You are a Guardian of Water

You are a Guardian of Water

In a recent article, two major pollutants found in the Mississippi River were shown and these two shed light on some of the basic ways we choose to live today. I was not at all surprised by lawn fertilizer making the list, but was surprised about the second pollutant. Seems as though we are not very diligent about the collection of Spot’s deposits in the backyard, especially over our long Minnesota winters. Those piles, some small and some not so small, get washed away over time and eventually end up in the river. With all of the healthier food Rover is eating these days, his waste potentially contains high amounts of chemicals not intended for the river. What is deposited on the back forty, and not picked up, ends up in the flow that is yours, mine, and everyone else’s. Appears that waiting for a good hard spring rain to wash away Tucker’s mess is not such a good idea after all. Do all of us and the planet a favor, pick up Buddy’s backyard leavings before the rain washes it into the river. Please join us at an event focused on the “Guardianship of Water” on May 3 in St.Paul, Minnesota. Find more information and registration here....
The Experience of Climate Change

The Experience of Climate Change

10 April 2016 by Karen Olson Johnson The striking photos of the experience of climate change bring feelings of anguish and the accompanying words well, utter disbelief. A coral reef bleached white and lifeless, a mother polar bear and her lone cub on a small piece of ice surrounded by vast open seas, and morbidly obscene piles of trash through which children search for gain, are frequent photographic visitors to the screens of information consumed by millions. These images are tied to statistics detailing trends and projecting a harrowing future. Having seen so many of these photos and read so many of these words, is there any message, any image that can get through and turn the tide? The Lumad Indigenous people and 6000 farmers demonstrated in the Philippines recently. The problem? They have nothing to eat and are literally starving because of drought. The government reaction was to open fire on the demonstrators, killing and injuring many. The photo of this wounded farmer, his blood covered hands held by one, while another tries to attend to his wounds, is yet another picture and story of what we are doing to each other. His is a story of pain at the hands of a government and a world of indifference to climate change. His is a photo of the experience of utter disbelief. Read the...
Paris in the rear view mirror… What Now?

Paris in the rear view mirror… What Now?

Paris and COP21 are behind us, but what lies ahead? With much to be done, how do we go into the future confident that change is really possible? Part of the answer to this question is, we go into the future with each other. The agreements of COP21 are what many hoped for and what others fought against. They include some and exclude others. These agreements take into account some governmental concerns and leave others in shreds on the floor. Read an exceptional report on agreements made in Paris, by Brad Plummer here. Northland Sustainable Solutions has invested itself in a confident future. This investment will once again be made evident on January 30, 2016 as local community members reconvene to hear from a panel of experts who were in Paris for the climate talks. Join us on January 30th as we listen and learn from this important conversation of our time. We are all a part of this conversation. We are all actors for climate change. We will go into the future confidently. Please register for January 30th here. Thank you! Karen Olson Johnson Executive Director, Northland Sustainable...
Canada shocks COP21 with big new climate goal

Canada shocks COP21 with big new climate goal

By Mychaylo Prystupa in News, COP21 | December 7th 2015 #33 of 38 articles from the Special Report: COP21 Sunday night, Canada surprised a world of nations and negotiators in closed-door climate talks in Paris by endorsing a bolder, more ambitious target for cutting greenhouse gases than the UN climate change summit is officially aiming for. Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna told a stunned crowd that she wants the Paris agreement to restrict planetary warming to just 1.5 Celsius warming —not two degrees. It was the first time she has made such a statement. In the room was former CBC meteorologist Claire Martin, a Green Party observer at the talks. “I was freaking out,” she said. “I was writing it all down like a nut.” Reading from her notes, Martin reported the minister’s remarks like so: “‘We want to send a strong political signal.’ The necessity, that she sees, is one in which we transition sustainably.” Read the entire article on National...
Minnesota State Fair Eco Experience Presentation

Minnesota State Fair Eco Experience Presentation

On the first day of the Great Minnesota Get Together, for the first presentation at the ECOEXPERIENCE Sustainability Stage, a wonderful crowd gathered to hear about seven foods that the experts say should be avoided. This information comes from an article published December 8, 2012 in Prevention magazine and it is alarming that so little has changed in these past few years. So, using some drawings that kids made of these foods, we explored the issues for our health that these seven foods represent. Microwave popcorn has a chemical in the lining of the bag that gets into the popcorn as it is “cooked” and this chemical is linked to infertility and cancer. Beef from cows fed with corn has lots of saturated fat and other unhealthy chemicals contained in it. Canned tomatoes from cans lined with BPA show high leaching levels of this chemical which is linked with reproductive issues and obesity to name only a few potential problems. Potatoes sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides and are among the most chemically laden of all non-organic vegetables. Go to www.toxictaters.org for more info. Milk that comes from cows treated with growth hormones, is milk that has artificial hormones still in it when it gets to you. There are negative health implications to ingesting hormones in milk such as increased cancer risk. Farm raised fish is fed an unnatural concoction of foods and chemicals to grow it quickly and keep it healthy in close living quarters. And lastly, non-organic apples are literally sprayed and re sprayed over the course of their growth with many kinds of pesticides. Solutions are...