About Us

Mission Statement
The purpose of The Twin Cities Green Guide is to create a printed guidebook and web site to educate Twin Cities Metro area residents about environmental issues, serve as a quick environmental reference tool and promote a self-sustaining and community-oriented lifestyle. The Twin Cities Green Guide will ensure that people of all incomes will have access to the guide. Also, it will serve as a model for other cities and states nationwide.

Our Organization
The Twin Cities Green Guide is a new non-profit organization that formed in August of 2000. Our organization will keep the web site updated and create a new print edition of this guidebook every four years.

The main goals during the making of this guide was to:


  • Create a user-friendly book.
  • Focus on introducing issues of sustainability to the community.
  • Work cooperatively as a team.
  • Work with the community as much as possible.
  • Have fun, learn a lot and meet new people.The Twin Cities Green Guide consists of a Green Guide Team and over 100 volunteers. Other organizational activities included: summer skillshare workshops, information tabling, community involvement and working with our landlord to create a more sustainable building.

    Guide Production & Ethics
    During the entire production of this guide, The Twin Cities Green Guide staff made every decision based on what is best for the environment. Many of us bike, bus or walk for transportation. In addition, quite a few of the Team members and volunteers are vegetarian or vegan, eating low on the food chain.

    In the research for the guide, we used backsides of paper and envelopes for correspondence. Our letterhead and business cards were made by using a rubber stamp with our logo on reused paper or 100% post-consumer paper. In order to save paper and money, we used email correspondence as much as possible, rather than U.S. postal mail. The guidebook is printed with soy ink on 100% post-consumer paper from an ethical company that only offers recycled papers.

    We chose an ecologically-minded Great Printer and used the process of digital imaging that allowed us to electronically send our file directly to the printing press. In addition, the binding used was made with non-toxic, water based glues. Last but not least, the design of the pages and size of the book ensured the least amount of paper waste possible.

    Design Manifesto
    The main goal of The Green Guide is to promote sustainability. A large part of that goal includes supporting local, small “industries.” These industries are not merely businesses but are often individuals supporting themselves and preserving their autonomy. The resulting attitude is a D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) mind-set, breaking the cycle of dependence on corporations, technology and governmental policies.

    The Twin Cities Green Guide walks a fine line between these two worlds; in many ways we are selling a product – a product of thoughts and ideas. We have the frustrating task of competing with mainstream, commercialized culture and media. As a result, the overall design of The Green Guide will portray a genuine interest in the hand-made instead of the computer generated/technology driven design. Whenever possible, the publication will include hand drawn lettering, illustrations and diagrams. This often means accepting imperfections (or better yet, relishing them) and reassessing how society views “good design.” Overall, we expect the design of The Green Guide to reflect the idea that art and design are not tools to sell and make money but expressive instruments inherent in the human species.

    Green Guide Team Staff
    Most of the Green Guide staff donated 3/4 or more of their time to this project on top of holding other full time jobs. They stayed with this project from the beginning to the end.


    Ami Voeltz
    Project Coordinator & Editor-in-Chiefette
    Brent Johnson
    Graphic Designer & Illustrator
    Rebecca Cioni
    Web Designer
    Joel Helfrich
    Green Pages Coordinator & Jack-of-All-Trades
    Ellen Cleary
    Fundraising Assistant
    Andy Schakel

    Joann Blohowiak
    Marketing & Ads Designer

    Heidi Klein
    & Brandon Nguyen
    Contributing Staff

    Terri Hudoba


    Category Editors
    The Category Editors consisted of 10 Community members volunteering on average 200 hours each! Most of our editors have a background of professional magazine, newspaper or book editing. Each editor was responsible for editing at least one, but up to three, categories throughout the entire project. They did an amazing job. They often trimmed the articles down to 800 words or less and worked with the authors to make changes.

    Lindsay Brice
    Joel Helfrich
    Sraddha Helfrich
    Erin Hendel
    Eleise Jones
    Jennifer Peterson
    Mark Snyder
    Kristen Thiel
    Tara Wesely
    Rebecca Wienbar

    Editorial Board
    The Editorial Board, also volunteers, was mostly made up of University of Minnesota graduate students and Category Editors. The Board dedicated their time to meet for a four-day intensive editing session. The Board made final cuts and standardized each article to bring consistency to the book. After the session, many editors continued to do additional editing, proofreading and fact-checking.

    Andrea Burns
    Jason Eden
    Joel Helfrich
    Erin Hendel
    Liz Hutter
    Eleise Jones
    Marnie O’Brien
    Yuichiro Onishi


    Article Contributors & Authors
    There are over 200 different authors’ voices in the articles in this book. Many of the articles were written for The Twin Cities Green Guide and others were reprinted from publications or web sites. Most of the authors are Minnesotans who wanted to share the information they feel is important for you to know. Their names are listed with the article(s) they wrote and can also be located in the index.

    General Volunteers
    Over 70 volunteers worked hundreds of hours on this project. Without them, this project could have never been completed. They worked on projects such as: research, data entry, bicycle painting, and last but definitely not least, proofreading. Please forgive us if we missed any of you out there who came in and helped out!

    We offer a Special Thanks to the following volunteers for their support and/or the extra hours they contributed to the project: Aaron Arel, Cindi Contie, Paul Moss, Philipp Muessig, Katherine Mullen, Shea Peeples, Dave Rolsky and Mark Synder.

    Also, thanks to the following individuals: Stephanie Bahr, Nina Biddle, Ruth Castle, Cecil LeRoy Chesser, Kate Copeland, Patricia Cumbie, Matthew Dahlquist, Karen DeBoer, Julie Derby, Lori Downes, Emily who did filing, Stephanie Erickson, Robert Farrell, Linda Forslund, Joolie Geldner, Justin Gray, Skaht Hansen, Eric Hauge, James Hilden, John from Freewheel Bike, Amanda Jakl, Heather Jones, Justin from the Geek Squad, John Krone, Kelley Leaf, Lindsay Little, Amanda Luker, Laura Luchi, Mark McNally, Mary Morsque, Philipp Muessig, Debby Newman, Ian O’Brien, Kari Olson, Alyson Ostenaa, Cynthia Powell, Ian Quine, Samara Rafert, Amber Schmidt, Phil Schmidt, Mike Setzer, Eric Shervey, Crystal Stevenson, Suzy Strait, Jeremiah Unruh, Laurie Voeltz, Freeman Wicklund and Annie Young.


    Contributors & In-Kind Contributors
    AIDS Ride, Anoka County Integrated Waste Management, Aveda, Blue Sky Guide, Bolger Concept to Print, Ahn Na Brodie, Clifton Court LLP, Co-op America, artists at El Colegio Charter School, Sraddha Helfrich, Hirschfield’s Paint Mfg., Elmer L. & Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation, Eve Lomaistro, MAP for Non-Profits, Milkweed Editions, Minnesota Grown, Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance, New Leaf Paper, Northland Poster Collective, Peace Coffee, Peterson Flowers, The Reuse Center, Roots & Fruits Cooperative, Sally & Corky Schakel, Kathy & Casey Schakel, Andy Schakel, Re-Bicycle & More, St. Steven’s Shelter photographs, Seward Cafe, Southwest YMCA, Chuck Thomas, Wally Voeltz, Wedge Community Co-op, Yellow Bikes Coalition, Young’s Flower Shop and the Youth Farm & Market Project.