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Circular economy's goal moves way beyond recycling

The basic idea of the circular economy is that in production, nothing should be wasted, and everything at the end of its life should be made into something else. Dave talked with Nathaniel Springer, an economist in the U of MN Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, to learn more. Here's a great article about it from the Institute on the Environment (U of MN). Nat also recommends the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a place to learn more.

Corey Belt (while in Cook County)

Corey Belt's Antarctic Adventure - Full Interview

Cook County resident Corey Belt spent the fall and winter of 2015-16 at McMurdo Station in Antarctica as part of their fuel department, aiding vehicles used to do all manner of scientific research on

courtesy Journey 4 Renewal

Seagull to Hudson Bay Journey 4 Renewal a success!

Four young women set out from Seagull Lake May 29 to canoe to Hudson Bay. Called Journey 4 Renewal, the trip was a fundraiser for Wilderness Canoe Base. Two of the paddlers, Tessa Larson and Steph Branchaud, joined Dave to share stories about the trip and its joys and challenges. You can learn more here. 


Food choices affect the planet more than you might think

Population growth won't be the only reason for increased food demand in the years ahead--the changing diets of the world's growing middle class, from plant- to animal-based, will play a significant role. Dick talked with Dr. Jamie Gerber, co-director of the U of MN Institute on the Environment's Global Landscapes Initiative, to learn about it. You can read much more on their environment reports website.  Jamie also  suggests the Better Buying Lab to help make more sustainable food choices. 

courtesy Samuel Blanc, Wikimedia

Cool off: Count seals in Antarctica from the comfort of your couch

Pretty cool--you can count seals in Antarctica, right from your couch, via satellite images. Dr. Michelle LaRue is a research ecologist at the U of MN Department of Earth Sciences and lead researcher on the project, which is called "Satellites Over Seals." She talked with Dick about what they're studying, why the seal count is important, and why they've turned to the public for help. It's easy to get started counting seals--just go to and follow the instructions. 

Perseid Meteor Shower (Nick Ares /Wikimedia Commons)

Perseid meteor showers peaking overnight this Thursday, Aug. 11...and more about the night sky

Perseid meteor showers peak the week of Aug. 8...and best overnight Thursday night. One of our favorite regular guests, Bob King, chatted with Dave about when and where to see them, and how to get pictures, too. Lots of great info here including where to get the best northern lights predictions, aurora apps for your phone, and a simple explanation of what a meteor shower actually is. Bob is a photographer and photo editor at the Duluth News Tribune, and writes the popular Astrobob blog. 

grocery aisle1.jpg

Avoid being 'greenwashed' when looking for environmentally-friendly products

What do those labels on 'ecofriendly' products really mean? Dave chatted with Dr. Tim Smith of the U of MN Institute on the Environment's NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise to learn what to look for and how to better read those labels. Dr. Smith suggests the Good Guide phone app as one of many tools to help make more environmentally-friendly buying decisions.  

Bolstad's Rain Garden

All about Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are growing in Cook County! 

Beth Homa harvests birch bark

Harvesting birch bark with Beth Homa-Style

Beth Homa-Style is a former North House intern and professional birch bark weaver and artisan based out of Minneapolis.