All posts by Beth Mercer-Taylor

Get in on the action: Sustainability Action! Open HousePhoto courtesty of Sustainability Studies Minor, Institute on the Environment

On September 4, thousands of first-year students will have the chance to sneak a peek at the many environmental- and sustainability-related opportunities offered across the University of Minnesota at the seventh annual Sustainability Action! Open House. The Institute on the Environment and University Services are co-hosts of this full, fast-paced day devoted to sustainability-focused games, displays, meet and greets, food samplings, shows, and information. The Learning & Environmental Sciences building will transform into a dynamic space with hands-on activities, demonstrations and chances to see, touch, taste and try.   Continue reading

What I did on my summer vacation in Scandinaviatour guide at trash incinerator in Denmark

Who would think a visit to a plant that harvests energy from burning trash and features a smokestack so tall “it seemed to curve in the air” would rank among the highlights of a summer study abroad trip to Europe? A dozen University of Minnesota students, that’s who.

In May and June, I led a group of University students from a variety of majors – art, political science, accounting and architecture, to name a few – on a three-week sustainability tour of Denmark. We spent a some precious days on a small agricultural island in the North Sea, a place of sleepy villages, fishing piers and miles of beachfront that draw Danish tourists. We marveled at the island of Samso, which draws visitors from as far away as South Africa, Japan and Australia who come to learn how an isolated community of 5,000 transitioned to using only renewable energy for electricity and heat. Continue reading