Archive for May, 2009

Green Job Roundup, 5/26 – 5/31

Green Jobs (image from http://www.dailyecotips.com)

Green Jobs (image from http://www.dailyecotips.com)

See below for a selection of green jobs posted in the last week for Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

NOW HIRING

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
– Director, International Program (paid, Minneapolis) (posting)
– Rural Communities: Midwest Rural Assembly Intern (unpaid, Minneapolis) (posting)

McKnight Foundation
– Program Assistant – Environment Team ($19.50-21.70/hr, Minneapolis) (posting)

Neighborhood Energy Connection
– Finance and Human Resources Manager ($22-26/hr, St. Paul) (posting)

Silverwood Park
– Seasonal Arts Educator ($9.81-17.07/hr, St. Anthony) (posting)

Dero Bike Rack Co.
– Inside Sales Representative ($30k/yr, Minneapolis) (posting)

Looking for more jobs? Search last week’s post.

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Tracking the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment

We Minnesotans do things a little differently, and the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment is no exception. For ye non-Minnesotans among EBG’s gentle readers, it’s an amendment to the Minnesota state constitution (insert vaguely muffled/strangled noises of protest about WTF popular votes are doing with their sticky hands in the Constitution, panicky exclamations about asinine propositions royally confusing matters in California, etc.) that raises sales tax 3/8 of one percent to dedicate funding to environmental and arts groups.

It passed by popular vote in November, and the resulting finance bill passed the House and Senate this month after much deliberation about how to spend the money. On May 18, T-Paw (that’d be the governor McCain probably wishes he’d picked as his running mate) signed the Omnibus Cultural and Outdoor Resources Finance Bill, which implements the amendment. The sales tax increase goes into effect in July, and $300 million in projects has already been approved by a state Senate committee.

Casey Selix of MinnPost has been tracking the amendment:

5/23 Pawlenty uses line-item veto sparingly on finance bill for cultural and outdoor resources

5/20 Water, land and legacy funding gives Minnesota new bragging rights

5/18 As money flows from Legacy Amendment, Minnesotans will see new jobs

5/7 What qualifies as Minnesota’s ‘cultural heritage’?

 

As have Stephanie Hemphill and Tim Nelson of MPR:

5/18 House, Senate approve outdoors and arts program

5/15 Lawmakers at standstill over outdoors, arts money

4/29 $300 million in environmental projects closer to reality

I promise – no political rants – but I think it’s important to watch how this one pans out, for better or for worse.

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Star Trek: Environmentally Friendly or Unfriendly?

Image from Memory Alpha, memory-alpha.org

Image from Memory Alpha, memory-alpha.org

After seeing Star Trek on Sunday, and oogling the boiler room of the original starship Enterprise, I have been tormented with a question: is Star Trek a movie about being green? Are our future selves environmentally friendly or unfriendly? Here is what I have been debating with myself – 

↑ Environmentally Friendly. Nobody goes to the bathroom on Star Trek. Actually, after doing some research I learn that my initial assessment is false… the widely held belief that there are no bathrooms onboard is a myth, and was debunked on Enterprise. However, human wastes are recycled using “biomatter resequencing,” which sounds an awful lot like biomass gasification to me!

↓ Environmentally Unfriendly. Captains dump warp cores into space. A lot. There’s probably a Great Delta Quadrant Warp Core Patch.

↑ Environmentally Friendly. They re-used the Presidio and turned Fort Point into Starfleet Academy. Way to recycle a building, guys! Also, apparently the polar ice cap has stayed frozen enough not to flood the San Francisco coastline.

↓ Environmentally Unfriendly. Red shirts are constructed with planned obsolescence and are disposed of accordingly. Has anyone in the Federation given thought to creating a more sustainable version of these?

Environmentally Neutral. There is another whole Star Trek movie dedicated to saving the whales by beaming them up. Now, on the one hand, Captain Kirk and the crew save the whales from being hunted and the whole of planet Earth from massive climate change controlled by a floating toilet paper roll in space. On the other… really? Also, the mom from 7th Heaven loses bigtime for portraying a marine biologist as an emotional stupid woman who runs around slapping faces and yelling “I want my whales!”  Although anyone familiar with Marin County might not dispute the accuracy of such a portrayal of Sausalito folk, I have to beg for a more nuanced, intelligent portrayal of eco-scientists. Come onnnnnn… you’re helping to give environmentalists a bad name. Then again, it was 1986.

↑ Environmentally Friendly. Same uniform, day in, day out. Very few slaves to fashion onboard the Enterprise! Although any changes that are made mean more toys have to be built for the franchise, which is kind of sick.

↓ Environmentally Unfriendly. Young James Kirk’s leather jacket. Vegans of the world shun you! Not to mention your gas-guzzling classic car, which is now leaching lead-laden gasoline into Iowa’s groundwater thanks to your 10-year-old driving skillz.

↑ Environmentally Friendly. Were those electroluminescent lights I saw at the wintry Hothlike Federation outpost? I think they were… as long as they weren’t T12s, I’m happy.

↓ Environmentally Unfriendly. Time travel. You’ve got more than one of certain individuals running around, and they’re going to use double the resources. Malthus would hate this.

My conclusion? A toss up.

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Tuesday Trends: Crafting

Reusable Veggie Bags by Karen and Liam!

In January, I bought in to the crafting chain letter. You know.  The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! The pyramid scheme has been making its way through LiveJournal, Facebook, and the like. Me, I was drawn in by my cousin. And my 3-year-old first cousin, to whom I would refuse very little. The two of them sent me awesome reusable veggie bags dyed with cookie cutters and wine.

I think if I had to write an anthropology paper about why crafting seems to be making a resurgence, I would take a stab at it this way:

1. Hipsterdom. Handmade, ironic, kitschy is in.

2. The prevailing parental generation before this one liked only shiny, new things. 

3. Recession. Hey look, cheap entertainment/useful things!

4. Growing environmental awareness and social consciousness leads to DIYness. People are more interested in providing for themselves and lessening their impact than they were before. Maybe this is a result of Obama drawing the country together. Maybe this is a sign of postmodern activism and independence and sticking it to the man and sweatshops.

5. Etsy and the internet make it easy for crafters to communicate to each other – and to potential buyers.

This list should remind you why I was not an anthropology major. However, I am currently taking suggestions – I still owe crafts to Monique, Sarah, Devin, Karen, and Tara. Does anybody have a craft project they have loved working on? Any types I should avoid?

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Monday Link Roundup

Here are my favorite Minneapolis/St. Paul green headlines from the last week:

  • Paris is the city of lights, Minneapolis is the city of bikes. A thousand bikes are coming to Minneapolis next year and Katie Eukel is quoted! Yay, Mac alumna in the newsRead more from Wayne Nealis of Twin Cities Daily Planet, via MinnPost. To learn more about where you could take these bikes next year, check this out – Kristin Henning of MNSpeak shares Cyclopath, a bike path wiki.
  • Recessions make bars, Wal-Marts, and thrift stores boom. Lost and Found is a new thrift store coming to the Twin Cities. Read more from McKenna Ewen at MinnPost.
  • Is that expired mayonnaise still good? Jason DeRusha of WCCO wonders how long food really lasts. Read more about expiration dates via Rachel Hutton’s CityPages post. And while we’re at it, check out Still Tasty, a resource for those of us wondering if that block of cheese we left out overnight is still edible. 
  • The Twin Cities has smart people who publish smart books about food! A Food and Society Fellow from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy publishes a new book exposing some of the things we’d rather not know about our orange juice. Read more about Alissa Hamilton from Jessica Chapman of CityPages. TreeHugger finds that one glass of orange juice produces the equivalent amount of carbon as 1,050 Google searches. I don’t know if that says more about Google or about orange juice.
  • Your insulation is about to be stimulated. Stimulus/ARRA dollars are flowing into home weatherization projects this summer. Read more from MPR.
  • Look out MPR – St. Paul is getting marked up for light rail construction! Read more from MPR
  • A green Minneapolis restaurant does not come up to HT standards. Jill Lewis of The Heavy Table reviews Cafe Agri in Minneapolis, and finds it disappointing (one out of four stars). The pictures are drool-worthy, though. Read more
  • I must have been asleep. How did I miss Michael Pollan in Edina last week?! His book was recently pulled from Washington State University’s required reading list at the behest of evil food lobbies.

And worldwide….

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Green Job Roundup, 5/19 to 5/25

Green Jobs (image from http://www.dailyecotips.com)

Green Jobs (image from http://www.dailyecotips.com)

See below for a selection of green jobs posted in the last week for Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

NOW HIRING

Do It Green! Minnesota
– Community Workshop Coordinator Intern (unpaid, Minneapolis) (posting)
– Green Gifts Fair Associate Interns (2) (unpaid, Minneapolis) (posting)
– Communications Assistant Intern (unpaid, Minneapolis) (posting)
– Videographer Intern (paid stipend, Minneapolis) (posting)

Friends of the Mississippi River
– Bookkeeper ($17-19/hr, Minneapolis) (posting)

Minnesota Environmental Initiative
– Office Manager (paid, Minneapolis) (posting)

City of Minneapolis – Public Works
– Energy Manager (paid, Minneapolis) (posting)

MetCouncil – Community Outreach Central Corridor Project Office
– Administrative Assistant ($29-48k/yr, St. Paul) (posting)

Peace Coffee
– Production Manager (paid, Minneapolis) (posting)

Looking for more jobs? Search last week’s post.

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The Best Cabbage Soup Evar

After debuting onstage as a star for Mad King Thomas (really, it even participated in a kick line), this cabbage honorably reincarnated itself as delicious cabbage soup. You, too, can cook yourself a star cabbage soup.

You will need:

Half an hour to 45 minutes

A big soup pot and a ladle

Olive oil

Some small potatoes, skins on, in 1/4 inch cubes

Half a red onion, sliced

Can of navy beans

4 c veggie broth

Cabbage, sliced into thin strips

Boiled sausage from the farmer’s market, optional

A stove, or a fire

Seasonings, such as salt, Old Bay, garlic salt, and pepper

Cook potato cubes in olive oil for five minutes on medium high. Salt them for added dehydrating effect. Add onions. Cook for five minutes more. Add beans and broth. Cook for five minutes more. Add cabbage. Simmer. Season. Top with farmer’s market sausage if you are of the carnivorous variety.

Visit the real recipe here.

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