Green Visions

Stephanie Bower, Architectural illustration.

Take an idea from the feudal land systems of centuries ago.

Add some modern-day best practices from a legal anthropologist.

Then use art to translate law and the technology of solar energy into "layman's terms."

More information about Solar Commons is here.

Tony Webster/Flickr

The EPA's plans to roll back car emissions standards has brought to light another issue: just because the federal government relaxes regulations doesn't mean states - and even individual companies - have to go along with it.

This month's Minnesota Climate Forum hopes to inspire businesses large and small from all different sectors to get started on making their own changes.

Milkweed Editions

Dave and Amy Freeman are "adventure advocates."

Four years ago, they paddled and sailed 2000 miles from Ely to Washington D.C. to to call attention to a proposed sulfide-ore copper mining operation near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

In September of 2015, they began a year in the BWCAW, sharing their experience through video, photos, and blog posts.

If there's one thing people in the Northland care about, it's our water.  We love our rivers, streams and, of course, the big lake.

So when the conversation turns to things like polluted trout streams, setting acceptable levels of pollutants and how best to manage the three watersheds that make up the Duluth Urban Watershed, it's not surprising that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency wants to hear from folks up here on their proposals.

From adding fresh produce grown at UMD to today's rollout of compostable cups and straws, the U's Dining Services and Office of Sustainability are making big strides with a little tiny footprint.

Lisa Johnson

Jessica Looman is feeling pretty good about the state of solar energy in Minnesota.

What's got the state commerce commissioner "walking on sunshine"?

Minnesota's solar capacity between 2015 and 2016 grew almost three times - to put that in perspective, the 476 megawatts added in 2017 is enough electricity to power 53,000 more homes.

Add to that declining prices, increased consumer demand and 57,000 clean energy jobs in the state, Minnesotans may be inclined to quote Timbuk 3 from back in the day: "The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades".

provided by Glenn DelGuidice/MN DNR

Two-thirds of Minnesota's moose die of health issues like brainworm and tick infestations.

But as the MN DNR's Moose Project leader explains, the solution isn't nearly as simple as the nature programs on TV would have us think. 

©Rebecca Krinke. Used with permission.

Anyone who's ever fallen in love or had their heart broken can tell you exactly where it happened.  And what places they seek out or avoid as a result.  So it's no real surprise that Rebecca Krinke's "Emotional Cartography" project to explore the intersection of place and emotion resonated with so many people.

©Minnesota DNR

Maybe we don't think about aquatic invasive species unless  it's summertime and we're in a boat.

But maybe we should.

Not only do they pose a serious economic as well as environmental impact, there IS something we can do to stop them.

More information on the Aquatic Invaders Summit and how to take part online is available here:

Terry Kearney/Flickr

Storms, insects and street improvements have taken a toll on Duluth trees in recent years, and it turns out Duluthians take the loss of trees pretty seriously.

So tonight, a panel assembled by the McCabe Chapter of the Izaak Walton League and the League of Women Voters will be asking a lot of questions and encouraging the public to do the same.

brando/Flickr

Duluth's infamously old housing stock combined with the recent spate of below-zero temperatures has prompted many folks to take a second look at weather-proofing ... and Ecolibrium3 in Duluth is one of the places that can help you do just that.

Ecolibrium3

We have a conversation with Jodie Slick, the CEO of Ecolibrium3, about ways to examine our homes in the winter months.  We talk a lot about our green spaces outdoors, but many of our homes are not healthy, as they can be places where mold and dust build up. What does it mean to have a healthy home? A home energy audit can help find where these issues develop and, especially in the winter months, can reveal ways to make your home more energy efficient.

©Bryan French

 “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. 

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