Earth Day wishes and sustainable dreams


Oh, my green friends, isn’t April such a great month? It is the month full of the sweet expectation of spring and the lusty promise of summer.

Of course, for Minnesotans, it is also the month that can break our hearts. But let’ s remain optimistic—it is spring after all! So many great things begin in spring. Gardeners begin to sow seeds that will bear lovely homegrown sprouts. Farmer’s Markets open with seedlings and lush hanging baskets.

People break out bikes, Frisbees, even sunscreen. And now the lovely traditional event of the Living Green Expo brings even more meaning to spring.

Living Green Expo isn’t technically until May but it is the first weekend in May so this is my only chance to sing its praises and urge you to hum along.

This year’s event takes place Saturday and Sunday, May 3-4 at the State Fair Grandstand Building. The Expo provides information and products to help us improve the environmental and social impacts of our day-to-day living. The Living Green Expo features over 200 exhibitors of products, services and information, along with over 60 workshops on a variety of sustainability and green living topics. Expo attractions include music, art, food, demonstrations and activities for youth and children. And it is a free event! For more information you can visit

I always learn a new green tip at Living Green Expo. It is amazing how creative we humans can be. If you do attend the Living Green Expo, and I hope you will—please stop by the Bag-E-Wash booth and say, “Hi.” In fact, I bet you have green tips that I have never even thought of. If you stop by the booth and bring me a green tip I will give you an Earth Day present! And maybe if I get enough tips I will print a reader’s column of green suggestions.

By the way, last year, the EarthDay Network named Minneapolis the second-greenest city in the U.S!. Way to go us!

Speaking of which, Earth Day is also among the special events that cause us to hold April in such high esteem. I have been contemplating Earth Day for about a month now. Birthdays in my family are a big deal. We try to make the birthday person feel very special. Of course, there is good (organic, local) food and always a yummy birthday cake (or in my eldest son’s case the birthday Crème Brulee!) with candles. And then the big wish. I cannot tell you what they wish for –obviously that’ s their secret. But for Earth Day I asked some of our hard-working, local green leaders and business people what their Earth Day 2008 wish was. And they were willing to share their Earth Day wishes with you. I hope you enjoy their thoughtful responses. After reading their wishes, please consider making one of your own. Say it in your heart like a prayer and then shout it out loud like a declaration, share it with your friends and family and then share it with the Earth. Happy Earth Day to you all!

“My wish for the Earth is that all of its inhabitants (that’s us!) make thoughtful and sustainable everyday choices—including what we wear, what we eat, how we live at home, work and school and how we transport ourselves—for our future generations. Each choice we make and each product we buy supports or hurts the health of our surrounding communities, our natural environment and ourselves. –Ami Voeltz, Executive Director, Do It Green! Minnesota;

“My Earth Day wish is that more people begin expressing their conservation interests directly to manufacturers, retailers, government officials, financial organizations and even the media reporting on these types of subjects. I would love to learn there is an increased number of citizens who praise when a company meets their expectations, as well as pointing out the opportunities any can make for improvement. Our opinions do count in matters of environmental principles—there is strong influential power in a collective public voice for greener choices.” –Tony Kvale, CEO of Kvale Good Natured Games, LLC;

“Patience and contentment would carry us a long way toward a healthier Earth. We must spend more time thinking before each purchase (Do I need this? Do I need this now? Can I wait until creativity inspires me with a more sustainable yet equally effective solution?). By including our children in the process, sustainable thinking will become natural and normal to the next generation.” –Jennifer Swanson, Organizing Consultant & Speaker;

“My Earth Day wish is that consumers would more often choose to use their power to be the change they want to see. One person or family can make a huge positive environmental impact by driving a little less, using compact fluorescent bulbs, composting and buying locally grown organic foods. Take my online green survey and see how green you really are.” –Kim Carlson, The EarthSmart Consumer;

“I wish everyone would take some time to enjoy nature and see the connnections between us and the environment. Take a hike through the woods, a canoe trip on your nearest lake or wetland, or a simple walk in a park. Get out and see, touch and smell this most valuable asset.” –Jeff Stuhr, Manager, Living Green Expo;

“First, I wish for a global consciousness of our political leaders that would lead to global cooperation to protect the environment. Secondly, I wish that we as citizens would joyfully accept the compromises we must make, simplifying our lives, slowing down and experiencing the pleasure of simplicity and a healing connectedness to Earth.” –Elise Kyllo, artist and gardener;