Green Visions

A Northland Morning feature focusing on local environmental issues, heard Wednesdays at 8:20 a.m.  Green Visions is brought to you by All Energy Solar, Minnesota Power Energy Conservation Program, and Energy Plus.

Copyright Ivy Vainio. Used with permission.

Refineries, paper mills, wastewater plants, lumber companies, paint factories, steel furnaces, and meat-packing plants all lined the St. Louis River Estuary at one point, and, before it was illegal to do so, dumped their waste directly into the river.

Nadine Shaabana/Unsplash

The journey of  a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Likewise the journey of a thousand steps to sustainability and quality-of-life goals for Minnesota cities and towns has been curated down to a mere 175. 

GreenStep Cities is a free, voluntary program that helps cities work at their own pace to make and achieve sustainability goals.  You can see how Duluth is doing here.

NRRI

Tiffany Sprague is an excited person.

She's excited about science and communicating science.

She's excited about citizen science and the work people and businesses can do every day to manage stormwater.

She's excited that the University of Minnesota sees the need for effective communicators about science.

And she's excited about her new job/s that let her blend her knowledge with her enthusiasm.

©Richard Hamilton Smith/Nature Conservancy

The student environmental activists joining us in the studio this morning aren't as upset as climate activist Greta Thunberg was yesterday, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, but they're still determined.

Working as part of the Our Mississippi, Our Future initiative, Sydney Arens and Isaac Conrad (wearing a shirt that read "Awareness Inspires Conservation") stopped by to talk about the community forum they're organizing February 3 and now acting now can prevent crises down the road.

Randen Pederson/Flickr

Every year, the St. Louis River Area of Concern coordinators draft an updated Remedial Action Plan.  This year, the draft is available online with changes, additions and deletions marked in red, so it's easy to see where they are and click for more information.

Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa

Back in the '30s, during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps provided natural-resource jobs to out-of-work young men so they could support their families.

Smithsonian American Art Museum/Flickr

Many crucial decisions on PolyMet’s mining proposal will be coming out of the courts throughout January 2020. JT Haines, from The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), bring us up to speed on the decisions and what they could mean.

Lynn Friedman/Flickr

Sad, but true.

For decades, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent to educate us about the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

And yet, in spite of it all, what does it take to change our behaviour.

A nickel.

 "What researchers found when they examined the data was that consumers are less motivated by emotional appeals to save the environment and more by the impact on their pocketbook—even when it’s just a few cents."

Ben Weaver/Ben Weaver Music/Facebook

In part two of a special multi-part series featuring artists exploring their role in the climate conversation, KUMD speaks with poet and musician Ben Weaver about how small gatherings of music and poetry have become an outlet for working through climate grief. 

Jeremy Messersmith/Facebook

Who knew musicians had "climate stories"?

For that matter, who knew any of us did?

Green Visions producer Adam Reinhardt knew, and today, he talks with Jeremy Messersmith about his.

Nabeel Syed/Unsplash

Here, up north, we figure we're in pretty good shape.

We take a lot of pride in our clean air and water and spend a lot of time looking out for them.

So it was a shock to hear that two- to four-thousand people in Minnesota die early every year from causes linked to air pollution - and most of those are in rural areas, particularly around Aitkin and McGregor.

Band Together

Explorer Will Steger didn't capture the world's imagination through a recitation of dry facts: he did it by telling stories.

Tone Lanzillo

To paraphrase, courage is a dish best served around a big, crowded table packed with friends.

Rakka/Flickr

The vote to ban single-use bags - paper AND plastic - was pushed back a couple of weeks on Monday night to allow for more discussion.

A committee-of-the-whole meeting is set for October 24 to concentrate on the proposed ordinance.

Jamie Harvie of Bag It, Duluth says the group has been working to get the ordinance passed for over two years, so a delay to answer more questions isn't a problem.

Nick Saltmarsh/Flickr

Last month, UMD students threw away almost 200 fewer pounds of food than in September of the year before.

Solar production on campus has tripled since the SUN program got off the ground four years ago.

Tomorrow (October 10) is UMD's Sustainability Fair, and whether you're a student or a community member, there's a lot for you to take in.

Pages