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

Air Quality in Minnesota

Chris Nelson   No city in Minnesota can compete with Los Angeles or Houston on air pollution levels. Minnesotans are unfamiliar with “ozone alerts.” An ozone alert is declared by the government when pollution (ozone) in the air reaches a level that poses health risks to sensitive populations (elderly, children …

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Alien Invasion: Invasive Exotic Species in Minnesota

Erin Hendel   “We are in a period of the world’s history when the mingling of thousands of kinds of organisms from different parts of the world are setting up terrific dislocations in nature.” – Charles S. Elton Along the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis and St. Paul, …

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Are Antibiotics and Antibacterials Necessary?

Emily Moore Minnesota Pollution Control Agency We live in a time when world views are clashing and colliding everywhere. Evidence of this is all around us-religious views, political views, lifestyles-the list goes on and on. One such collision occurs in the way we view public health. One view, developed early …

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Backyard Wildlife – Questions & Answers

BellMuseum.org   What’s tunneling under my lawn? If your yard is criss-crossed with speed bump like tunnels, you probably have moles! In Minnesota we have two species of moles, the star-nosed mole and the Eastern mole. Both are small mammals, gray to black in color with large digging claws on …

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Biomimicry: Using Nature to Guide Us

Curt McNamara, P.E. Electrical Design Engineer and Adjunct Faculty in MCAD’s Sustainability Certificate Biomimicry is a design discipline that studies nature’s solutions in order to advance human designs and processes. Innovators from all walks of life-managers, designers, business leaders and more-can use biomimicry to create more sustainable designs. When faced …

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Bioneers!

Vonda Vaden Northland Bioneers The Northland Bioneers Conference, a feature of the Twin Cities calendar since 2006   The annual Fall Northland Bioneers Conference is an inspirational day or weekend-long event open to the entire community-students, teachers, workers, parents-anyone concerned for the future of the planet. Attendees listen to and …

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Boundary Waters Canoe Area at Risk

Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness The canoe country of northern Minnesota is a resilient place. However, the newest threat in the north woods-a perpetual flow of acidic, toxic, metal-laden drainage from sulfide mining-is forever. In recent years, concern has increased as mining companies propose to extract copper, nickel, platinum …

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Citizens Can Prevent Detrimental Development: Environmental Assessment & Citizen Petition Process In Minnesota

Jessie Houlihan Do It Green! Minnesota Each year development continues to encroach upon open spaces in Minnesota. Regardless of where you live, you can probably think of a development nearby that was constructed on land that was degraded by the construction, such as wetlands or special animal habitat. In order …

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Commingling the Environment & Health Care

Linda Lindquist RN, BSN Healthcare workers are a hidden, next generation treasure of environmentalists. This group includes, but is not limited to, doctors, such as those specializing in infectious disease, nurses of all disciplines in heath care, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, dietitians, pharmacists, and emergency rescue response workers. The …

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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 …

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Contaminants in Your Own Backyard

Mark Snyder Do It Green! Minnesota With recent news stories about asbestos contamination in the Iron Range, arsenic in South Minneapolis or perfluorocarbons seemingly appearing everywhere in Minnesota, it is not surprising that Minnesotans may be growing increasingly concerned about what kinds of chemical hazards may be lurking in our …

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Don’t Burn Your Garbage

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Many people in rural areas in Minnesota still use on-site disposal methods like backyard burning to dispose of their household wastes. From burning waste in fire pits and woodstoves to the traditional burn barrel, 45% of rural Minnesota’s municipal solid waste (MSW) is still managed in …

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Eco Action Project Ideas and Resources: For Environmental Clubs

Sue Roegge The Minnesota Energy Challenge Can be used by club members or friendly competitions between classes, sports teams, etc.: mnenergychallenge.org, 612-335-5852 Global Warming projects Project ideas and lesson plans: Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy climategen.org 612-278-7147 Recycling Local facility tour information, project ideas, and resources… Resources, event recycling, …

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Entice Bees to your own Garden

Felicia Parsons Horticulturist Bees require two components in their habitat: somewhere to nest and flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen. Native plants are undoubtedly the best source of food for native bees-because plants and their pollinators have coevolved-and they serve honeybees well too. Use local native plants or …

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Heavy Metal Toxins: Outside and Inside

Gina Temple-Rhodes Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, Duluth, MN Lead and Mercury. Toxic Heavy Metals. Brain toxins. Do these sound like far-away problems for scientists to ponder? Guess again. Both mercury and lead can often be found in our own kitchens, homes and even grocery stores. Exposure to these heavy …

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How Curbside Composting Can Help Get us to Zero Waste

Eureka Recycling Imagine completing every day at home without generating garbage. Although you may recycle everything you can, your trash may be far from empty. Recycling is a powerful way to protect our environment and conserve resources, but it does not prevent waste entirely. By composting, you can eliminate another …

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Ideas on Compassionate Living

Freeman Wicklund Animal Rights Activist Chimpanzees are social beings whose lives are filled with the company of others. In this regard, Sarah, the chimpanzee was no different. She was a subject at a psychology department who learned to communicate with humans using symbols. Her early years were spent with humans …

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Invasive Species: Frequently Asked Questions

Minnesota DNR What are invasive species? Species that have been introduced or moved, by human activities to a location where they do not naturally occur are termed “exotic,” “nonnative,” “alien,” and “nonindigenous.” Conversely, “native” describes a species living in an area where it is found naturally. What problems do invasive …

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Partnering with Agriculture for the Health of our Communities and our Environment

Mark Muller The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) The difficulties facing the Minnesota farmer are well known. Commodity prices for corn, soybeans, wheat and hogs are below the cost of production. The number of farms in Minnesota is in continual decline and the remaining farms merge and expand. …

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Sustainable Community Development

Jennifer Hawkins Graduate student at the University of Minnesota According to the Office of Environmental Assistance, “a sustainable community can persist over generations, enjoying a healthy environment, prosperous economy and vibrant civic life. It does not undermine its social or physical systems of support. Rather, it develops in harmony with …

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The Crossroads of Climate Change

Kathleen Weflen Editor-in-chief, Minnesota Conservation Sitting at a polished wood table, testifying before a legislative committee, the University of Minnesota Regents Professor was doing her best to explain the cascade of consequences likely to befall Minnesota’s environment and natural resources as the climate warms. Committee members stirred in their seats; …

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The Untold Stories of Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping

Durk Gescheidle Coalition for Animal Rights Education Fishing In Minnesota, during the spring, fishing enthusiasts take to the lakes and rivers in their boats and to their icehouses in the winter. Fishing is a popular year-round activity, but it is not without controversy. Fishing advocates point to “catch-and-release” as responsible …

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Waste? What’s the Problem?

Angie Timmons Hennepin County Environmental Services The average Minnesotan generates more than seven pounds of waste per day or more than a ton annually! Companies are producing more goods than ever before, and we are consuming goods at a faster rate than ever. From convenient single-serving containers that use more …

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Who are Minnesota’s Top Polluters and what can we do about it?

Mark Snyder Do It Green! Minnesota Many of us have probably wondered about this question in some form or another, but some of the answers may come as a surprise. We often think of “the polluters” as being some big company with belching smokestacks or a parade of trucks filled …

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Who Is Teaching Your Child?

By John Borowski Environmental and marine science teacher/author   Do parents in Minnesota want their children learning about climate change from the American Petroleum Institute (a powerful coalition of oil, gas and energy interests who favor increased fossil fuel use) or getting information about complex forest issues from Project Learning …

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Wildlife Rehabilitation Do’s and Don’ts

Lark Weller Institute for Social, Economic, and Ecological Sustainability Includes Listing of Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers For many, finding an injured wildlife creature poses a dilemma: we want to aid the animal by getting it to safety, but we worry that our assistance will do more harm than good. Following are …

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Young Adult Novels with Environmental Themes

Eva Lewandowski When most people think of environmental literature, they think of nonfiction works like Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac or Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  I read a great deal of nonfiction, but I have always preferred fiction.  Happily, there are a number of wonderful novels with environmental …

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