Blog

Written by Natalie Cook, YEA! MN Program Coordinator for the Will Steger Foundation

We have wrapped up a fantastic year at YEA! MN.  Our students have wrestled with big issues, learned about organizing, and 606 taken action on projects they care about; all while going to high school, doing their homework, and participating in other community and extra curricular work.  I have never been so impressed and proud of a group of youth- no, scratch that, I have never been so proud of a group of people!

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My Story

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June 26, 2014

565

I am from Newton, Massachusetts—a sub-city of Boston. It is fairly urban and one has to go out of their way to be immersed in a wilderness setting, but this slight disconnect heightened my curiosity for it and strengthened the inert magnetism my soul felt towards nature.

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The relationship between water, energy, agriculture and climate is a significant one. More and more, that relationship is falling out of balance jeopardizing food, water and energy security. Agricultural practices can impact the climate. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are widely used in agriculture, and are often made from fossil fuels. Manufacturing and transporting these chemicals uses significant quantities of energy and produces greenhouse gases.

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564 Guest post by Bryan Parras, cross posted from t.e.j.a.s.

The Keystone XL pipeline begins in Alberta, Canada and ends in my backyard.

Here in Houston’s East End, we’re well acquainted with the risks of living so close to the oil refineries whose toxic emissions poison us every day. Like so many other kids in this neighborhood, I grew up with constant headaches, asthma and skin rashes. Cardiovascular diseases and cancer are not uncommon. 

Now, the tar sands are here in my home. Today the dirtiest, most toxic oil on the planet is being pumped into our communities via the southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline -- and our families are being forced to breath the additional pollution. Just last week, one of the first shipments of refined tar sands was exported to Europe via nearby Freeport, TX. This serves as a terrible precedent and reminds us that despite wide opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, tar sands is making its way through our communities along the Gulf Coast and across the Atlantic ocean.

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Call for Illinois statewide day of actions Monday, June 16th – Illinois will not be divided – Renewables, not fracking!

Who: Illinois citizens who support a clean & sustainable energy future, and demand an honest government that serves the people and protects our water, air and soil!

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Call for Illinois statewide day of actions Monday, June 16th – Illinois will not be divided – Renewables, not fracking!

Who: Illinois citizens who support a clean & sustainable energy future, and demand an honest government that serves the people and protects our water, air and soil!

[ Read More... ]

Previously, we talked about a few easy, outdoor weekend projects you might use to spruce up your house this summer. Using antique objects as planters and constructing a tree bench were a couple of the ideas introduced. But there is so much more you can do in the outdoors that doesn’t take a lot of time that we decided to suggest 5 more projects homeowners might try out as the weather warms up.

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