Hi everyone. My name is Tim and I am excited and honored to write a recurring opinion column here on The Minot Voice. This column is entitled “The Practical Environmentalist.” I consider myself an advocate for our environment who tries to think about solutions in ways that are realistic and achievable. For the record, I include the safety, health, and general well-being of all people in my definition of environment. Also, my definition of the term environmentalist does not include the Portlandia-esque hippie who only drinks hemp smoothies and smokes marijuana. The closest I get to that is a mostly vegetarian diet with a regular practice of yoga, both of which have helped keep off the 30-something weight gain.

My hope in writing and sharing my thoughts is not to make people feel guilty or to focus on far-off ideas or inventions. Rather, I hope to share ideas with all of us that live in the Minot area and encourage us to think about how we can do things differently and better for our environment, our economy, and ultimately our sense of community. I do this because I love Minot and the people that live here. I would like to make this my home for many years to come. We have so much to be proud of! My personal approach to life is to fix the problems before me and not point out the faults in others. On the issue of the environment and our shared environmental future together, I feel as though I have reached the end of the good that I can do on my own. In a way, I am writing to ask for help. I want our community to be prepared for the changes in our climate that are coming. I want our community to be prepared for the changes in our economy that are bound to happen when tougher environmental regulations and standards become the norm. I want Minot to look back on this time twenty years from now and say “Thank goodness this community was forward thinking and planned ahead.” I want Minot to be a leader and not a follower and I want Minot to find solutions to these challenges that fit who we are and life on the prairie. Because let’s face it, there is no place quite like Minot.

This is a risky and scary thing to do. There will be detours and bumps along the way and I know that there are hard feelings from failed attempts at forward progress from the past. I can’t ask you to blindly trust what I say. But I would ask you to listen and think about some of the thoughts and questions that are brought up in this column and decide for yourselves if they are good ideas or poor ideas. I would also ask you to think beyond oneself and look to the future that all of us share together. Environmental issues are so difficult to tackle in part because air, water, sunlight, and wind know no boundaries or borders. They belong to all of us. I believe that the correct answers to the environmental challenges will be found in our individual actions that manifest into community beliefs.

With that being said, I could use some help right from the get-go. This column needs some artwork to go with it for the website. Are there any graphically talented readers who can put something together resembling or representing the title and aim of this column? If so, your time and efforts would be greatly appreciated!

If you are reading this column and want to learn more, I would encourage you to check out the “Environmentally Minded People of Minot” Facebook Group. We focus on local environmental issues and talking points and work to find solutions and tools to live in an environmentally responsible manner within our region. All are welcome.

Thank you,
Tim

Tim Baumann, The Practical Environmentalist,

I'm an advocate for our environment who tries to think about solutions in ways that are realistic and achievable.