Green Gifts Fair

by Mallory Carter

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On Saturday, November 19th, the Sierra Club hosted a booth at Do It Green Minnesota’s 6th annual Green Gifts Fair at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis to raise awareness of the impact of mercury pollution and build support for strong public health protections limiting mercury from coal plants.

Blue posters with the banner, “Protect Our Children, No Toxic Mercury”, surrounded the Sierra Club table. The posters call on President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to fight for clean air and strong public health protections for mercury and other toxic air pollution.

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Sierra Club volunteers at the table gathered nearly two hundred Clean Air Promise postcards from the shoppers at the fair to send to President Obama asking him to support clean air policies.

Volunteers also gathered photo petitions to send President Obama with supporters posing with “I Love Clean Air – Cross the Finish Line on Mercury Health Standards!”

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Along with gathering support for strong mercury pollution policies there was an educational game for kids. Volunteers filled a child’s play pool with balloons decorated to look like fish. With a magnetic fishing pole the kids tried to catch the fish, it was a great game for kids of all ages!

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Volunteers also distributed pamphlets from the Minnesota Department of Health detailing a guide for the types of fish to limit to reduce risk of mercury exposure (http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/fish/eating/safeeating.html).  All of Minnesota’s waterways are contaminated with mercury pollution, and high levels of mercury found in certain types of fish.

Overall the event was a success as volunteers continued to raise awareness for clean air policies and the kids had lots of fun fishing!

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