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The Nuance of Plastic

One of the goals of MPLSGreen.com has been to explore the choices we have around the many issues that do not have black-or-white solutions. With all the decisions we make in a day, we do tend to want an easy “right” and “wrong” choice — but sometimes that isn’t possible. In the case of microbeads, there has been a…

Q&A: Marnie Peichel, on Affordable, Sustainable Housing

As one of the 2015 Eco-Blend award winners, for her work designing sustainability into an affordable North Minneapolis multifamily unit, Marnie Peichel is finding the balance between family life and city engagement that makes a difference in new ways. Her family uses solar power and electric vehicles. And professionally, Peichel is seeking ways to create meaningful impact by…

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…

Can You Feed Yourself? How?

At a University of Minnesota Student Energy Club meeting with guest Nate Hagens in December 2015, a student noted that in his native India solar energy is more widely recognized as the way we heat water and grow food. Hagens responded by saying that the United States will not be resilient if we lose 24/7 access…

Forum: The Visibility Cloak

“Sustainable We” Forum April 19, 2016 The Club Room at Red Stag  MPLSGreen/Sustainable We hosted a forum titled “The Visibility Cloak” as part of the citywide Fierce Lament activities coordinated by art activist Camille Gage. How are we making the rape of our land/air/water and people visible? How do important issues come to light — especially those that…

The Future Is… Toxins

John Warner, Warner Babcock

As I’ve mentioned, my father was an analytical chemist who went into plastics/polymers partly because of one of the infamous lines in The Graduate. He worked for Archer-Daniels and was a manager at Cargill, Bemis and other companies before, later in life, running his own analytical testing lab. I helped him write a few news…

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…