting is a method of counteracting the environmental impacts of carbon emissions by investing in carbon-reduction efforts. While reducing your fossil fuel consumption should be your first focus, individuals can purchase carbon offsets for air travel, cruises, big events, cross-country road trips, or everyday … Read more

Tips on Working with Your Landlord to Green Your Apartment

Amy Pickett and Chad Skally Skally Management Too often when we talk about living green, we focus on homeowners rather than renters. At Skally Management, a family-owned and -operated real estate management company in St. Paul, we’re changing that concept by finding innovative ways to practice Eco-Management: sustainable, responsible real … Read more

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