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Archive for January, 2014

Introducing Dani Schurter, Senior Environmental Project Associate

January 30th, 2014

My name is Dani Schurter and I’m thrilled to be the newest member of Environmental Initiative as the Senior Environmental Project Associate.

I first became intrigued with work in the environmental field in college, when I took a course about the human impact on land and wildlife. My desire to work towards a better future was cemented upon completing a paper on the conservation of the loggerhead sea turtle. I was hooked – they are just too cute!

As a Minnesota native, it was great to start my career creating healthy homes for Minnesotans.  Working as a program developer for Minnesota’s premier residential green building program, I worked with contractors, remodelers, architects and homeowners to create beautiful, sustainable houses that will be enjoyed for generations to come.

For the past two years, I enjoyed all the windy city had to offer while working at the Lincoln Park Zoo. As a planning manager, I worked to bring in new species, renovate exhibits and develop new programs to enhance the guest experience as we connected visitors to nature. I will miss my zoo friends – the playful polar bear, the beautiful giraffes and of course the king of the jungle, the lions – but I am grateful to return to the Twin Cities.

I am incredibly excited to join the Environmental Initiative team and work with businesses on sustainability.

Dani Schurter


Project Manager

Weekly Wrap-Up: Weather Edition

January 24th, 2014

With today’s brief respite and Polar Vortex 3.0 on its way next week, the weather has been on our mind this week. In today’s Friday wrap-up, we bring you some weather-related reading to help you sound smart in the class Minnesota weather conversations you’re sure to be having over the weekend!

1. Yeah, it’s cold, but are we setting records? Hardly. (CBS Minnesota)

2. Good news for the Red River Vally – forecasts say low risk for major flooding this spring. (MPR News)

3. As our friends on the East Coast dig out from a big snowfall earlier this week, climate scientists remind us that climate change doesn’t just mean warming – it can also bring more intense precipitation. (Huffington Post)

4. Speaking of climate change, this scientist-poet distilled more than 2,000 pages of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report down to 19 illustrated haiku. (The Weather Channel)

5. And over on the West Coast, the frequency of winter cyclones – as well as pollution levels – have increased thanks to exports of air pollution from China and neighboring countries. (Discovery News)


Georgia Rubenstein


Senior Manager, Sustainability Program

A Big Thank You: 2013 End of the Year Giving

January 14th, 2014

I would like to take this time to thank you; all our members big and small, that made 2013 a great year.  Environmental Initiative crushed our individual membership campaign that ran from November 12 to December 31. We raised over $10,000 during this time period and were blown away by your generosity. I would also like to thank our current and past board of directors for making the $10,000 match available to help double individual members’ contributions.  Whether you donated $5 or $1,000, we could not do the work we do without your support.

Individual supporters that helped us achieve our $10,000 goal:


Sacha Seymour-Anderson


Development Director

Green Chemistry is Big in Minnesota and Poised to Grow

January 8th, 2014

Increasingly companies of all sizes and types are looking at the chemicals used in their products and processes with an eye to reducing their environmental impacts. Many are using green chemistry and life cycle assessment as frameworks for increasing the sustainability of their products and processes and assuring the use of safer chemicals throughout their supply chains. These businesses recognize the value and cost savings from reducing toxic inputs, including reduced liability, regulatory compliance, and meeting consumer demand for safer products.

Fortunately, Minnesota is blessed with a cluster of businesses helping to meet consumer and business demands for safer chemistry. Companies like BioAmber, Segetis, NatureWorks, Reluceo, and others are utilizing biofeedstock to develop replacements for petroleum-derived plasticizers, solvents and plastics.  Biochemicals provide a high value use of agricultural and forestry feedstock that can help boost Minnesota’s economy. In addition to economic benefits, green chemistry affords environmental and health benefits from new, safer green chemistry products. (more…)

Kathleen Schuler


Healthy Kids and Families Program Director, Conservation Minnesota
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