SUSTAINABLE SCOTS NEWSLETTER
Sponsored by the Macalester Sustainability Office
February 7th, 2014
| || |
I hope you all enjoyed your breaks and count yourselves lucky to have missed the 62 consecutive hours of temperatures below zero this January during the polar vortex freeze. Never fear! Winter will end soon.
This months theme is...
The sustainability office will be focusing on all things energy this month. Macalester is participating in Campus Conservation Nationals, the largest electricity and water reduction competition for colleges and universities in the world! Stay tuned for more energy themed events. Also be sure to check out all of the sustainability related events I've featured in this newsletter for February.
Hope you're all doing well and enjoying the start to the semester. Stay warm!
Sochi Olympics Criticized as a "Missed Opportunity for Sustainability"
The 2014 Sochi Olympics are due to open this Thursday and Russia has doled out a record breaking 51 Billion dollars to make the event happen. Yet serious environmental problems have been piling up for months in preparation for what was supposed to have been the "Greenest Olympics Ever."
With sponsors like Coca-Cola, General Electric, McDonald's, many of which have made commitments to sustainability, this could have been a huge opportunity for one of the most high-profile sustainability pushes ever. Yet according Adam Aston from The Guardian and quite a few others this does not seem to be happening. Missed opportunity? Almost certainly.
5 Things You Need To Know About the Farm Bill
Congress finally passed the farm bill and the president is expected to sign it into law. Here are 5 facts, picked out of 956 pages of legislation by Robin Shreeves from the Mother Nature Network, to deepen your understand of what's actually in it.
1. Total spending the farm bill is estimated to be $956.4 billion, but is expected to save around $23 billion "based on budgeting that existed when the last farm bill passed in 2008." A good amount of the funds cut would have been direct payments to farmers who didn't farm. (via Washington Post
2. However, $8.7 billion of the cuts came from cutting food stamps. Some families on food stamps could see an average of $90 less a month. Which, I suppose, is better than the cuts they would have received if some representatives had gotten the $39 billion in food stamps cuts they wanted. The cuts will only affect 15 states plus Washington, D.C. (via MSNBC
3. More money is going into sushi rice. The government will now make up the difference to farmers who grow sushi rice if the market price goes too low. It will most likely increase the number of farmers who choose to grow sushi rice in the country. (via CNN
4. Hemp got some respect in the bill. There is money in the farm bill for pilot programs in 10 states to grow hemp. Funny thing is, though, federal drug laws bar the cultivation of hemp. Because of those laws, we import most of our hemp from China, but the money from the farm bill will go to states that have removed the barriers to growing hemp. (viaGreenbiz
5. Insurance for organic farmers is improved. Up until now, organic farmers could only insure their crops for the same price as conventional crops. Now they will be able to insure their crops through the "Federal Crop Insurance Agency at prices in line with their retail value." (via Politico
Tar Sands Pipeline Campaign Enbridge is trying to double the tar sands sent through their Line 67 Alberta Clipper pipeline in northern Minnesota. If the expansion goes through, the pipeline will carry more tar sands than the proposed Keystone XL. Climate advocates won the right to a public hearing in St. Paul on April 3, which is our window to shut down the expansion. The Environmental Justice taskforce of MPIRG is mobilizing on-campus and off-campus coalitions in a massive campaign to stop the biggest single threat to our climate. The kick-off meeting is Tuesday, February 11, 10pm in CC215. We are doing off-campus recruitment, on-campus events, and artistic messaging for the campaign as a whole, so whether your skills are political or artistic, there's a role for you.
To find out more contact Akilah Sanders-Reed - email@example.com
The Black Out Concert Is TONIGHT!
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Friday Feb 7, 2014
Formal Lounge (1st floor), Dupre Residence Hall
Join us as we kick off both Recyclemania and the Campus Conservation Nationals with a night of fun, no energy, and good vibes! Featuring the best acoustic Macalester talents. No-energy treats will be provided!
Contact Diana Chao with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enviro Thursdays are Back!
Olin Rice 250 at noon, light lunch provided
February 6th, 2014
"The Genius of Earth Day"
Speaker: Adam Rome, Unidel Helen Gouldner Chair for the Environment, University of Delaware
The first Earth Day had a power and freshness that are hard to imagine now. Earth Day 1970 inspired the first green generation. Earth Day 1970 also helped to build a lasting eco-infrastructure. What made the event so powerful? The story of the first Earth Day offers important lessons for environmentalists today.
Adam Rome holds the Unidel Helen Gouldner Chair for the Environment at the University of Delaware, where he teaches courses in environmental history and environmental non-fiction. He is the author of two books: The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation (2013) and The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism (2001), which won the Organization of American Historians' Frederick Jackson Turner award. From 2002 through 2005, he edited the journal Environmental History.
February 13th, 2014
No Enviro Thursday
Valentine's Party for ES majors and minors
Olin Rice 205
February 20th, 2014
"Solar for Everyone"
Speaker: Ken Bradley, CEO, Minnesota Community Solar
Minnesota Community Solar is the first turnkey, sustainable model for community solar. They bring various community partners together to secure project sites, subscribers/electricity consumers and develop community solar that produces clean local energy and reducing global warming emissions. They use Minnesota labor, manufactured products and financing, whenever possible. All you need is an electricity bill and the desire to be the change you wish to see in the world.
Ken Bradley has worked as director for several non-profit organizations leading various efforts to increase investments in renewable energy, energy-efficiency, and reduce global warming pollution. Ken serves as CEO of Minnesota Community Solar (mncommunitysolar.com) helping to lead business planning and development. He is also on the board of trustees for Minnesota Environmental Partnership and Minneapolis Community and Technical College.
February 27th, 2014
More information to come
Speaker: Dr. Anu Ramaswami from the Humphrey Institute at the University of MN
March 6th, 2014
Speakers: EcoHouse Residents
What is the EcoHouse? Find out about our own Eco-Living/Learning Laboratory. EcoHouse students will talk about the house and their projects. This is an excellent opportunity for EcoHouse applicants to learn more about living in the house from current residents.
March 13th, 2014
More information to come
Speaker: Mike Dockry, Research Natural Resource Specialist, USDA Forest Service
For the most up-to-date descriptions of the presenters and their topics, check out the Enviro-Thursday webpage: HERE
St. Paul, Minnesota - State Representative Rick Hansen (DFL - South St. Paul) will be hosting a Pollinator Public Policy Forum on February 10, 2014 at the Dakota Lodge of the Thompson Park Center in West St. Paul.
Presentations from state agencies will begin at 7:00 PM followed by a panel discussion and question and answer session. Doors open at 6:30 PM - with displays available - and there is no cost to attend.
Who: Rep. Rick Hansen (moderator), Bob Welsh, Wildlife Habitat Program Manager at Minnesota DNR; Kevin Cavanaugh, Pesticide Management Advisor, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Joe Zachmann Manager, Pesticide and Fertilizer Management Division, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Dan Shaw, BSWR; Becky Masterman,
University of Minnesota Bee Squad Coordinator
Response panel: Manly Bigalk, IA/MN Beekeeper; Kristy Allen, Beez Kneez; others invited
What: Pollinator Public Policy Forum
Where: Dakota Lodge, Thompson Park Center, 1200 Stassen Ln, West St Paul, MN 55118
When: Monday Feb. 10, 6:30 open, 7:00 program/presentations followed by a panel discussion (ending by 9:30 PM)
Rep. Hansen encourages constituents to contact him with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. Rep. Hansen can be reached by phone at 651-296-6828 or by email at email@example.com. Constituents can also visit Rep. Hansen's legislative page and sign up for email updates.
Find out more
An Evening with Earth Partner and the Native American Awareness Working Group of the Justice Commission of the Sisters of St. Joseph and Consociates, St. Paul Province
Tuesday, February 25, 6:30pm-8pm
1890 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
We will view the 2013 Bioneers plenary speech of Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (www.ienearth.org). We will discuss how we might become effective allies of the Minnesota Indigenous community as they work to address environmental and economic justice issues and build capacity to protect the sacred land, water, air and ecosystems on which the entire Circle of Life depends.
There will be refreshments, door prizes and a warm welcome.
"Awakening the Dreamer" with Minnesota Pachamama Alliance
Wednesday, February 19th
Doors open 7pm, video begins at 7:15pm
Lake Harriet Spiritual Community Center
4401 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
Join us in the Sanctuary
We will learn how the Pachamama Alliance's partnership with the Achuar People of Ecuador has led to the preservation of million of acres of rain forest; and how their educational programs are waking people up to the challenges and the opportunities of our time. Come hear the story of the Eagle and the Condor--the amazing vision of the Achuar. Together, we will discuss what it all means for Minnesota and the planet.
More information here
Free and open to the public!
First up: A Valentine to the Earth: An Evening of Poetry and Music
Feb 15, 7:00-9:30pm
Unitarian Church, St Paul
Valentine's Day Weekend is the perfect time to celebrate the beauty of the earth and its animals, landscapes and people. It's also an opportunity to mourn the environmental crisis our planet is facing.
Come join us for an evening of great poetry and music. Some of Minnesota's best poets will read their environmental work and music will be provided by singer/songwriter Barbara McAfee.
Stay for a wine-and-treats reception following the reading. Connect with friends, new and old, who love poetry, music and our beloved planet.
We are requesting a $10 donation. Funds will offset expenses, and go to support Unity Church and the artists who are contributing their work. Donate now or donate the evening of the reading.
Chocolate Tasting & Gift Fair with Mississippi Market
Saturday, February 8th
11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
622 Selby Ave, St. Paul
Mississippi Market's 4th annual Chocolate Tasting & Gift Fair offers chocolate delights, unique gift ideas, prize giveaways, and Valentine's surprises. The event will feature local chocolatier, B.T. McElrath and other local favorites - Izzy's Ice Cream, RareEarth candles, Pashen Bars, and sweet treats from their deli!
Live it Fund Applications "Have an idea for a summer project? Apply to the Live It! Fund! Tell us what your definition of Global Citizenship is and how it is related to your project. The application is available HERE and the deadline for submission is 2/22 (Sat) 11.59pm.
Open house is on 2/6 (Thurs) 7-9pm, 3rd floor Markim Hall.
Cycles for Change: Beyond Basic Bicycle Repair Class
Do you identify as a woman, trans*, or gender non-conforming? Do you want a good introduction (or refresher) to bike mechanics? I work at Cycles for Change, over on University Avenue, and we'll be offering a free five week course on "Beyond Basic Bicycle Repair" during our regular Tuesday Women and Trans* night. You can register by emailing me or signing up for the exco class online HERE
This class is part of the Women and Transgender Night at Cycles for Change, which offers a safe and welcoming space for self-identified women, trans, and non-gender-conforming people in the dude dominated world of bikes. No matter what your level of experience, we welcome you to come learn and teach and share (and just hang out). We have a regular open shop time every Tuesday from 5-8pm for you to use our space and tools. Female mechanics will be here to help you with any questions. ***
The class is open to people with all levels of experience. Participants will be guided step by step to repair all bike systems, with technical explanations and hands-on practice. In full, folks attending this class will learn how to perform a tune-up/overhaul of a bicycle. Participants will work with the same bike through the class, in order to see the complexities and intricacies of one specific bicycle. Note: All class participants will fix up SHOP BIKES during this class. Bikes fixed up will be donated to one of Cycles for Change's many community programs!
Classes are on Tuesdays from 6- 8:30pm. Each class will build on the knowledge from previous classes, but feel free to just drop in to one:
February 11 Introduction, flat fixing
February 18 Hubs
February 25 Brakes
March 4 Shifting
March 11 Bottom Bracket and Headset Bearings
if you have work study
and would like to earn it helping out at a rad community bike shop (or other area non profit), you should apply for Off Campus Student Employment (OCSE) at Cycles for Change! You don't have to know anything about bikes and it is for sure the most fun and engaging student employment job you could imagine. You can apply on the HERE
Northeast Minnesota is a local, regional and national wilderness treasure. The St. Louis River is a precious and unique part of Minnesota's natural heritage. The St. Louis River watershed is also the headwaters of the Great Lakes. But right now, mining companies like PolyMet want to build new and toxic sulfide mines in th
e St. Louis River watershed that would create extreme water pollution that could last for the next 500 years and leave billions of dollars of cleanup costs for Minnesota taxpayers.
That's why Audubon Minnesota is working to prevent new mines that could pollute the St. Louis River watershed and destroy the homes of vibrant bird populations. Northeast Minnesota is a natural heritage treasure and one of the most beloved areas in our state, so if we can reach out to and rally enough public support, we can make sure these mines aren't approved and that the area's pristine waters are protected.
We are currently seeking interns interested in making a difference right here in the Twin Cities! This position begins immediately and will typically require 10-15
hours per week. Flexible scheduling is allowed. Positions are available as a Coalition Coordinator, Grassroots Coordinator, and a Media Coordinator.
Requirements: Positive, outgoing attitude. Strong interest in environmental issues and a commitment to protect Minnesota's clean water and natural heritage. Desire to learn and develop campaign organizing skills.
If interested, fill out this form online:
Or, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Protect Our Waters Internship). Please indicate which of the positions above you are most interested in.
Become an Environment America Fellow
Fight for a green future. Learn what it takes to win.
I'm Samantha Chadwick -- the Advocate at Environment Minnesota. We're a statewide citizen based environmental advocacy group. We're about clean energy, clean air, clean water, and protecting open spaces - right now our top priority is protecting the Boundary Waters from toxic mining. And, we're hiring!
To learn more and apply, visit jobs.environmentamerica.org. Our early application deadline is Sunday, February 23rd.
Environment Minnesota is part of the Environment America federation, a federation of 29 state-based groups with nearly 100 professional staff and more than 1 million members, activists and allies across the country.
Each year, we hire graduating seniors with the passion, the commitment and the talent it takes to stand up to polluting industries, fight for a green future and do what it takes to win.
Our Fellowship Program is a two-year crash course in the nuts and bolts of environmental activism, organizing, advocacy and the type of institution-building that can sustain long-term battles.
As a fellow, you're not just learning how to make an impact; you're making one. If you want to hear more straight from our current fellows, we put together a short video for you. You'll find it on our website here.
After two years as a fellow, you'll have learned the ropes, gained invaluable hands-on experience and you'll have made a real difference for the environment. Hear from two former fellows about the work they're doing now to fight frackinghere.
And if you're not graduating this year, I encourage you to apply to be an Environment Minnesota intern - you'll learn how to make an impact on critical environmental issues, and there's no better way to get the experience to launch your career.
2014 Internships at Women's Environmental Institute
The Women's Environmental Institute is now officially accepting applications for temporary, part-time farm intern positions for the 2014 season.
Internship Terms available:
Early Summer (June 1 - July 15) (3 Interns)
Late Summer (July 15 - August 31) (3 Interns)
Autumn (Sept 1 - Oct 31) (3 Interns)
Full-time farm internship includes a supporting intern stipend, week-day housing, and an educational program on organic farming. On-site residency is required during the week. Applicants who have a strong commitment to organic farming and to the environmental and agricultural justice mission of WEI are preferred. Some experience working on an organic farm or a strong ambition and dedication to learning how to farm are also preferred. Review of applications will start in January and continue until all positions are filled.
Please send to the following:
· Application (available online at www.w-e-i.org or by request at email@example.com)
· Your letter of inquiry indicating why you would like to do the internship and your qualifications
· Your résumé
· Names and contact information for three references
We will contact you for an interview if you are under consideration. Send your application electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
Women's Environmental Institute
P.O. Box 128
North Branch, MN 55056
In general the daily intern schedule when the farm is in full production would be something like this:
Tues - Fri a.m. (required): Work on farm (24 hours/week) - dedicated to field work and on-site learning in the field (this is hard physical work)
Saturday to Monday: Time off generally away from WEI farm campus or volunteer work time on the farm.
Dedicated time to your internship includes your hours of direct farm labor (billable hours), a minimum of six to eight hours per week on your individual project related to WEI farm programming, and participation at one farmers market event.
Get involved with Twin Cities' Environmental Organizations
Interested in pursuing a career in the environmental field? Ever wonder how the environment could be encompassed into the work you do? Consider doing an internship with a local environmental organization and learn a bit about what it's like to do work in this field. Check out the list of environmentally-focused internships provided by the Internship Office:
Contact the Sustainability Office!
We are located on the first floor of Kagin Commons, on the right-hand side as you enter the main area. The student-worker desk is located underneath the Sustainability Office sign, and Suzanne's office (our lovely Sustainability Manager) is located nearby in room 124.
Send one of your student workers to the Sustainability Student Worker Network!
Assign one of your students to work on sustainability issues for your department and send the Sustainability Office their contact information. We will assist with project planning and connect them with a twice-a-month sustainability network meeting.
To submit something or make a correction to the Sustainable Scots
Newsletter please contact:
This newsletter is sponsored by the Macalester Sustainability Office.