Archive for news

Monday Link Roundup

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

  • Minnesota ranks 5th in the nation in terms of number of organic acres harvested in 2007, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Read more from MPR.
  • Robbinsdale, Minn.-based Backyard Harvest turns your backyard into a produce-producing haven for a little over a thousand dollars. Read more from James Norton at The Heavy Table.
  • Minnesota paper mills will benefit from an alternative energy tax credit. But is this credit of hundreds of millions of dollars encouraging good or bad environmental practices? Read more from Cynthia Dizikes at MinnPost.
  • The vegan restaurant Greenway Cafe made a brief appearance in the Twin Cities from April 15 to 18. Read more from CityPages.

And worldwide….

  • Somniloquy lets your computer stay connected to the network while saving energy in sleep mode. Read more from Dan Nosowitz at Gizmodo. And while we’re talking inventions.. how about this inflatable shower curtain that, ah… encourages you to conserve water? Read about it from Sean Fallon, also of Gizmodo.
  • Heather at The Greenest Dollar breaks down the drinking water treatment and delivery process. We Americans are so lucky that we can afford to be so distant from this process in our everyday lives, and knowing more about it is a good thing. Find her post here.
  • Peer pressure helps people make green choices. Read more from The Green Workplace.
  • Bon Appetit posted a list of 50 Ways to Eat Green (via CityPages).
  • daily dose of imagery posted this snapshot of a chandelier decked out with thousands of upcycled plastic containers at Brookfield Place in Toronto.
  • The publisher of Utne Reader has launched Great Green Careers, a green jobs search engine nationwide.

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The Green Economy – Green is in the Air

Exciting things are in the air:

The New York Observer’s redesigned website is launched tonight. Check out their green section, written by Steve Cohen, Executive Director of Columbia’s Earth Institute.

Ecolab, headquartered a few blocks from my office, is presenting in Miami this week at a Water Footprint Summit, MinnPost reports. Thank God SOMEONE in Minnesota is thinking about water conservation. Even if we do have 10,000 lakes… we still have to expend all the energy to treat water for distribution, and to clean up when that water is sewage afterwards.

A NASA satellite designed to monitor carbon dioxide emissions has failed to detach – meaning we are out $278 billion and disappointed not to have this neat-o way of watching CO2 from space. Instead, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory crashed into the ocean just off Antarctica.

Plastic bag bans and fees have been approved by several cities, but no states. Read more from the NYTimes.

PG&E’s going solar – way solar. So’s Israel. Meanwhile, ITC Holdings Corporation wants to build a giant high voltage power line across Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota to carry wind power eastwards, and our one Senator Amy Klobuchar calls Minnesota the “Saudi Arabia of wind.”

Speaking of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Mohammad al-Najimi of the Saudi Islamic Jurisprudence Academy spoke out against biofuels because the prophet Mohammad prohibited buying, selling, and transporting alcohol – including ethanol. While I have a great respect for Islamic jurisprudence worldwide, this does seem a bit suspicious to me.

In other breaking news, my garbage disposal is broken. This is awful and has disrupted my life significantly, which, I suppose, tells you a little something about the volume of the concerns in my life (small). But it does bring up an important point – kitchen sink disposals encourage environmentally unfriendly behavior. Regi passed along this article from TreeHugger on in-sink garbage disposals that does a good job of explaining why – just imagine what has to happen at the waste water treatment plant!

Obama gave his State of the Union Address that’s Not the State of the Union Address to Congress tonight. My favorite quote: “We have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election.” This is the same pragmatism that makes me an environmentalist – we have to be thoughtful about what we’re doing, and think long-term. Maybe we sacrifice a little bit now to benefit later. To find out more about Obama’s specific provisions for the environment, check out the full text of the House Stimulus Bill passed on February 12 – especially Division C on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies.

In events news, Powershift 09 is this weekend in D.C. – advocating for federal action against climate change – and Earth Hour 2009 is happening on March 28th.

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Greener News

You know, you can always be more time and resource efficient with your news consumption –
read online OR you can even listen to your favorite NPR cast (with no annoying pledge drives!!!)

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Green MSN

On October 30, MSN launched a new green channel: GreenMSN.

GreenMSN is a “one-stop online resource for the latest environmental news, exploring the issues and taking action.”

RSS! News! Video! All with the credibility MSN inspires!

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Junking Your Junk Mail

Something for all you who live out there in the Mini-Apple, or St. Paul too: The Twin Cities Green Guide. Information on co-ops, tips for sustainable beer drinking (“Drink locally produced beer to reduce resources used in transportation.”) and upcoming green events provided for your Minnesotan edification and delight.

The Green Guide also offers tips for any American to cut down on their junk mail. The Green Guide cites the EPA figures: 5.2 million tons of junk mail are shipped every year; .98 million of those are recycled and 4.2 million of those are trashed. That’s 31 pounds of junk mail per person going into the garbage each year. The good news is, you can stop this mail before it even gets in the postal truck! Start with these three easy steps.

1. To stop getting Val-Pak coupons (you know you’ll never get that carpet cleaning or those personalized checks!):
Send an e-mail to with REMOVE FROM MAILING in the subject line. Include your address, city, state, and zip/postal code exactly as it appears on the Val-Pak blue envelope or mailing label.

2. To register with a Do-Not Mail Service:
Send a postcard with your name and address to:

Mail Preference Service
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512-0643

3. To opt-out of credit card applications:
Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688)
(You will have to share your social security number.)

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Green Blogging

Looking for a daily source of delightful and/or strange information? Try TreeHugger! “Partial to a modern aesthetic, it shares sustainable design, green news and solutions.”

You, too, can sign up for updates in your mailbox.

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