News & Ideas

Catalyzing a shift in sourcing food for hunger relief organizations

Catching up with Nikki Warner from The Good Acre was a lot of fun and filled me with hope. I am inspired by creative community leaders who are able to pivot quickly when funding and needs shift while keeping true…

Talking climate action and district energy with the City of Duluth and Ever-Green Energy

Three years ago, Ever-Green Energy and the City of Duluth began transforming a major portion of the city’s energy system, replacing 16 blocks of aged steam pipe in its district energy system with new hot water infrastructure. The project, which won a 2021 Environmental Initiative Award, has achieved significant emission reductions, with a nearly…

Northside Safety NET interns begin putting learning into action

Nine interns joined me and Jaycie Thomsen in November to form the 2021-22 cohort of Northside Safety NET. The year-long Environmental Justice Internship is led by Environmental Initiative. During the school year we meet after school and on…

Allianz Life: A local leader shares insights for global impact

The Sustainable Growth Coalition Best Practices & Learning Lab series event hosted by member organization Allianz Life offered great insights to other members who are not part of the financial services industry. Founded in 1896 and headquartered in…

Introducing non-Native people to an Indigenous Worldview

Two Paths to One: Next Steps to Integrate an Indigenous Understanding into Environmental Work, offered in partnership with Bemidji State…

Dreaming and being thankful with Hope Flanagan

I was so inspired by Hope Flanagan’s words and wisdom when I first met her in spring 2021. Her enthusiasm for the natural world is contagious. Add to that her passion for gardening, cooking, and storytelling and it is almost…

Better Futures: A workforce and environmental solution

The Better Futures-Becker County pilot program was recognized in May 2021 for the innovative workforce approach used when diverting useful goods and materials from the landfill. With the building renovation boom still strong, I wondered how things were going…

“What are you willing to give up?”: Reflections on 25 years as Executive Director

I was blessed many years ago to be asked a powerful question by someone I had only just met. We were talking about Environmental Initiative’s emerging focus on social equity and racial justice, and she surprised me by asking, “What…