Action

The unique household and commercial product choices now available to us that are making us Green

Minneapolis Composting

Special thanks to Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association for its excellent Minneapolis composting and recycling forum in 2015, where much of this was discussed The mixture of nitrogen-rich greens from food waste, and carbon-based browns from yard waste, combine over a six- to nine-month period to create useable compost for landscaping and road construction projects. But even…

The Visibility Cloak: Creating Collective Attention

At an April 19 “Sustainable We” forum, the topic was how we make the invisible visible. Discussion leaders included Sarah Super of Break the Silence, who gives voice to rape survivors partly by telling her own story… Kathleen Schuler of Healthy Legacy, who works to reduce dangerous toxins in the home… and Shalini Gupta of Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy,…

Making Things Visible: Sarah Super

What do air pollution and rape have in common? Both were the focus of conversation at “The Visibility Cloak” on Tuesday, April 19, Red Stag — what is invisible right in front of us, and what can we do about it? With so many issues begging for attention — with the sometimes overwhelming weight of white supremacy,…

Eureka Recycling: “There is no such thing as waste”

Eureka Recycling tipped its 1 billionth pound of recyclables onto the floor of its Northeast Minneapolis recovery center today – according to its data from 15 years of collection efforts. Nearly half of that material has been recycled into new products in Minnesota. For example, paper and cardboard becomes boxboard at WestRock in St. Paul, “and is back…

Action: How Can We Reduce Waste?

There were several focal points at the November 2015 “Sustainable We” forum that lend themselves to action steps Minneapolis residents can take to reduce waste. 1. Think About Your Buying Habits Recognize that waste is less about what you throw in the trash and more about what you buy. See this story for more on that conversation. As…

When People Make Toxic Tides Shift

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  ― Margaret Mead In 2002, the Denver-based insulation company Johns Manville decided that the science (and market) around the dangers of formaldehyde were too strong to ignore, and it stopped using the chemical to make insulation. At the…

How We Protect Ourselves From Products

In 2002, Johns Manville — a Denver-based insulation manufacturer in the Berkshire Hathaway company — decided that the science (and market) around the dangers of formaldehyde were too strong to ignore, and it stopped using the chemical to make insulation. At the time, the company reported, “While there is no evidence to suggest that the level of formaldehyde released by…

What Gives Us Cancer? A Primer on Indoor Air Toxins

In educating myself about air quality issues in Minneapolis (see below for links), I’ve become more aware of what most of us don’t realize — how much toxicity we are exposed to in our own homes. Low-income communities in particular tend to be vulnerable because of multiple exposure: 1) they live in areas that have worse outdoor…