Go Green

Recent Articles

People of color seek an environmental message that includes them

By LaDonna Redmond

Contributing Writer

 

It is easy to dismiss the environmental movement. It seems that so many of the messages that come from environmentalists are related to things that are defined as White or ideas that are not of any concern to African Americans. It may also seem like the environmental movement is trying to “unring” a bell, making the behavior attached to protecting the environment from human harm inaccessible and unrealistic. The environmental movement categorizes the natural world’s existence over people. The goal of protecting the planet and not people is troubling for communities of color. Continue Reading →

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Interact with the environment in ways that support the ecosystem

Green household cleaning tips that save Benjamins

 
 

 

 

 

By Renee Barron

Contributing Writer

We live in an age of chemical use that is affecting our health. Our people are contracting cancers of all kinds — asthma, and so many other illnesses — due to overuse and consumption of chemicals in our food, drinks, and personal-care products. Many years ago I set out to remove products from my home that contained chemicals as they have a direct link to cancer. The health and wellness of my family depended on removing these carcinogenic elements from our daily use. The things we rub on (lotions, creams and powders), clean with and spray into the air, all affect our health in ill ways that many of us are unaware of. Continue Reading →

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Historical background of African American cooperatives

By LaDonna Redmond

Contributing Writer

 

Mary Alice Smalls was a member of the New Riverside Café, a workers’ cooperative in the Cedar-Riverside community in the 1970s. Known as the Haight–Ashbury of the Midwest, Cedar-Riverside was a national center for counter culture, and the New Riverside Café was known as the community’s living room where customers could pay what they could afford. According to Smalls, “There were very few people of color that knew about the co-op and those that were interested were interested in alternatives to capitalism. Some were more militant than others.” It was that militancy that seemed to undo the work of the cooperative. “Decisions were made by consensus, anybody could block a decision, sometimes people would block a decision for political reasons that were not linked to the issue at hand.” said Smalls. Continue Reading →

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African Americans in the Twin Cities co-op movement

By LaDonna Redmond

Contributing Writer

 

 

“There were two African American owned co-ops in the Twin Cities,” according to Gary Cunningham, former staff of the old Bryant-Central co-op. Gary’s uncle, Moe Burton, was the energy behind the co-op that formed in 1975 on the corner of 35th Street and 4th Avenue. Decades earlier, in 1946, the Credjafawn Social Club formed the first African American Co-op, the Credjafawn Co-op, which was located a few blocks from the current Mississippi Market Co-op location at Selby and Dale. St. Peters AME church member and Central community resident, Gregory McMoore became concerned when he learned from a Wilder Foundation report that found that you can predict the life expectancy of people by their zip code. Continue Reading →

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Seward coop plans for second store run into questions of race, class and food justice

By LaDonna Redmond

Contributing Writer

 

“Will the store cause a rise in rents?” one community resident asked during the July public meeting about Seward Community Co-op’s plan to open a store across from Sabathani Community Center. At the heart of the discussion were questions about race, class and food justice. How can Seward Co-op serve a community that is primarily African American and working class while it currently serves a community that is White and middle class? In other words, can a White-led co-op serve a Black community? A few weeks prior to the community meeting, the Bryant community grapevine had gotten news that a local cooperative wanted to expand in the community. Continue Reading →

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Bev Lambkins shapes a culture of hope for those in need

CenterPoint Energy’s consumer advocate explains how to keep the heat on
 
Bev Lambkins, a 30-plus year employee of CenterPoint Energy who holds the title of Supervisor Agency Programs Consumer Advocate, has lifelong experience working closely with low-income residents, military veterans, and families in need. As fall slowly makes way for the cool of winter, Lambkins has been hard at work making sure customers she encounters are familiar with the energy assistance program. “Our customers are important to us. We urge customers who anticipate having trouble paying their natural gas bill to contact us as soon as possible to setup a payment plan that is acceptable to both our customer and CenterPoint Energy. Customers should not wait until they receive a disconnect notice before exploring all the payment options available. Continue Reading →

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Building a culture of conservationism; we all have a responsibility

By Tom Landwehr

Contributing Writer

 

Hunting and fishing are such a valued part of our Minnesota heritage that they are forever preserved privileges under the state constitution alongside protections for freedom of expression and religious liberty. Our outdoor traditions are a part of our culture. Preserving that culture is critical. Hunters and anglers are the fiercest advocates for fish and wildlife conservation. By way of hunting and license fees, and because of excise taxes on fishing rods and firearms, they also provide the economic base to manage and protect the natural habitat and wildlife we all value. Continue Reading →

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Is earlier puberty in today’s American kids linked to environmental issues?

By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Contributing Writers 

 

Research indicates that indeed Americans girls and boys are going through puberty earlier than ever, though the reasons are unclear. Many believe our widespread exposure to synthetic chemicals is at least partly to blame, but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why our bodies react in certain ways to various environmental stimuli. Researchers first noticed the earlier onset of puberty in the late 1990s, and recent studies confirm the mysterious public health trend. A 2012 analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that American girls exposed to high levels of common household chemicals had their first periods seven months earlier than those with lower exposures. “This study adds to the growing body of scientific research that exposure to environmental chemicals may be associated with early puberty,” says Danielle Buttke, a researcher at CDC and lead author on the study. Continue Reading →

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Sugar versus other sweeteners

What effect do they have on the environment? 
 
By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Contributing Writers

 

The production of sugar has indeed taken a huge environmental toll. “Sugar has arguably had as great an impact on the environment as any other agricultural commodity,” reports the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), citing biodiversity loss as a result of the “wholesale conversion of habitat on tropical islands and on coastal areas” to grow sugar. WWF adds that the cultivation of sugar has also resulted in considerable soil erosion and degradation and the use of large amounts of chemicals across the tropics and beyond. Some natural food markets now carry sustainably harvested sugar that does not fit this profile, though sugar’s ugly history has led many eco-conscious consumers to look elsewhere to satiate their sweet teeth. Fortunately there are several natural and artificial options that are safe to eat and relatively benign for the environment. Continue Reading →

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Our trees need your help

You can feel the dryness beneath your feet walking on crunchy leaves that have dropped early. Our trees are thirsty and you can help! Please water all of your yard and boulevard trees, not just newly planted ones. Following are simple ways you can give those trees what they need:

1. Turn your hose on to a very light trickle and water for two hours at a time at each of the four corners of the tree. Continue Reading →

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